Washington, D.C. — Nevada Senator Harry Reid today wrote a letter to Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki, encouraging the VA to do a better job of reaching out to veterans in Nevada to ensure they are aware of and are taking full advantage of the benefits they earned for themselves and their families. Nevada is home to a large population of veterans and Reid has worked tirelessly throughout his career to ensure they have access to guaranteed benefits including health services, disability pay and education assistance. A copy of Sen. Reid’s letter to General Shinseki is included below.
Below is the text of Reid’s letter:
January 27, 2010
Secretary Eric K. Shinseki
Secretary of Veterans Affairs
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
Dear Secretary Shinseki:
In the past, you and I have worked closely to ensure that veterans in Nevada and nationwide are guaranteed access to the benefits that they were promised when they enlisted. I have always been appreciative of your willingness to work to help assist Nevada’s war fighters. Despite many successes, though, veterans are still not receiving a full range of coverage.
A news report from KRNV-TV Channel 4 in Reno this morning indicated that potentially millions of veterans across the United States are not aware of the benefits to which they ought to have access. For instance, Walter Bukowski, a World War II veteran from Reno who has been out of the service since 1953, just learned of his substantial entitlements in 2010. This situation is clearly unacceptable for our nation’s veterans, and for the families that care for them. It is a travesty that those who have sacrificed the most for our nation are denied the benefits they deserve through poor outreach efforts, and it is my deep hope that we can work together to inform veterans of their entitled benefits. Legislative action alone is not sufficient: Nevada’s veterans need the Department of Veterans Affairs to make sure that combat veterans are aware of the wide range of medical services provided by the VA, in addition to the considerable other benefits to which they are entitled. Hiring additional care managers in Nevada is a first step the VA could take to rectify the informational deficit our veterans are facing, in addition to augmenting outreach resources for Nevada veterans. I look forward to discussing other solutions with you as soon as possible.
My best wishes to you.
United States Senator