WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, held a hearing today on improving care for rural veterans. Witnesses, from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) officials to front-line care providers in rural communities, discussed existing programs, shortcomings, and ideas for improvements.
"It is clear that more action is needed to close the gap between what rural veterans have earned through their service and what they are receiving. This is especially true for veterans of the Guard and Reserve. Unlike their active-duty counterparts, rural Guard and Reservists are often too isolated to benefit from the support available in military communities and larger cities with a VA presence.
"We must find the best way to close this gap through oversight, improved outreach, and if necessary, through legislation," said Akaka.
February 26, 2009