Mark Levine Statement on Honoring Our Veterans

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    ALEXANDRIA- Mark Levine, Democratic candidate for the 8th Congressional District in Virginia, made the following statement regarding the Memorial Day holiday:

    Memorial Day is a time to honor the men and women of the Armed Forces who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our nation. We should take the time, not just today but every day, to remember that the freedoms we enjoy today have come at a very high cost.

    We should also remember the veterans who need help to adjust to civilian life. It is crucial that we take appropriate steps to ensure that these heroes have proper medical care, including mental health care. I also want to see our nation do more to ease the transition to the civilian workforce by fast tracking certification and licensing for veterans who wish to be employed doing the civilian equivalent of their military job. This simple step will go a long way in ensuring that veterans do not go into the ranks of the long term unemployed.

    Finally, we must hold the government accountable when it lets our veterans down. I join the millions of Americans who are outraged over the poor care veterans are receiving from the Veterans Administration. As a Member of Congress from Virginia’s 8th District, home to the Pentagon, Ft. Belvoir, and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, looking out for veterans will be a top priority. Congress must investigate the incompetence and malfeasance at the Veterans Administration. After more than five years as Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs, Eric Shinseki has unfortunately shown that he is incapable of dealing with the VA’s unacceptable backlogs in health care and administration. It is time for new leadership at the VA which needs full top-to-bottom reform. I urge President Obama to ask for and receive Shinseki’s resignation.