Supporting Our Veterans

  • Military Intervention

    • Solomon wants military intervention to be the LAST possible resort in foreign countries, and other ‘soft’ diplomatic measures must be explored thoroughly before any declaration of war is made. We must make sure that these diplomatic measures such as sanctions hurt the elite, not the working class. Oftentimes, when the United States puts pressure on another country, it is in isolation from our allies and hurts the wrong people within that country. 

      • Historically, this nation’s military pursuits more often than not destabilize the invaded country even more, and our resources could be better spent working with individuals within the country rather than creating a war zone. 

    • Less military intervention means that there will be less money going into war zones, and more funds available for veterans and their families after they retire.

    • Solomon’s position on war and military intervention can be viewed here.

 

  • College

    • Pass the College For All act, which would allow ALL people to access higher public education without any tuition costs.

      • Once public universities are tuition-free, the federal government must ensure that veterans are not taken advantage of by private universities, and provide grants to individuals who want to attend a private university.

    • However, in the meantime we must 

      • Guarantee that regardless of where a veteran lives, they will be given in-state tuition at public universities.

      • Expand the Montgomery GI Bill and the Post-9/11 GI bill to be without expirations.

        • The Montgomery GI bill expires 10 years after a veterans’ retirement, and the Post- 9/11 GI bill expires in 15 years.  

      • Make it easier for veterans to transfer GI education  benefits to their child or spouse.

      • Ensure that ALL students who serve have enough resources to live near/on the campus they attend and afford all their study materials.

 

  • Mental Healthcare 

    • Veterans in the United States face severe problems in dealing with mental health. It’s time they receive the help they’ve earned from their years of service. Specifically, Solomon wants to make it easier for veterans to access community mental health care centers by increasing awareness of their availability, as well as ensuring better coordination between the VA and the Veterans Choice Program (VCP). 

    • It’s also imperative that wait times are reduced, appointments are made longer, and that veterans healthcare providers are informed and trained on the specifics of military culture. Solomon will ensure that funding for these programs is increased, which would not only help with the quality of care, but also allow more research to be done as to the efficacy of the program. 

    • Because of the increase in women serving in the military, women have also faced intense mental health issues. “More returning servicewomen and veterans have been exposed to stressful and traumatic experiences, such as combat and difficult living circumstances, and military sexual trauma is common.” 

    • There needs to be a systemic restructuring for healthcare providers to deal with the unique pressures that women veterans face. Solomon supports evidence-based treatments like cognitive-behavioral treatment, and increasing assistance for social support among women veterans.

 

  • Supporting Veterans With Disabilities

    • Solomon supports:

      • Expanding the list of disabilities from war

        • This includes diseases associated toxic chemicals such as Agent Orange

      • Providing more resources to speed up the process to declare a veterans’ disability. A veteran should not have to wait months or years to be able to collect the money they deserve, especially if they got their injury in the line of service.

      • Finally giving those who served in classified locations the disability compensation they deserve

 

  • VA

    • Solomon supports including Veterans with “other than honorable” (OTH) discharge in healthcare, housing, disability compensation, and other benefits.

    • Solomon supports investing in the Department of Veterans Affairs by meeting their requested funding so that they can ensure essential services to our veterans.

    • Solomon supports protecting whistleblowers within the VA and increasing accountability for VA employees who commit misconduct, while still ensuring due process.

    • Several states, specifically California, have introduced “Veterans’ Bill of Rights” bills that will help decrease wait times for services from the VA and protect basic human rights such as housing, health care, education, protection against discrimination among other things. 

      • Solomon believes we need federal legislation to protect the rights of veterans to speedy access to resources and protection  

    • VA hospitals

      • Under Solomon’s Medicare for All plan, the VA hospital system will stay intact and continue to provide care for veterans. All veterans will be given access to free and high quality care. 

      • As of June 30, 2018, about 40,000 jobs in the Veterans Health Administration alone were not filled with another 5,000 jobs open in other departments within the Veterans Administration. These unfilled positions make up 10% of VA positions. (all statistics come from the same link) Solomon supports increasing funding to the VA and encouraging them to fill open positions which will hopefully shorten wait times and improve the quality of care that our Veterans get.

 

  • Jobs

    • After serving overseas, it can be difficult to transition back to working as a civilian. 

    • Solomon supports making this transition easier by

      • Better incentivizing businesses to hire veterans.

      • Expanding funding for the Office of Veterans Business Development as well as transition training programs.

        • These programs can help veterans apply the skills they learned in the line of duty to civilian jobs.

 

  • Housing

    • About 1.4 million veterans are at risk of becoming homeless

      • The VA already has programs to help about 150,000 homeless veterans. Solomon supports increasing funding to VA programs in order to aid more homeless veterans.

    • Solomon supports national rent control so that no one, especially veterans, become homeless.

    • Solomon supports expanding existing homelessness assistance grant programs to cover the needs of homeless veterans.

    • Solomon supports expanding VA home loans to make it easier for veterans to be housed.

 

  • Support for the Families of Veterans

    • Solomon supports expanding the VA Family Caregivers program in order to compensate those that are caring for veterans in need of special care.

    • Service should guarantee citizenship. Nobody that serves in the military should be deported or denied citizenship. Hundreds of veterans were deported in 2016 and the Trump administration is likely deporting more.

 

  • Poverty Draft and Employment

    • Military service teaches unique skills, many of which are difficult to utilize in civilian life. Thus, Solomon supports an expansion of transition and retraining frameworks/networks/organizations/support systems, in order to ensure returning veterans have access to the support they need in order to reintegrate into civilian life. 

    • Programs supporting veteran employment, such as the National Veterans Employment and Training Service Institute, have been neglected with budgets and manpower stagnating. Solomon seeks to ensure that veterans have access to the resources they need. (by not neglecting these programs)

    • A survey of military recruiting stations show that student loans are a key driver for recruitment, with recruits having tens of thousands of dollars in student debt. Further, the military targets low-income schools for recruiting, with 20% of recruits in 2017 coming from households with household income $20,000 less than the national average. This is why the prospect of military service is particularly relevant to low-income and minority individuals.  

    • Solomon wants to support those who participate in military service, however he believes that we should have robust social safety nets and programs to allow individuals to pursue higher education and have access to quality health care without needing to participate in military service.

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PAID FOR BY SOLOMON RAJPUT FOR CONGRESS

P.O. Box 980133, Ypsilanti, MI 48198