Veterans, National Guard and Reserves, Active Duty Military
To sacrifice one’s wellbeing for our nation’s freedoms through service in the armed forces is one of the most profound gifts an individual and his or her family can give to our nation.
In return, Earl is firmly committed to fulfilling America’s promise to our troops. Whether you’re a veteran, in the National Guard or Reserves or on active duty, Earl supports increasing benefits for health care, education and other services for military personnel.
Many service men and women encounter difficulties when they return home. Earl is a fierce advocate for properly funding the institutions they rely on like the Veterans Administration. Rather than privatize the VA, Earl has fought to increase support for improved outreach, increased mental health services and expanded access to health care services for veterans. Healthcare should not be a for-profit business, especially at the expense of our veterans.
Earl believes that Congress must do a better job in assisting to the reintegration of veterans into society. Veterans of all ages and backgrounds face similar hurdles – age bias, workplace discrimination, inadequate medical care and a lack of affordable housing.
Earl and his office work with veterans and military personnel to resolve issues with VA claims, the VA Medical Center, and military records and medals. Below are some commonly asked questions. If you have specific concerns, please contact Earl’s office at 503.231.2300.
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.