Each year, Concerned Veterans for America brings in staff from around the country for them to do what they do best: advocate policy changes that are good for veterans and the country.
This event, known as Vets on the Hill, is all about veterans sharing their unique experiences and perspectives with lawmakers to drive positive policy changes that benefit all Americans. Veterans have solutions to the country’s biggest problems, solutions that preserve the freedom vets sacrificed for.
Forging this personal connection with members of Congress makes a huge difference when it comes to reform. We’re able to hammer home how Washington’s policies affect everyday Americans in a powerful way.
In past years, Veterans sharing their experiences with failures at the hands of the Department of Veterans Affairs and the need for more non-VA options in their health care put pressure on lawmakers to pass accountability and choice legislation.
Veterans talking about their deployments in seemingly endless wars helped build a bipartisan coalition that was essential to ending the war in Afghanistan.
During this year’s Vets on the Hill, our staff met with dozens of lawmakers and their offices from both sides of the aisle to talk about issues that both sides can agree on – improved access to health care for veterans and a better approach to foreign policy.
And our efforts were successful – we saw seven members whose offices we visited choose to cosponsor the legislation we were advocating.
“This was my first time joining Vets on the Hill, and it was even better than expected,” CVA Grassroots Engagement Director Michael Pounds said. “I was able to share not just my own experiences, but those of the veteran community I’m part of in Ohio. I’m hopeful that giving the perspective of those on the ground will push our leaders to make some changes at the VA.”
CVA Strategic Director Nate Banks agreed.
“I’ve participated in Vets on the Hill several times and have seen first-hand the impact our work can have. Our efforts to end the war in Afghanistan led to a full withdrawal of troops. I know veterans sharing their stories and perspectives on Afghanistan was a crucial piece of that decision in Washington. I hope to see lawmakers continue to listen to vets about ending our other endless wars.”
Here’s a look behind the scenes at Vets on the Hill.
Veterans carry the weight of poor policy decisions. That’s why they need to speak up and be leaders in their communities.
Vets on the Hill doesn’t just give CVA staff the chance to share their own experiences; it gives their communities back home a louder voice and direct line to lawmakers.
We hope to see more veterans’ stories lead to reform at the VA and a better approach to our nation’s foreign policy. Will you join us in that fight?
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