Act to Support Veterans

Tell Congress to support veteran programs this year! 

In our prayers and in our actions, we thank our veterans. Let us take action by asking Congress to protect programs that address the needs and equip veterans as they return from service.

More than 20 million veterans live among us, relays the Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton, ELCA presiding bishop, in a 2019 Veterans Day video message. “Each one was willing to put their life at risk in service to our country, and more than 77% of our current veterans have served during wartime.” Policymakers need to hear from faith-based advocates about their experiences, and what priorities best meet the needs of veterans in our communities. Critical steps Congress can take to meet urgent challenges include:

  • Supporting resources and funding for the Dept of Veteran Affairs (VA) in the FY20 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies budget. The resource "Support for Veterans & Families" from ELCA Advocacy contains background on veteran programs in the federal budget.
  • Helping increase funding for other proven initiatives like the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program. Homelessness among veterans has declined in recent years, yet nearly 38,000 veterans were experiencing homelessness on a single night in January 2018.
  • Removing barriers to accessing VA benefits to which veterans are entitled is vital. In 2017, VA reports 16.8 veterans died per day by suicide in 2017, 1.5 times higher than the national adult average. Depending on parameters included, that statistic may be significantly higher, says Chaplain Christopher Otten, director of ELCA Federal Chaplaincies. Opioid use in veteran populations is rising. Our country’s policy must help our veterans face serious challenges.
  • Endorsing the recently introduced bipartisan Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act, which would extend financial protections that currently apply to active duty servicemembers to veterans and their family members.

Learn more about the ministry of ELCA Federal Chaplains, including the resource "Care for Returning Veterans" workshop which explores psychological, moral, spiritual and family impacts of the experience of veterans, from ELCA.org.

Let us take action by asking Congress to protect programs that address the needs and equip veterans as they return from service. We encourage you to customize your message below to maximize your impact, and to share why veteran care is important for your community.  

Recipients

  • Your Senators
  • Your Representative

Contact

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Message

Dear [Decision Maker],

Sincerely,
[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]