"Our nation's veterans have served as the guardians of our nation. From all walks of life, each has an individual story of the unique contributions and sacrifices he or she has made to protect the liberty, prosperity, and future of our nation. As a country, it is our privilege, and our duty, to honor their sacrifices by honoring our commitments to them.”
- Congressman Randy Forbes
A Vision for Our Veterans.
Congressman Forbes is the Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee and has worked to create a collective vision to care for those who have served our nation in the Armed Forces. As a result he has been awarded the highest civilian honors from the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army – the Distinguished Public Service Award and the Distinguished Civilian Service Award, respectively – for his work on behalf of our men and women in uniform. Because of his vision for our veterans, Congressman Forbes was invited to ride at the head of the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom in Washington, D.C. on Memorial Day Weekend 2010.
Keeping Our Promises to Veterans.
Congressman Forbes has supported legislation that would ensure that veterans receive all the benefits for which they have been promised and to push back attempts to raise TRICARE fees. Congressman Forbes has also supported legislation that would establish grants for veterans outreach programs to ensure veterans are aware of their benefits and available services.
Improving Veterans Access Healthcare.
Our nation’s veterans have dedicated their lives to protecting and defending America, and they deserve quality healthcare. Congressman Forbes supports expanding access to healthcare for veterans so that all veterans, no matter what region they live in, can receive quality care. Congressman Forbes championed a new veterans clinic that will open in Emporia this year providing healthcare services for many of Virginia's rural veterans. Additionally, military retirees deserve to pay federal healthcare premiums on a pre-tax basis, and Congressman Forbes has supported legislation that would address that need. Congressman Forbes supports the continuation of veterans healthcare benefits to veterans even when they reach an age where they become eligible for Medicare.
Easing Transition to Civilian Life.
Congressman Forbes supports providing educational assistance to veterans who decide to return to school. For veterans looking for civilian employment, Congressman Forbes supports education and job counseling programs.
Providing for Families of Fallen Heroes.
We have a responsibility to honor the immediate families of soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. We must see that death gratuity payments are increased and that our men and women in uniform are provided meaningful life insurance coverage. Nothing can replace the loss of a loved one in uniform, and our military spouses deserve to have financial peace of mind while coping with the loss of a veteran. In addition, Congressman Forbes has introduced legislation that would make the Honor and Remember flag a national symbol to recognize those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation.
Caring for Our Wounded Warriors.
Congressman Forbes has supported legislation that ensures soldiers receive proper medical care and would improve the oversight of facilities, procedures, and outpatient care services. This legislation sets the stage for much needed reform of administrative processes and is an important step toward eliminating delays and improving care for our wounded soldiers throughout the entire recovery process.
Concurrent Receipt for Our Veterans.
Congressman Forbes has supported legislation that would eliminate the phase-in period for previously passed legislation that provides concurrent compensation of both retirement and disability benefits for military retirees with 50% or more service-connected disability. Congressman Forbes supports pay of both retirement and disability compensation for military retirees with a disability.
Expanding Veterans Cemeteries.
Congressman Forbes was instrumental in securing funding both on the state and federal level for the Al Horton Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk, Virginia. Prior to securing this cemetery, the closest cemetery site was in Amelia a distance that had been a deterrent to many veterans’ families who wanted to be able to visit the gravesites of their loved ones.
Improving and Expanding GI Education Benefits
Congressman Forbes has supported legislation that would allow veterans to transfer GI bill benefits to their spouse or children and would increase GI benefits to $1,500 per month, and as much as $2,000 per month after 12 years of service. The GI bill provides money for servicemen and women to attend college after serving our nation.
Supporting Military Surviving Spouses and Families.
Congressman Forbes has supported legislation to allow the spouses of combat-wounded veterans who received Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for their injuries the ability to receive the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) annuities they would have previously been entitled to, had it not been for the DIC payments. Currently, spouses of combat-wounded veterans who get DIC receive reduced pension benefits in the event the former military member passes away. The current reduction in benefits is equal to the amount of DIC payments.