Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

National Commander Dr. Robert Pickard Testifies Before Congress

Spring 2014

Washington, DC – On March 6, 2014, National Commander Dr. Robert Pickard, COL (USA Retired) testified before a joint session of the Senate and House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs on behalf of the members of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV). Commander Pickard, in conjunction with the leaders of other veterans’ service organizations, presented JWV’s legislative priorities for the 113th Congress:

VA Claims Backlog

The backlog of cases at the VA remains at over 270 days. JWV calls upon Congress to authorize the hiring and training of additional claims adjudicators and the introduction of improved electronic systems to reduce the backlog and allow for adjudication of claims to be made in a reasonable period. If adjudication cannot be made within 180 days, the applicant’s disabilities should be presumptively determined to be service-connected and the applicant eligible for medical services. A determination of rating and compensation can be made at a later date.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

A significant percent of veterans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This latest group of sufferers joins those with PTSD from prior wars. In addition to treating these veterans, the VA must reach out to their families to give them the tools they need to assist their loved ones. JWV calls on the VA to offer counseling to these veterans and their families at every Community Based Outreach Center and, where there is not an Outreach Center within 30 minutes of a veteran in need, to offer a complete array of services through contract providers.

Sustain VA Health Care System

While progress has been made at the VA, more needs to be done to improve care and make sure the VA is held accountable. Some of the initiatives JWV is advocating for include advance appropriations to all VA discretionary and mandatory accounts, full implementation of all VA Caregivers Law (P.L. 111-163) provisions, and better collaboration between DoD and VA to achieve a real “seamless transition” for servicemembers.

Commander Pickard’s testimony is available in its entirety at http://www.jwv.org.


About Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America
Founded in 1896, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America is one of oldest active veterans’ organizations in America. JWV is dedicated to upholding America’s democratic traditions and fighting bigotry, prejudice, injustice, and discrimination of all kinds. As a national organization, JWV represents the voice of America’s Jewish veterans on issues related to veterans’ benefits, foreign policy, and national security. JWV also commits itself to the assistance of oppressed Jews worldwide.

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