With our loyal supporters backing them up, our USV's Executive Director, Sgt. Gerald Johnson, USAF (Ret.), and the legislative team will soon meet with the staff of Congressman Walter Jones. "Our hope is to convince Congressman Jones, an ardent supporter and friend of our veterans, that Congress needs to act immediately and expedite the establishment of a National Veterans Hospice Network," explains Assistant Director Owen Thomas.
Executive Director Gerald Johnson (left) and Legislative Director Sean Ferritor prepare for their meeting on Capitol Hill. The meeting will be conducted in Congressman Jones' office.
The issue of terminally-ill homeless veterans is a difficult problem to tackle, but this issue needs to be addressed by both Congress and the Department of Veterans Affairs. "Look," explains Executive Director Johnson, "This is a bipartisan issue. It is a veteran issue, and it's about the sick and dying. Congress must address this very specific issue."
After a short meeting of the directors at headquarters, Johnson made this statement: "This is certainly a good start, and I believe a strong working relationship with Congressman Jones will help us accomplish our mission. Congress cannot wait any longer to address the issue of our terminally-ill homeless veterans who, as we speak, continue to die in our streets."
The meeting serves as an introduction of the issue to Congressman Jones and as a way to build a relationship to work toward ending this problem. The first step is showing the Congressman that this issue exists and is not being adequately addressed by the other programs the VA and other organizations offer. Congressman Jones and the U.S. Veterans Hospice Committee are in a unique position to move this issue forward together.
--March 15, 2014