Dental care for all veterans

I have just received my latest magazine from the Disabled American Veterans organization. As a 100-percent disabled veteran, I belong to and am a life member of the DAV. There is an article that should be of interest to all veterans who are enrolled for VA health care, not just DAV members.

Currently, the VA offers dental care to service-connected vets rated at 100 percent, disabled veterans with a service-connected dental condition, former prisoners of war and homeless veterans who are eligible for dental care. The DAV has Resolution 018 asking the VA to provide dental care to all service-connected veterans within the VA health system. U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., has introduced HR 4556, a bill that would give dental care to all 9.1 million veterans now enrolled for VA health care.

Now would be exactly the right time to call your Congressional representative and encourage him or her to pass this bill and speed it along to the Senate.

I called my U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., but his office was unable to tell me how he is voting on this. They must “research” it and let me know.

Meanwhile, I will mention we have a candidate for the seat now held by Duffy, who is a veteran. Margaret Engebretsen is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and after three years of active duty also put in 21 additional years in the U.S. Naval Reserve and the Air Force National Guard. She is an active member of the American Legion as well.

As so few members of the Congress are actually veterans, I would encourage you to seek out and vote for veterans in your area who are running for Congress. We need a good many more on our side. None of us who served “held back” when it was time to serve, no matter what we did. Now the United States should stop “holding back” on veterans benefits.

A final note of interest: I do get dental service at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center, as I am 100 percent disabled. It is excellent, state-of-the-art care provided by people who do their best to make sure the veteran is satisfied. My dentist made a remark in passing that the biggest regret he had is he is not allowed to serve all the veterans at the Oscar G. Johnson VA Medical Center.

Now you must call your Congressional representative and demand the passage of HR 4556. With elections in November, now is the time to get a commitment from your representative or vote them out!