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 and have ensured 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 the current backlog will help us reach this goal.
I remain concerned as to how the VA healthcare system will reform the delivery of healthcare and do so with the deep fiscal obligations associated with the new healthcare reform. For this reason, I have supported reforms through Congress that will modernize the appeals process, 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.
As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, 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
Duncan Banner - Andrew Morphew
Two local Duncan High School seniors were nominated by Congressman Tom Cole for entry into military schools.
Senior Blake Graham and senior Jonathan McGill were selected as part of 14 students, who went through the nomination program per Cole.
Duncan High School Principal Justin Smith had nothing but praise for both students.
“Both of those students are great students and exemplary kids that represent Duncan High School and very proud of them,” Smith said.
Tried and true devotion to the United States is never more evident than through the lives of our military service members, veterans and their families. Since our nation’s beginnings, countless men and women have selflessly answered the call of duty and in so doing pledged to relentlessly defend liberty and protect our homeland. These brave individuals truly understand the meaning of patriotism and know more of sacrifice than many of us will realize in a lifetime.
The Oklahoman - Chris Casteel
The U.S. House easily passed a $585 billion defense bill on Thursday that protects Tinker Air Force Base from some of the Pentagon’s proposed cuts and promises more money for the huge maintenance depot there.
The bill passed 300-119, with all five of Oklahoma’s U.S. House members in favor. It now heads to the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Jim Inhofe, of Tulsa, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, negotiated the final version of the bill and strongly supports it.
Throughout the history of the American military, hundreds of thousands of men and women have volunteered to serve a cause greater than themselves. By taking an oath to defend our borders, preserve our values and ensure our freedom, these brave individuals understand the true price of freedom. Without question, they deserve our utmost appreciation both during and after their selfless service to our nation.