Sen. Mark Warner and Congresswoman Elaine Luria hold roundtable discussion with military families, veterans


VIRGINIA (WAVY) — Sen. Mark Warner and Congresswoman Elaine Luria want to make sure military families are taken care of during the coronavirus pandemic, which is why they hosted a roundtable discussion Wednesday.

Luria kicked things off, highlighting her work to lessen taxes for Gold Star families, increasing compensation rates for veterans, and more.

“We’re working very hard everyday on these issues,” said Luria.

Warner also touched on some of the thing he’s focused on improving, like military housing.

He said, “In this year’s defense authorization bill, we’re even going further in terms of making sure we can give more power, more accountability and make sure that we honor our active duty military by making sure they and their families can live in clean housing.”

Warner also worries the pandemic will have a big impact on veterans’ mental health, and says he will work to connect more veterans to more resources in their communities.

“We still lose about 17 to 18 veterans a day to suicide,” said Warner. “Many of these veterans don’t even have any existing relationship with the VA, so one of the things we are trying to do is say ‘Let’s go ahead and use nonprofits, use other folks in the community’ to collaborate better with the VA.”

Warner also said he’s hopeful a new Veterans Affairs facility will open on the Southside in 2022.

“This was something that was approved literally four to five years ago and we’re still winding through the process,” said Warner.

He also said he is focused on making sure VA facilities have enough personal protective equipment and adequate testing supplies.

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