RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — U.S. Senator Mark Warner, D-Va., hosted a socially-distanced veterans roundtable with Carlos Hopkins, Virginia Secretary of Veterans and Defense Affairs, and Richmond-area veterans.
The nearly 60-minute conversation took place on October 14 at the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond. The discussion was held to open-up dialogue on specific challenges related to veterans such as healthcare, mental health services and housing for veterans.
Army veteran Donald Bates served in the U.S. Army’s 11th Infantry Division from 1982 until 1986. He saw one of Warner’s veteran-related campaign ads and wanted to know more about his platform.
He shared that he wants someone in D.C. that will fight for veteran rights today and in the future.
“We have to help those who have already put their lives on the line,” Bates said. “While preparing to be able to help those, who will go into the service within the next few years.”
Sen. Warner has been in the United States Senate since 2009 and he said he recognizes military families’ needs during the pandemic.
“Many veterans feel isolated,” Sen. Warner said. “They are not able to get the kind of support networks and we know there are enormous mental health challenges.”
Sen. Warner, along with Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), co-sponsored a bill to expand veterans’ access to mental health services. Sen. Warner said at the roundtable that the Veterans Health Administration (VA) estimates about 20 veterans die each day by suicide.
In August 2020, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed the legislation with the House of Representatives passing the bill in late September.
Sen. Warner said he and President Trump usually don’t see eye to eye. For this bill, however, he’s happy it’s sitting on the President’s desk.
“I’m grateful the President is going to sign it,” Sen. Warner said. “It’s been a bipartisan bill; I’ve worked with a Republican Senator from Arkansas from day one and I’m very proud of it.”
And Bates said this bill is monumental because its’s hope for so many veterans in Virginia.
“This helps so many disabled veterans,” he said. “This is why I wanted to come down here today, to hear how this will help veterans.”
Bates shared he’s been through it all. He’s lost his parents and doesn’t have much of a relationship with his brother or daughter. He said this bill will provide light at the end of the tunnel for veterans, that have experienced multiple forms of trauma.
2020 ELECTION COVERAGE
- President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign's latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.
- The Biden-Harris ticket has 80,033,996 votes with as many more still to tally, according to a running count by the non-partisan Cook Report. Each additional vote adds to the highest general election total in history.
- Trump ally, former NJ governor Chris Christie: president's election fraud claims are a 'national embarrassment'In an interview on Sunday, former New Jersey Governor and frequent Trump aide Christie condemned the Trump team's challenges against the victory of president-elect Joe Biden as "a national embarrassment."
- President Donald Trump’s campaign has requested a recount of votes in the Georgia presidential race, a day after state officials certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the state.
- Georgia’s top elections official on Friday certified results showing Democrat Joe Biden won the presidential race in the state after a hand tally stemming from a mandatory audit affirmed the Democrat’s lead over Republican President Donald Trump.
- Fighting to challenge an election he lost to President-elect Joe Biden, Trump has launched a barrage of lawsuits across the country. Top Republicans have stood behind him and said they will wait for those cases to be resolved before officially recognizing the winner, a standard that has no modern precedent.
- WILMINGTON, Del. (NEXSTAR/AP)- President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris held a news conference Thursday afternoon after meeting with the National Governor Association's leadership team. The National Governor Association's leadership team is comprised of five Republicans and four Democrats. According to the Associated Press, all of the Democrats and a majority of the Republicans […]
- Democratic Party officials in Virginia sent a letter Thursday to Richmond's Electoral Board calling for the resignation of the city's general registrar, J. Kirk Showalter, or for the board to dismiss Showalter over her handling of the 2020 election.
- A divide has begun to emerge among Democrats between the progressive and moderate wings of the party, stemming from a disappointing election performance.
- SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — When Gov. Brian Kemp won election two years ago, he pushed back forcefully against an outcry from Democrats who accused him of suppressing voter turnout to improve his odds of winning. “Look, we have laws on the books that prevent elections from being stolen from anyone,” Kemp, who oversaw that election […]