WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka praised the hard work of Chairman Carl Levin and senior Committee Member John Warner (R-Va.) of the Senate Armed Services Committee in shepherding full Senate passage of the Dignified Treatment of Wounded Warriors Act by unanimous consent. The bill includes provisions that are based on two bills Chairman Akaka introduced earlier this year, S. 383 and S. 1233, both designed to enhance the care servicemembers receive once they transition to veteran status.
"I was delighted to work with Chairman Levin and Committee Member John Warner on this important legislation. They should be commended for crafting this piece of comprehensive legislation and getting it passed by the Senate so quickly. After five years of war, it's about time that DoD and VA developed a comprehensive policy for transitioning our wounded warriors from active duty to veterans status. This legislation is a direct outcome of the close collaboration between the Veterans' Affairs Committee and the Armed Services Committee. Our action today represents true collaboration between the two Committees - a model for how the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense should be working together," stated Senator Akaka.
The legislation includes provisions that would improve the capacity of VA to care for veterans with traumatic brain injuries, expand the window of time a servicemember has to seek care from VA upon their release from active duty, ensure access to VA mental health and dental care, address potential risk of homelessness among newly discharged servicemembers, and recognize the importance of the National Guard and Reserve in VA's outreach programs.