May 30, 2013

May 30, 2013

Our country observed Memorial Day last weekend, remembering and honoring the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice while fighting for the United States.

I am sad to say that since Memorial Day 2012, 230 Americans have died in combat.  Many Americans who are currently serving overseas find themselves in harm’s way almost every day.  It is of the utmost importance that we honor these brave Americans daily, in addition to remembering the fallen. 

In light of Memorial Day, I would like to take this opportunity to shed light on a very serious problem we are presently having in Ohio and throughout the country regarding the amount of time our veterans are forced to wait to receive the medical benefits they need.  It has come to my attention that many veterans are waiting over a year for their disability claims to be processed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, and that is inexcusable.

Across the country, the average wait time is 291 days, while Ohio’s average wait time is over one year at 368 days.  These men and women deserve to be taken care of in a timely manner.

I, along with several of my colleagues in the House of Representatives, wrote a letter to Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki in light of this terrible situation at the beginning of this year.  We sent this letter in hopes that Secretary Shinseki would realize that we need a firm plan to address these out-of-control backlogs.

If you or someone you know is having any issues with claims, regardless of wait time, please email me at  or call my Ashland, OH office at (419) 207-0650.  Also, information is available on my website about how my office can help the veterans in my district.  I look forward to the opportunity to help in any way I can.