Obama Lays Out New Initiatives for Servicemen

President Barack Obama Tuesday announced a series of actions designed to address continued concerns over the quality of healthcare US service members and veterans receive. Speaking before the American Legion National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., the President promised increased funding for veterans affairs in his Fiscal 2015 budget. Among these actions are new efforts to introduce access to mental health care, improve the transition between the Defense Department and VA care, implementing measures to address the high rate of homelessness among veterans, heightened suicide prevention training, and more efficient processing of disability claims. Additionally, measures to help troops transition into civilian life —such as making mortgage lending more accessible, waiving the skills test for service members hoping to get a driver’s license in a new state, helping to transition military skills into job-ready skills, and improving access to college with interest caps on student loans for members of the military—were also discussed. “Fixing what’s broken at the VA; ensuring the resources you deserve; delivering the health care that you’ve earned; eliminating the backlog; standing up for your rights and dignity; helping you realize the American Dream that you so honorably defended—these are our commitments to you,” Obama said. (White House transcript)