Veterans, National Guard and Reserves, Active Duty Military
Our nation’s servicemen and women are the most important assets of our military. At a time when America’s armed forces and Veterans Affairs system are being taxed to their maximum, Congressman Blumenauer is firmly committed to fulfilling America’s promise to our troops. By both increasing and funding benefits such as health care, education, and job training, Congressman Blumenauer works to keep that promise.
Like millions of Americans, veterans all too often are not getting heath care services they need and have earned. Congressman Blumenauer considers the shortfalls in veterans’ health care funding to be unacceptable and has been a strong advocate, urging Congress to provide the resources to keep pace with the increasing costs of health care. During the 113th and 114th sessions of Congress, he worked with the leadership to increase spending for veteran’s healthcare, research, and services by 60 percent. This was an important start to repairing the severe damage caused by underfunding the VA during the beginning of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Blumenauer also helped pass legislation that expanded access for returning combat veterans, low-income veterans, women veterans, and veterans who live in rural communities. He worked to change the requirements for service connection for Post Traumatic Stress and helped increase support for veterans’ caregivers who carry the major daily burden of supporting injured family members.
Congressman Blumenauer firmly supports funding research initiatives, treatment programs, and empowering families to better care for their loved ones. He has used his voice in Congress to support improved VA outreach, increased mental health support, and adequate funding for veterans hospitals and health care. Blumenauer has questioned the quality and availability of quality healthcare for our soldiers returning from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has fought against funding cuts.
Blumenauer strongly supports efforts to establish and maintain a VA system that treats the full range of modern military trauma and continues to fight to ensure that those returning home receive the health care they deserve.
Congressman Blumenauer has fought to ensure that the benefits promised to veterans, service members, and their families are there when they are needed.
Blumenauer has supported increased survivor benefits, an expanded GI Bill for the latest generation of soldiers, and benefits for the National Guard and Reserve befitting their greater military role. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee, he has focused his efforts on behalf of America’s armed forces, supporting a range of tax measures to assist veterans and military personnel. One example is his effort to expand the Oregon Veteran’s Home Loan Program.
As a staunch advocate for fair military pay, educational assistance, and increased economic opportunity, Congressman Blumenauer will continue to honor those who have served.
Congressman Blumenauer and his office work with veterans and military personnel to resolve individual issues with VA claims, the VA Medical Center, and military records and medals.
If you have questions or concerns regarding a specific issue or problem that you are having, please contact the Congressman’s Portland office at 503 231 2300 or use the contact form on our website.
Commonly Asked Questions
I am currently serving our country in the armed forces, and I am having difficulty receiving my pay correctly, receiving my signing bonus, or am experiencing difficulty with another problem that relates to my experience in the armed forces. I have contacted my chain of command, but no action is being taken. Can Congressman Blumenauer assist me with this difficulty?
Yes. Congressman Blumenauer assists personnel currently in the armed forces with a range of concerns that they are experiencing. These can range from pay or leave difficulties to working with the private sector to inform creditors of the Soldier and Sailor Civil Relief Act when a constituent is having difficulty getting employers to comply. Congressman Blumenauer's office can also assist constituents in the military with a variety of other concerns including child custody and emergency family leave issues.
I am having difficulty receiving a military record that I need, or receiving medals that I earned in service, or replacements of medals that I earned in service. Can Congressman Blumenauer help me with this situation?
Yes. Congressman Blumenauer's staff works with the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, and is able to gain records more expediently than under normal circumstances. The Congressman is also able to help you receive medals that you have earned but never been awarded, or replacements for lost or stolen service medals.
I would like more information about the new education benefits provided by the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Where can I find information about this program and how can I apply?
As of August 1, 2009, the Post-9/11 GI Bill provides eligible individuals with the opportunity to receive graduate and undergraduate degrees, vocational/technical training, on the job training, tutorial assistance, and licensing and certification test reimbursement. The Department of Veterans Affairs maintains an up-to-date website dedicated to helping veterans access these benefits. Please visit this site to learn more and see if the program is right for you and also contact the Veterans’ Services Coordinator at the institution you plan to attend for more specific information.
I am a Veteran and pursuing a claim with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Can Congressman Blumenauer assist me with the process?
Yes. My staff works with the Department of Veterans Affairs on a daily basis. We are happy to assist you with claims you are pursuing, including matters as simple as receiving an update about your case. Our close working relationship with the VA allows us to have information added to your file quickly, and we usually receive information about the progress of your claim within hours of an inquiry. Additionally, if your case has been outstanding for a considerable amount of time, an inquiry from my office can sometimes speed the processing so that you get the answers you need.
I am a Veteran and I am having difficulty getting an appointment or appropriate care at the Portland V.A. Medical Center. Can Congressman Blumenauer assist me with this issue?
Yes. My office maintains a working relationship with staff at the PVAMC and speaks to them on behalf of veterans on a regular basis. If there is an urgent situation, an inquiry from my staff can often reduce wait times for appointments or get you updates on your case. The staff at the VA Medical Center works very hard, but if you are not pleased with the care that you are receiving, my office can make inquiries with the PVAMC on your behalf.
I am a family member and urgently need to get a hold of a service member. What is the best way to contact him/her?
The most direct way to contact a service member, in cases such as a family emergency, is to contact Red Cross Emergency Services 1- (877) 272-7337
Lines for Life provides a Military Helpline for those struggling with depression or substance abuse: 1-888-457-4838
If you would like to contact the Portland VA Medical Center Patient Advocate’s Office, please call 503-273-5380.
The Oregon Partnership provides a Military Helpline for those struggling with depression or substance abuse: 1-888-457-4838.