By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday Congressman Mike Rogers met with his Third District Veterans Advisory Committee in Opelika.
Representative Rogers said, “These men and women represent a myriad of folks who have served our country both at home and abroad. They have given us their best, and in return, our nation must keep its promise to them.”
During the meeting, Rogers and his Veterans advisory committee focused on issues like potential changes to TRICARE and the continuing effort to improve programs administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Last week, Rep. Rogers sent a letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki seeking answers about efforts to improve compensation claims for veterans. In the letter Congressman Rogers wrote, “While I applaud the VA’s efforts to reduce decision times, I am concerned with the lack of information regarding the implementation of this new initiative. All Veterans deserve to have their claims decided in a timely fashion. I respectfully request that you closely monitor this new initiative to ensure that resources are not shifted away from other Veterans priorities and that the average processing time for new claims does not get longer. Our Veterans have bravely served our country and they deserve the best we can give them. I plan to closely monitor this initiative as it moves forward,”
The current backlog of claims exceeds 900,000. Rep. Rogers said, “These backlogs must be cleared up as soon as possible.”
The Third District Veterans Advisory Committee is a volunteer panel of Veterans across the Third District which advise Rep. Rogers on issues important to Veterans and their families. Rogers thanked the Veterans for being willing to serve on his committee. “I deeply appreciate the time these proud East Alabamians continue to take to help advise me on these critically important issues.”
Rogers Veterans Advisory Committee meets several times each year and includes veterans from every county in the Third District.
Eric Ken Shinseki is a 70 year old retired United States Army four-star general who has served as the seventh United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs since 2009. Secretary Shinseki said, “Too many Veterans wait too long for a decision, and this has never been acceptable,” said VA Secretary Eric Shinseki. “That is why we are implementing an aggressive plan to eliminate the backlog in 2015. This initiative is the right thing to do now for Veterans who have waited the longest.”
Rep. Rogers is the Chairman of the House Armed Services Strategic Forces subcommittee and he is a senior member of both the House Agriculture and House Armed Services Committees. Congressman Mike Rogers represents Alabama’s Third Congressional District.