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Veterans & Military Retirees

Our veterans, who have served during war and peace, have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedoms. They are defenders of democracy, who served to ensure all Americans can continue to enjoy freedom and peace.

I remain committed to holding the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) accountable and ensuring promises made to our veterans are kept. Our service members must have access to safe housing, good jobs and the healthcare they need when they come home.

There are still too many instances of our veterans not receiving the care and service they have earned and the VA system not meeting their needs. Veterans deserve to receive their benefits in a timely and consistent manner; clearing ongoing backlogs will help us reach this goal.  I have supported reforms in Congress to modernize appeals processes, bring accountability to the Department of Veterans Affairs and give student veterans the largest expansion of GI Bill benefits since the GI Bill was created.

Ongoing proposals to raise TRICARE deductibles, premiums and co-pays for beneficiaries remain a principle concern for military service members, retirees and their families. I fully understand that TRICARE is an earned benefit, and I am opposed to a “tiered” enrollment fee structure or “means-testing” for service members, retirees and their families. I understand that the unique military retirement and healthcare package is the primary incentive for top-quality people to endure the extraordinary demands and sacrifices inherent in a military career spanning 20 or 30 years.

I will continue to work with my colleagues to preserve pay, benefits and incentives for the military, retirees and veterans and at the same time address unsustainable government spending.

 

More on Veterans & Military Retirees

December 8, 2020 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 6395, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021.
December 7, 2020 Weekly Columns

This week marks 79 years since the devastating surprise attack at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, which former President Franklin D. Roosevelt called “the date which will live in infamy.” It was this event that officially drew the United States into the Second World War. As we remember the 2,403 innocent Americans lost that day at Pearl Harbor, we also gratefully reflect on the millions more who courageously joined together to defend the United States and our allies and ultimately end the WWII conflict nearly four years later.

November 9, 2020 Weekly Columns

Throughout American history, millions of brave men and women have selflessly answered the call to protect our freedom and preserve liberty by serving in the military. While numerous individuals have fought for the great cause of freedom, it wasn’t until after World War I that the United States first set apart a special day just to say, “thank you.” This week on Veterans Day, we honor and remember our veterans for their awe-inspiring display of courage, sacrifice and devotion.

September 28, 2020 News Stories
The state of Oklahoma has won a $7.3 million grant to build a veterans cemetery in Ardmore that can provide service for about 25,571 veterans and their eligible family members.
September 25, 2020 News Stories
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration awarded a $7,355,463 grant to the state of Oklahoma to establish a State Veterans Cemetery.
September 24, 2020 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) awarded a $7,355,463 grant to the state of Oklahoma for the establishment of a State Veterans Cemetery.
August 27, 2020 Press Release
Norman, OK – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) recently joined in introducing the bipartisan American Indian and Alaska Native Veterans Mental Health Act of 2020, which would ensure culturally competent mental health care for Native veterans.
July 28, 2020 Weekly Columns

Last week, Congress made significant progress on critical legislation that supports our common defense and ensures protection of U.S. interests around the world. While much work remains in the days and weeks ahead, I am proud that lawmakers in both chambers are one step closer to completing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the sixtieth year in a row.

July 21, 2020 Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) and Congresswoman Elaine Luria (VA-02) released the following statements after the U.S. House of Representatives adopted the TRICARE ECHO Improvement Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
November 8, 2019 Weekly Columns

Each year on the eleventh of November, we rightly pause to honor and remember the bravery and boldness of the men and women who selflessly answered the call of duty and wore one of the many great military uniforms of the United States of America. Without question, we owe a constant debt of gratitude to generations of veterans, including many of our own family members, who made sacrifices to ensure the safety of our homeland and who faithfully fought to promote and preserve America’s precious freedoms. 

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