Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

National Commander Norman Rosenshein to Testify before Congress

National Commander Norman Rosenshein to Testify before Congress

On Thursday, September 21, 2006, National Commander Norman Rosenshein of the Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) testified before the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. Commander Rosenshein emphasized the priorities of the JWV, the oldest active veterans' organization in the country.

According to Commander Rosenshein, "JWV believes Congress has a unique obligation to ensure that veterans' benefits are regularly reviewed and improved to keep pace with the needs of all veterans in a changing social and economic environment. We must improve access to veterans' health care, increase timeliness in the benefit claims process, and enhance access to national cemeteries and to state cemeteries for all veterans."

The major priorities of the JWV, as Commander Rosenshein testified before the committee, are the resumption of joint hearings before both the House and Senate Veteran's Affairs committees; mandatory funding for the VA; the importance of identifying and treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; support for the legislative priorities of the Military Coalition, of which JWV is a member; access to VA medical care for Priority Group 8 veterans; support for the National Guard and Reserve; and special attention to the ever-growing numbers of women veterans, 406 of whom have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan to date.

Commander Rosenshein stressed that the present VA budget projects a cut in 2008 and going forward. With the increasing numbers of returning and demobilized soldiers, the need for VA benefits, especially health care, will continue to rise, thus placing even greater stress on the VA budget. The need for mandatory funding has never been greater and must be a priority for our legislators.

An increase in care for women veterans must also be a major priority. Women veterans are soon to constitute 15% of returning veterans, and their special needs must be a top priority for the VA health care system.

According to Commander Rosenshein, "We have seen need for new kinds of care for all levels of veterans from extreme physical wounds that now require long-term care and rehabilitation. Soldiers are surviving from major injuries and now require extensive care." Only mandatory funding can ensure that the VA has the funds necessary to meet these growing needs.

The VA budget must also cover the ever increasing numbers of returning veterans from the National Guard and reserve, who in many cases are older and have different needs from those of younger veterans from the active-duty military. The stresses on the older veteran and his or her family must also be a new priority for the VA.

Commander Rosenshein's motto is "The Mission: The Veteran." He urges all who serve the needs of the veteran to join him on this mission.


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