Honor Soldiers With Worry-Free Healthcare

Target: Chuck Schumer, U.S. Senate Majority Leader

Goal: Give Pacific island-born soldiers serving in America better access to veteran health services.

Many of the soldiers who serve, sacrifice, and give their lives for the United States are not American citizens. These soldiers hail primarily from Pacific island regions such as Micronesia and the Marshall Islands: former territories that still have close ties to the US. While the islander military personnel perform the same duties as American-born soldiers, they do not enjoy the same benefits.

Healthcare in particular is an area where these soldiers encounter outsized obstacles. While they can utilize the Veterans Administration (VA) system that takes care of America’s military, they can only access this care within the United States. And travel from their homes to the US—which may cost thousands of dollars per trip—is not reimbursed. As a result, these individuals who have served, sometimes for years or decades, are forced to endure debilitating health conditions alone.

An initiative introduced in Congress would help these soldiers by providing them telehealth services and by building VA-sponsored clinics in their homelands so they could gain easier local access, but this proposal remains stuck in limbo. Sign the petition below to advocate for the country’s forgotten military heroes.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Senator Schumer,

Memorial Day marks the time when we pause and honor the sacrifices of service members. Veterans carry this legacy with them every day, and they rightfully receive aid and assistance (namely from the VA) as a result. But one important group of soldiers has seemingly been left behind: the Pacific island-born men and women who serve through compacts of free association.

Many of these soldiers have served the United States faithfully for decades and have suffered conditions ranging from traumatic brain injury to amputation. You would likely agree that they deserve unfettered access to the best healthcare this nation can offer, yet too many are not receiving it. Even the soldiers who are benefitting from VA care must assume large financial burdens that come with traveling from their homelands to the United States.

A bill introduced by a Hawaiian senator could address the unfortunate loophole entangling so many of these dedicated military members. It would provide VA telehealth services and fund VA clinics within the regions of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. This important effort is currently buried and stalled in the Senate. Please resurrect it and give all of America’s heroes the healthcare and the help they deserve.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Brett Sayles


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