Sen. Sinema questions VA about support plans after Afghanistan withdrawal
PHOENIX — U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona wants the Department of Veterans Affairs to be proactive in getting service members the support they need following the military withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“My office has increasingly heard from service members and veterans as they process the recent news and their own, sometimes complicated, reactions to the withdrawal,” Sinema said Wednesday in letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs Denis McDonough.
“The VA and the Veterans Crisis Line has also been experiencing an uptick in veterans reaching out for assistance. I am requesting more information on the VA’s plan to connect these veterans to resources and ensure they are adequately resourced.”
McDonough was in the Valley last week to speak at the American Legion National Convention at the Phoenix Convention Center. While in town he told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona Morning News that the VA was fully prepared to help veterans struggling in response to the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
“If there are services that our vets need, we’re going to make sure that they can get them, and that they can get them in a timely way,” he said.
In her letter, Sinema asks McDonough for specifics about the VA’s plans to meet the increasing demand for mental health care.
The Democrat also said she wants to see the VA’s outreach efforts go beyond informational email and social media campaigns.
“It is critical that the VA proactively reach out and support veterans in need and their families – both now and in the weeks and months ahead,” she said.