In the past few years, efforts on the part of state and federal lawmakers to help veterans in many walks of life have become more noticeable. Thanks to many returning from engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, the issues former service members face when they get home have become a lot more pressing. With this reality in mind, many legislators now want to do more to help the cause.
The effort to get more assistance for veterans upon their return from service includes passing a new budget for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, according to
Veterans organizations say movement on the initiative is vital to ensuring everything runs as smoothly for former service members as possible going forward.
"I cannot tell you how disappointed I am in the 114th Congress," VFW Commander Brian Duffy told lawmakers, according to the report. "Both the VA and the VFW have point-blank told Congress what the department needs to better serve veterans, yet it appears every funding bill is going to be tabled until after the November elections, which means another continuing resolution to temporarily fund the government that does little to strengthen national security or bolster the VA's programs and services for veterans."
Another push for more help
Meanwhile, another issue for veterans recently caught the attention of federal lawmakers and veterans' organizations, according to Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of the American Humane Association, writing for the political news site The Hill. A restaurant in Atlanta denied a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder entrance because she wanted to bring in her service dog. This situation was partly due to the fact that there is no federal certification program for service dogs that help people with PTSD.
A recent meeting of leaders from a number of different industries attempted to shed light on this issue, the report said. A poll by American Humane found more than 1 in 3 workers at various types of businesses sometimes think animals brought into their businesses aren't legitimate service dogs, and nearly 3 in 5 said this perception is because the person didn't have any outward appearance of a disability.
Veterans with PTSD, or any other disability, face so many hurdles in their lives that adding more on top of those challenges doesn't seem fair. For this reason, there are plenty lawmakers can do at the state and federal levels to address those needs and make sure former service members face as little difficulty as possible.