The COVID-19 pandemic has brought significant hardships for us all. But unfortunately, America’s Veterans have been especially hard hit with a disproportionately high unemployment rate, a VA health care backlog, and an estimated 37,000 Veterans who are homeless.

While President Biden’s American Rescue Plan will benefit Marylanders across our state, I want to specifically highlight some of the crucial aid it includes for my fellow Veterans. The plan will make significant improvements in providing world-class health care to those who served. Through a $14.5 billion investment, 9.2 million Veterans who may have delayed or more complex health care needs as a result of the pandemic will be able to revive the care they deserve. An additional $1 billion will be used to waive Veterans’ medical debts during the pandemic.

The American Rescue Plan will also get our unemployed Veterans back to work and help get roofs above heads. The bill included $750 million in funding for State Homes and another $386 million to create a Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program that provides up to 12 months of training and employment assistance for unemployed Veterans.

These efforts are just a start, but it is clear that Veterans have a strong ally in the White House, and a Democratic Congress that has our back just like we had theirs.

Jayson Spiegel

Retired United States Army Office

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