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Another View -- Paul Chevalier: For veterans, Scott Brown is the right choice

May 16. 2014 12:53AM

AS A VETERAN, I know how important it is for New Hampshire to have a United States senator who is on our side and understands the issues that face New Hampshire service members and their families. Scott Brown has a unique insight into the challenges facing veterans in America today, because he served in the Army National Guard for 35 years. He has stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us before, and we can count on him to do it again in the United States Senate.

Scott started serving in the military when he witnessed the heroic efforts of guardsmen during the blizzard of 1978, and his service took him all over the globe, including to Paraguay, Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. Just this week, he was honored with the Legion of Merit at his retirement ceremony. 

At every step of his career, Scott has demonstrated his faithfulness to America’s veterans. He understands that the noble men and women who put everything on the line to defend our liberty and freedom deserve to be treated with respect and dignity when they come home. This means that they should be able to find work and receive adequate health care, and as senator, Scott will do whatever it takes to make this a reality.

Scott does not just talk about these issues, he has walked the walk and worked on bills in the Senate that are good for veterans. He was the driving force behind the Hire a Hero Act in the U.S. Senate, which gives tax incentives to companies that hired veterans to ensure that service members can find work when they return home from active duty. No one should fight for America abroad only to have to come home and stand in line for a job. 

Scott is also focused on improving veterans’ health care services in New Hampshire, recognizing there is a common-sense approach that can get this accomplished. Right now, less than half of New Hampshire’s veterans are enrolled in the VA, and only about 28,000 receive their health care there due to limited services, inconvenient hours and difficulties accessing services.

As senator, one of Scott Brown’s top priorities will be to work with the VA to streamline health care and make it more accessible regardless of where you live. Scott believes that no veteran should be driving to a neighboring state or waiting months to get the medical care they need and deserve, and he’ll be at the table to work on a better approach.

Unfortunately, the federal government in Washington has become increasingly unresponsive to the needs of veterans, and even when they want to help us, excessive red tape and growth in government agencies have made it harder for real change to happen. The one way we can improve this is by sending Scott Brown down to Washington so he can fight for us.

Paul Chevalier is a retired Marine Sgt. Major from Hudson.

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