Wenstrup touts veterans benefits

Scioto County has a large contingent of veterans as well as veterans organizations, and U.S. Representative Brad Wenstrup hopes a larger number of benefits are headed their way.

Over 30 provisions he says will improve veterans’ programs were included in legislation that passed the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

Sponsored by Wenstrup, the Veterans Employment, Education, and Healthcare Improvement Act, H.R. 3016, incorporated legislation from over a dozen legislators, with provisions ranging from improving maternity care in the Veterans Health Administration to streamlining G.I. Bill education benefits.

“As a veteran of the Iraq War, I understand the commitment we’ve made to those who serve and served,” Wenstrup said. “They have my commitment that I am working every day to ensure we maximize the value and effectiveness of our VA programs. We must maximize the effectiveness of our programs realign parts that may not be truly serving our veterans.”

Wenstrup pointed to one part of the legislation that closed an expensive loophole some private flight schools used to charge the VA well above market value and far more than federal law intended.

Key provisions in the legislation expand the Fry scholarship for survivors of service members killed since 9/11 and expand medical care for new mothers and newborns in the VA health system. The bill also improves claims processing and expands the VA’s work-study program for student veterans.

Wenstrup said the legislation received the support of veteran service organizations, including the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Disabled American Veterans (DAV).

Wenstrup is also inviting constituents to join him for “Coffee with your Congressman” in Pike County on Monday, Feb. 15. Wenstrup refers to the sessions as relaxed opportunities to exchange ideas, ask questions, and meet your Congressman.

The event will be held at Bristol Village Terrace Café located at 660 East Fifth Street in Waverly from 10 a.m.-11 a.m.

By Frank Lewis

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Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.