Vicky Hartzler2-2016

Honoring Fallen Heroes

Last week began with Americans from coast to coast marking Memorial Day by honoring those who gave what President Lincoln called, “the last full measure of devotion” for the good our country embodies. I was honored to join the veterans of Centralia VFW Post 6276 and area residents for their annual Memorial Day celebration at the Centralia Cemetery.

The Cemetery is home to the Avenue of Flags, a memorial built by area veterans which contains rows and rows of American flags – more than 400 in total – each embroidered with the name of a Centralia-area veteran who was killed in action or who has died since that veteran served our country. This display sends a firm thank you to those who have fought and, in some cases, died to preserve our freedoms.

Viewing this spectacular display is a reminder to all of us that the freedom we enjoy is not free. It is important to thank the men and women who serve and their families for the sacrifices they have made.

Connecting veterans to resources

As we remember our veterans I want to remind you of our upcoming Veterans Resource Fair at Hickman High School in Columbia. Veterans will be provided with information on education and career opportunities as well as services available through the VA. Veterans organizations will be on hand to assist veterans. The event is scheduled for Saturday, June 18 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon in the main lobby of Hickman High School, 1104 North Providence Road, in Columbia. I encourage all veterans and their families to attend this event to receive some of the benefits they have earned.

Taking care of freedom’s defenders

I was pleased to see this week that the VA is granting equitable relief to more than 24,000 veterans due to a national review of Traumatic Brain Injury medical examinations that were conducted in connection with disability compensation claims processed between 2007 and 2015. This will allow many veterans who were not evaluated by a psychiatrist, physiatrist, neurosurgeon or neurologist – as is required – to have their claims properly evaluated. The VA will be contacting veterans identified as part of this review to offer new opportunities to have the claims reprocessed. Traumatic Brain Injury is connected to military personnel returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan. My office looks forward to helping our veterans in any way we can.

National Defense in Missouri

This week, I had an opportunity to tour part of Boeing’s Defense plant in St. Louis.  This Missouri company provides numerous platforms, research and weaponry used to keep our nation safe.  I am proud of what they do and, as a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am glad to support their efforts to ensure the warfighter has what they need to protect our homeland.

Hearing from you

Lastly, I want to let you know of a number of staff listening posts my staff will be holding in the coming weeks. These events offer an opportunity for you to discuss matters of importance to you with one of my field representatives who will report back to me. We have events scheduled including:

Cedar County: Tuesday, June 14, from 2 p.m. CT to 3 p.m. CT at the Cedar County Courthouse, 113 South Street, Stockton, MO 65785.

Have a great week,

Vicky Hartzler

Member of Congress