Golden Holds Veterans Town Hall in Dixfield
DIXFIELD — Congressman Jared Golden (ME-02) held a town hall meeting at the Dixfield American Legion Monday evening to hear about the issues facing local veterans and their families. Golden answered questions about his work to improve health care for American veterans and to make sure vets receive the full benefits and services they’ve earned. The group also discussed ways to improve VA care and communication, education and job opportunities for veterans, and other veterans’ issues.
The event was free and open to the public. The town hall was moderated by Dixfield’s Town Manager, Dustin Starbuck. This is Golden’s sixth town hall-style event since taking office in January.
Golden has made veterans issues a priority. Since January, he’s focused on:
Improving Mental Health and Substance Abuse Care at Togus
- Golden is working with the VA and Togus to bring inpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment beds to Maine. Additional treatment beds for this important long-term care prevents Maine veterans from being sent far from home to other states to receive treatment
- He also helped to increase funding for this purpose for all veterans in VA facilities by successfully sponsoring an amendment that the full House approved as part of the VA Appropriation Bill (H.R. 3055).
Protecting Veterans’ Families
- Golden has worked to help expand veterans’ benefits to surviving family of servicemembers by backing the SFC Brian Woods Gold Star And Military Survivors Act, which provides financial assistance for the transportation of remains, childcare, and other benefits.
- He cosponsored and helped pass the SECURE Act, to prevent tax increases on survivors benefits.
- Golden also backed the Women Veterans and Their Families Health Services Act, improving both fertility and reproductive health access for service members and their families.
Improving Housing Opportunities for Homeless Veterans
- Golden moved to expand eligibility and give more veterans access to housing opportunities for the HUD-VA Supportive Housing Program, signing on to H.R. 2398.
Expanding VA Benefits for Service-Connected Illnesses
- Golden helped to pass the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, making sure veterans exposed to Agent Orange while serving off the coast of Vietnam get disability benefits for medical conditions associated with the exposure.
- He backed the Agent Orange Exposure Fairness Act, to remove a deadline for presumed connection to service, and help more veterans get care for their service-connected illnesses.
- He also cosponsored the Mark Takai Atomic Veterans Healthcare Parity Act, to help veterans exposed to radiation from 1970 to 1980 get the care they need.
Modernizing Veterans Care and Benefits
- Golden threw his support behind the Veterans Cannabis Use for Safe Healing Act, to protect veterans who use cannabis in states that have legalized it from being denied VA benefits, and to allow VA doctors to talk about it as a treatment option.
- He backed the BREAK PAY for Veterans Act to provide more support for veterans in school by increasing the housing allowance.
- Golden also backed the Accelerating Veterans Recovery Outdoors Act, to improve the use of public lands for therapy and rehabilitation for the treatment of veterans.
To view a summary of Golden’s work with veterans, you can click here.