Wounded Warrior Project announces legislative priorities

Wounded Warrior Project CEO retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Linnington testified before the Senate and House Veterans Affairs Committees on March 8. Photo credit Wounded Warrior Project

Wounded Warrior Project representatives and veterans from around the country recently convened on Capitol Hill to advocate for legislation on their most pressing needs.

Testifying before the Senate and House Committees on Veterans' Affairs on March 8, WWP CEO retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Linnington implored Congress to support key policies and legislation that will improve the health and well-being of wounded veterans.

“Many warriors and their family members face a lifetime of living with visible and invisible wounds. Wounded Warrior Project has been serving these warriors for 20 years and their needs continue to grow and evolve, especially as they age," said Linnington. "Congress can help change the landscape for America's veterans and their families. I urge our nation's leaders to ensure veterans receive the vital services and resources they have earned through their sacrifice to our country."

Linnington called on the committees to address policies that will benefit wounded veterans as they transition to civilian life. He highlighted several pressing issues impacting veterans, their families, and caregivers, including mental health and suicide prevention. According to the latest WWP Annual Warrior Survey, approximately 3 in 4 warriors report experiencing PTSD, anxiety and depression.

WWP Vice President of Government & Community Relations Jose Ramos said the nonprofit is also lobbying for increased support for women warriors. He noted that women account for more than 30% of the increase in veteran enrollment in Department of Veterans Affairs health care over the past five years.

“There are still challenges with gender-specific care,” he said.

Ramos said financial wellness continues to be at the forefront of concerns reported by WWP's community.

“One of the things we learned about in our Warrior Survey is that food insecurity is one of the biggest impacts that exits for those individuals we serve,” he said.

WWP is also advocating for the passage of the Major Richard Star Act, bipartisan legislation that would provide veterans with combat-related injuries full disability and retirement pay, regardless of the number of years they served.

Ramos noted that the unemployment rate for warriors is 6.8%, almost double the national average, with 64.2% indicating that at some point in the past year, they did not have enough money to make ends meet.

WWP is also supporting the passage of the Elizabeth Dole Act of 2022, which would improve certain VA programs for home and community-based services.

“Our logo is a warrior carrying another warrior off the battlefield,” said Ramos. “We’ve all been that individual. This is kind of the empowerment aspect of what we do, giving warriors a voice to help others.”

Reach WWP’s full written testimony here.

Reach Julia LeDoux at Julia@connectingvets.com.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Wounded Warrior Project