Fighting for our Servicemembers and Veterans | Congressman Tim Ryan
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Fighting for our Servicemembers and Veterans

Protecting our national security is imperative to the American way of life. Continuous wars have taken a toll on our military. I am dedicated to honoring our commitments and restoring the health of our military. We need smart acquisitions to restore our military strength; we need to care for our servicemembers and the families who are bearing the burden of war; we need to honor our obligations to our Veterans. Providing for our armed forces, service members and Veterans is essential to continue our American freedoms. 

Increasing Military Readiness

Being from the Mahoning Valley, I often think of the servicemembers at the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp Ravenna who work tirelessly each day to keep our nation safe and the duty I have to ensure they have what they need to do their jobs. As a member of the House Defense Approprations Subcommittee and the House Military Construction and Veterans Appropriations Subcommittee, I am proud to play an integral part in the formation of funding legislation that help improve the equipment and services that are critical to our national security. Each and every day, the men and women of our military sacrifice for our safety; it is our job to give them the resources they need to succeed. 

Steady investments in our military is essential, especially prioritizing the recapitalization of the Air Force’s C130 Fleet. This modernization plan will provide hardworking airmen, including the 910th Airlift Wing at Youngstown Air Reserve Station, with overdue essential upgrades. Furthermore, I am pleased that we were able to reinvest $12M in the 13th District, providing essential upgrades to the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp Ravenna. This funding will give our Airmen and Soldiers the training facilities necessary to remain combat ready and complete their missions. I am proud to have supported our men and women in uniform and will continue ensure the vital upkeep of YARS and Camp Ravenna. 

Fighting for Our Veterans Healthcare

The health and well-being of our nation’s active servicemen, servicewomen, and veterans is extremely important to me. Unfortunately, military mental health patients around the country are still having trouble accessing quality treatment.  This is inexcusable. As Co-Chair of the Military Mental Health Caucus, I have worked closely with my Congressional colleagues to demand that military members and veterans suffering from mental illnesses receive the same standard of treatment. The price of not doing so is simply too high—as we are painfully finding out.

I have cosponsored multiple pieces of legislation designed to assist our service members and their families, including the Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act, Post 9/11 GI Bill Reserve Component Eligibility Act, Disabled Veterans Tax Termination Act, a bill to prohibit any hiring freeze from affecting the VA, the Expedited Hiring for VA Trained Physicians Act, Women Veterans Access to Quality Care Act, and the Sgt Brandon Ketchum Never Again Act. Additionally, I have supported the Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on February 12, 2015. This legislation increases access to mental health care by creating a peer support and community outreach pilot program to assist transitioning service members, and mandating an annual evaluation of VA mental health and suicide-prevention programs. While this is an important step in the right direction, we must do more.

We need to change the VA system in a way that is going to fix this problem and heal our veterans, and we must work to rebuild the trust with veterans and their families. That is why I have introduced legislation that would help modernize and improve military health treatment both at the VA and at Veteran Services Organizations by incorporating integrative health techniques into their treatment for veterans. I believe these integrative approaches can help preemptively address these needs and ultimately create less expensive treatments for long-term veteran healthcare.  

Honor Our Commitment to Veterans

Through my position on the Appropriations Committee I intend to make sure our Veterans get the care they fought for and deserve. I have co-sponsored multiple pieces of legislation designed to guarantee we do not turn our back on the promises we made our Veterans. This legislation includes the Servicemember Retirement Improvement Act, Fair Treatment for Families of Veterans Act, Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act, Support the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act, Honor America's Guard-Reserve Retirees Act, Retired Pay Restoration Act, and Military Surviving Spouses Equity Act. If we are going to continue to rely upon our military to act when we require their assistance, we must act now to hold up our end of the bargain. The United States made promises to our Veterans and now owes faithfulness to our commitments. 

More on Fighting for our Servicemembers and Veterans

July 31, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today secured $343 million in police funding and $270 million in federal Defense funding. 

July 24, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC — Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today voted in support of H.R.

July 14, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13), a Member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, applauded passage of the Fiscal Year 2021 Defense spending bill which Ryan was able to shape using his position on the Subcommittee. The bill funds many local, state, and national programs championed by Ryan, including funding in the bill for two additional new C-130J aircraft for the Air Force Reserve.

July 9, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC — Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today voted in support of the FY2021 House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies (MIL-CON VA) Funding Bill. Ryan is a member of the House Appropriations MIL-CON VA Subcommittee. The legislation supports our military personnel, bolsters resources for military families, and provides robust funding for veterans’ benefits, healthcare, and other programs.

June 25, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) is joining with Congressmen Guy Reschenthaler (PA-14), G.T. Thompson (PA-15), David Trone (MD-06), and Anthony Brown (MD-04) to introduce the Improving College Affordability for Our Guard and Reserve Act. This legislation will provide more educational opportunities for our nation’s National Guardsmen and reserve personnel by allowing them to claim independent student status when applying for federal student aid. 

May 22, 2020 Press Release

Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan today joined a bipartisan group of both House and Senate members in sending a letter to President Trump, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Pete Gaynor asking that National Guard members deployed to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic receive the benefits they deserve when they return to state service.

May 6, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13), Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Senator Rob Portman (R-OH), Congressman Bill Johnson (OH-6), and Congressman David Joyce (OH-14) today urged the Secretary of the Army to recommend and support the awarding of the Medal of Honor to PCS Kenneth David, a resident of Niles, Ohio, for heroic actions taken in Vietnam on May 7, 1970, in securing a landing zone that allowed casualties to be returned.

April 4, 2020 Press Release

Youngstown, Ohio – Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13) today called on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to reverse two recent policy changes that make it harder for veterans to access deserved disability benefits.

March 25, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – Representatives Tim Ryan (D-Ohio) and Steven Palazzo (R-Miss), Co-Chairs of the House National Guard and Reserve Caucus, today sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting for President Trump to immediately mobilize America's military airlift, including Reserve and National Guard assets as needed to repatriate Americans abroad. Full text of the letter that was sent is included below and can also be downloaded here.

Mr. President, 

February 14, 2020 Press Release

Washington, DC – US Representatives Tim Ryan (D-OH), Mike Levin (D-CA), and Steven Palazzo (R-MS) announced the introduction of the Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation to provide parity in GI Bill benefits for members of the National Guard and Reserves who increasingly conduct similar training and missions as other servicemembers, but do not receive equal benefits. The bill was also introduced by Senators Jon Tester (D-MT) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN).

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