AMVETS Reacts to President Trump’s State of the Union Address

For Immediate Release

Contact: Miles Migliara

National Communications Manager

(301) 395-7486


WASHINGTON — American Veterans (AMVETS) Executive Director Joe Chenelly on Tuesday released the following statement following President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address:

“We believe the President’s unifying message, while timely and important, missed many opportunities to promote accomplishments within the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Just this week, AMVETS hosted VA Secretary Robert Wilkie at our National headquarters to discuss how to properly implement recently released healthcare access standards, as part of the landmark VA Mission Act that was signed into law last year and will revolutionize care delivery for millions of veterans. The VA Mission Act is being rolled out as we speak, and the American people need to fully understand how this groundbreaking measure will impact America’s defenders.”

“President Trump should have also mentioned the Pay Our Coast Guard Act, which would ensure that members of our country’s closest homeland defense force, will never again suffer the pay delays they did during the shutdown. President Trump regularly commended them for their service while they were not being compensated, so questions persist as to why there was no mention of the legislation that will guarantee their pay and benefits.”

“We commend the President for inviting several World War II veterans to the State of the Union. It’s a testament to how much he values our military, retirees and those currently serving. However, his decision not to acknowledge what’s happening in the VA is unfortunate for the agency and those in his administration working on behalf of veterans. As long as men and women are in harm’s way and parents are getting that fateful call or visit by a military chaplain, the plight of veterans needs to be a top item, no matter what our country happens to be going through, during a State of the Union address.”

Last month, AMVETS issued a statement concerning the recently released VA healthcare access standards that AMVETS applauded as part of the VA’s efforts to improve access to care for America’s veterans.

AMVETS is the nation’s largest and oldest Congressionally-chartered veterans service organization that is open to and fights for all veterans who served honorably, including reservists & guardsmen. AMVETS has been a nonpartisan advocate for veterans and their families for more than 70 years.


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February 6th, 2019
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