This Veterans Day, as our nation comes together to recognize the men and women who have served our nation in uniform, I want to take this opportunity to thank our servicemembers, veterans, and their families for their service.

In Congress, I am so privileged to represent Ventura County and the Conejo Valley, which boasts a proud and rich military history. In fact, over 40,000 veterans and their families call our region home. In Congress, I have made it my priority to ensure that we fulfill our solemn promise to serve our veterans as well as they have served our country. This is the duty that has guided my work as your Member of Congress and as a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

President John F. Kennedy once said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” As Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health, I have championed efforts to ensure our veterans receive the care, benefits, and support they have earned and deserve.

Most recently, I called on House Speaker Johnson to bring my bill, the Elizabeth Dole Act, to the floor. This is common-sense, bipartisan legislation makes the necessary and systematic improvements needed to ensure aging and disabled veterans and their caregivers receive the care and support to thrive. Specifically, my bill addresses the need for improved home care by expanding home- and community-based services so that we can delay, if not prevent, a veteran from needing institutional care which is costly and often isolating. When we support veterans staying in their homes, it means families can stay together, caregivers have the support they need, and veterans remain connected to their communities.

This week, I also introduced the Have You Served Act, legislation that seeks to ensure that veterans and their families are able to access resources to combat the epidemic of veteran suicide. Several states throughout the country have begun carrying out “Ask the Question” campaigns to better identify veterans and let them know what state and local human services, as well as mental health resources and care, are available to them. My bill directs the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to support these campaigns and expand efforts to better care for our veterans.

Also, in an effort to recognize the diversity of our nation’s veteran population, I introduced a resolution encouraging the naming of new or undedicated VA facilities after women and minority veterans. While our veteran population becomes more racially and ethnically diverse and the women veterans population continues to grow, of the more than 1,300 VA health care facilities only 14 have been dedicated to honor the service of minority veterans and only four facilities, including the Captain Rosemary Bryant Mariner Outpatient Clinic in Ventura, has been named in honor of a woman. Naming VA facilities for women and minority veterans would not only show our appreciation for the great courage and dedication these veterans have demonstrated in defense of our nation but it would serve as an important step in reminding the nation that we have much work to do to provide greater equity in care and benefits.

In times of peace and great turmoil around the world, our nation has remained a beacon of hope and a shining example of democracy. It has been our service members – past and present – that have defended that democracy – and taken an oath to defend our Constitution, our inalienable rights, and our way of life. It is because of our service members – past and present – that our democracy is strong and we remain the greatest democracy in the world. It is for these reasons that we are forever grateful to our veterans.

It is through my work and through these actions that I say “thank you for your service” – not only on this Veterans Day but every single day.


Member of Congress