Serving Virginia’s Veterans and Active Duty Military Personnel
Virginia is a Commonwealth rich in military history, which proudly houses some of our nation’s key military facilities. Jenn believes it is essential to protect and support those Virginians who have defended our freedom by serving in our military. One in 12 Virginians is a veteran and the Commonwealth has the greatest number of veterans in the workforce per capita. But many veterans experience difficulties readjusting to civilian life. Jenn knows many military families face the same problems that affect all Virginians including food insecurity, difficulty finding affordable and reliable childcare, and financial hardship. Military families also deal with unique challenges including constant stress that comes from deployments, separation, and the emotional and physical toll that accompanies military service.
Throughout her time in the General Assembly, Jenn has supported measures that honor our active duty military and veterans. Jenn has:
- Supported legislation that formed the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) program that assists veterans with employment and post-service job training opportunities.
- Supported legislation that created the Military Medics and Corpsmen (MMAC) program, the first in the nation to specifically assist military medical personnel with medical employment opportunities following their service.
- Supported implementation of the Uniform Military and Overseas Voters Act, which expanded voting rights for active duty servicepeople.
- Supported legislation that created Women Veterans Week.
As Governor, Jenn is committed to ensuring Virginia military facilities are well-supported and that active duty military personnel and veterans are treated like heroes following their service. As the Commonwealth rebuilds from COVID-19, we must build an economy that works for everyone and leaves no one behind. This is especially true for those who have served our country. Jenn will support veterans and military personnel to ensure that military members and their spouses have access to jobs and opportunities and that military families can easily access the benefits they have earned and are not faced with financial distress. Jenn will also ensure that veteran and military family health and behavioral health care is accessible and a top priority.
As Governor, Jenn will work diligently to provide veterans and their family members a means towards accessing economic and education opportunities, acquiring the healthcare they need
As Governor Jenn will:
- Universal Early Childhood Education – Ensuring military families have affordable access to quality childcare:
1. Ensure more affordable childcare is available to all military personnel and veterans. Junior enlisted military personnel spend up to 40% of their salary on infant care. We need affordable childcare to strengthen military families. Jenn has proposed a universal childcare and early childhood education plan as a top priority.
- Investing in Education opportunities
- Ensure that every veteran who desires to earn a college degree or technical training will have that opportunity in Virginia
- Direct the State Council on Higher Education for Virginia’s Military Education Advisory Committee (MEAC) to produce a report within the first year of her administration outlining the significant experience challenges veterans and their spouses face on Virginia’s college campuses.
- Invest in military spouses by expanding the Department of Defense’s “My Career Account” benefits from $6,000 to $10,000; thus increasing their educational opportunities.
- Improve Veteran Services
- Continue streamlining the VA benefits claims process to ensure that claims are processed in a timely and efficient manner.
- Continue providing job training programs to assist veterans and their spouses succeed in their civilian careers
- Creating Economic Opportunity for Veterans and their Families
1. Expand veteran employment services to unleash the leadership and entrepreneurial power of veterans and their spouses
2. Continue to tap the leadership and skills of veterans by hiring more veterans within Virginia’s government
3. Encourage the growth of Veteran-owned small businesses, especially in the area of “Green Jobs”
- Expanding access to health care resources for active duty military, veterans, and their families.
- Employ the Virginia Safe Communities Grant Fund to provide lifesaving programming that prevents veteran suicide and mental and behavioral health crises.
- Increase access to mental and behavioral health care needs of veterans through expanded counseling and access to affordable medication.