A special message from Rick Hedgahl of VoteVets about a critical Senate vote
After two tours in Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom, I retired after 24 years in the Navy Reserve.
But as a veteran who falls into a category known as a "Gray Area Reservist," I'm ineligible for TriCare until I turn 60 years old, and the VA medical system is my primary health care.
Now, I get great care. The VA out-patient clinic and hospital in Seattle are proactive about my health, and I am thankful for everything they do.
But when Mitch McConnell and his Tea Party caucus vote against appropriately staffing up the VA at facilities across the country, it hurts my brothers and sisters who rely on a functional Veterans Affairs health system.
Thankfully, this week the Senate has a chance to pass bipartisan legislation that would allow the VA to lease new health care facilities and hire the doctors and nurses needed to keep up with the new veterans created after two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sign our petition calling on Mitch McConnell to stop blocking funding for veterans' health care, and pass the Sanders-McCain legislation this week.
The good news is, a similar bill passed the House, and if we can overcome a Tea Party filibuster, we should see the president sign it into law.
Then we can begin the process instituting the kind of changes we need to ensure the tragedies at Phoenix and other VA facilities across the country never happen again.
It's unfortunate it takes something like the recent scandal to push the Senate into action. They had a chance to improve VA capacity at the end of February, but the bill was blocked by a minority of right-wing Senators.
Tell Senator McConnell not to make the same mistake again - pass the Sanders-McCain bill.
On the morning of the vote, we'll forward your signature along with a list of all the veterans, military family members, and VoteVets supporters who signed our petition to Senator McConnell's office in an effort to persuade him to do the right thing.
Thanks for making your voice heard