Independent Record: An invitation, and an update, for Montana veterans

As we celebrate another year of American independence and freedom this week, my focus remains on the 103,000 veterans who call Montana home. Veterans, thank you for defending everything we have.

Later this week, I have the honor of welcoming to U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki to Montana. Secretary Shinseki and I have worked closely together over the past few years to improve access to quality health care, higher education opportunities and workforce training for veterans.

Thanks to input from Montana’s veterans, we’ve been able to get some very good things done over the past few years. But we have more work to do to live up to the promises made to all men and women who serve our country.

That’s why Secretary Shinkseki and I will host several listening sessions across the state this Thursday and Friday to hear more input from Montana veterans.

We invite you to join us in Helena this Thursday, July 7, in the auditorium of the National Guard Headquarters (you’ll need to bring a photo ID to get in). Our meeting begins at 8 in the morning. In Helena, we will focus on issues specific to Montana’s veterans — such as transportation, women’s health, PTSD and access to quality health care in rural and frontier communities.

Last week the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee gave a green light to several of my bills to improve veterans’ benefits and to fight unemployment.

One of my bills protects American troops from big banks. It extends the timeline that returning troops are protected from interest rate increases, foreclosures or seizures of their homes.

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