LAFAYETTE, NJ (Sussex County) — U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) joined local veterans at the Sussex County Veterans Appreciation Lunch to discuss key issues including boosting access to health care, mental health services, and VA eligibility for benefits and resources.
To help veterans in Northwestern New Jersey, Gottheimer successfully cut through bureaucratic red tape and advocated for eligible veterans to be able to receive referrals for health care services at the Newton ImageCare Center in Sussex County — much closer to home for many — instead of having to drive more than an hour to the East Orange VA Medical Center for services like MRIs, mammograms, ultrasounds, and cancer screenings. Gottheimer also helped expand in-person psychiatric care and mental health care services at the Sussex Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC).
“One of my bedrock responsibilities is to always have the backs of those who’ve had ours. There is nothing more solemn, nothing more sacred in the oath that I’ve taken,” Gottheimer said. “I’ve been proud to work across the aisle in Congress on ways to improve veterans’ benefits and care. Of course, our fight for our veterans is far from over and there is much more to be done, which is why it is so important to meet directly with our heroic veterans to discuss the real issues they are facing and how I can help address them head on.”
Since taking office, Gottheimer has been fighting for expanded access to services for local veterans and has been working diligently to protect them during the pandemic. Recently, Gottheimer held a Veteran Resources Fair to help veterans and their families access critical resources including health care, employment opportunities, benefits, education, and more.
Gottheimer recently fought to help our nation’s veterans, service members, and their families by:
- Expanding Health Care Coverage: The bipartisan Honoring our PACT Act — which passed through the House of Representatives — will help veterans exposed to burn pits and toxic exposure in post 9/11 conflicts. Included in this bipartisan bill were Gottheimer’s key provisions to address the mental health impacts of burn pits for veterans and to ensure VA information on toxic exposure illnesses is published in multiple languages, to help even more of our North Jersey residents, like Korean American, Chinese American, Latino veterans, and so many more.
- Boosting Education Access: The bipartisan Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act to help expand access to G.I. benefits for members of our military who serve in the National Guard and Reserves, as they do not receive the same access to vital G.I. Bill benefits.
- Expanding Mental Health Care Access: The bipartisan Student Veterans Counseling Centers Eligibility Act which will expand access to mental health services for veterans utilizing their GI Benefits at colleges and universities through established Vet Centers.
- Boosting Education Access to Veteran Families: The bipartisan Colonel John M. McHugh Tuition Fairness for Survivors Act which will require public colleges and universities to provide in-state tuition to the survivor families of service members who die or become disabled, or who were previously not eligible to receive VA education benefits.
- Supporting Veteran Families: The bipartisan Protecting Moms Who Served Act which requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to implement a maternity care coordination program that coordinates, supports, and trains community providers to serve the unique needs of pregnant and postpartum veterans.