WASHINGTON, D.C.— U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee and the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee, announced today that the fiscal year (FY) 2017 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs spending bill included a two-year extension of the Access Received Closer to Home (ARCH) Program. Senator Collins has strongly advocated for the extension of this vital, successful, and cost-effective program that provides critical health care to Northern Maine veterans.
Today, nearly 22 million Americans hold the distinguished title of Veteran, and more than 127,000 of those individuals live in our great State of Maine. As the daughter of a World War II Purple Heart recipient, Senator Collins learned first-hand of the sacrifice that these heroes and their families make to advance the cause of freedom. Fighting on behalf of our nation’s Veterans, Senator Collins has worked to support the needs of Veterans nationwide by protecting access to rural health care, holding the Department of Veterans Affairs accountable in the wake of scandal, and expediting the process for disabled veterans to get the services they need.
At the height of a terrible winter storm in Aroostook County in January 2014, veteran Peter Miesburger suffered a broken hip that required emergency surgery. Prior to the implementation of a pilot program known as Access Received Closer to Home (ARCH), his injury would have necessitated an eight hour, 500-mile roundtrip drive to the Togus VA Medical Center in Augusta. Instead of enduring this painful and bumpy ride, he was able to receive care at his local hospital, Cary Medical Center in Caribou, through the ARCH program and successfully recuperate closer to his family and friends.
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King introduced legislation today that would extend the Access Received Closer to Home (ARCH) program for an additional five years. Absent congressional action, the pilot program will expire on August 7, 2016.
U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, pressed Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Secretary Robert McDonald this morning on the future of the Access Received Closer to Home (ARCH) program. Senator Collins has consistently urged the VA to articulate a clear vision for the future of this critically important program and work to ensure that all veterans have the choice of receiving the health care they need close to home and their families. Secretary McDonald testified at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing on the VA’s budget request for fiscal years (FY) 2017 and 2018.
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King and Representatives Chellie Pingree and Bruce Poliquin sent a letter to Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA) Robert McDonald urging him to take immediate action to improve the implementation of the Choice Program and ensure that all veterans in Maine receive timely care.
As we turn the page on 2015 and look to the future, I welcome this opportunity to share some of the accomplishments of the past year. Although much work remains to be done, I was able to achieve progress on issues that matter to the people of Maine, whom I am honored to represent in the United States Senate.
“Wreaths Across America is a powerful demonstration of respect and appreciation for our veterans – both those that we’ve lost and those still with us.”
At this special time of year, we are especially grateful to the brave men and women in our nation’s armed forces and to our veterans. We are grateful for their courage, devotion to duty, and sacrifice. And we give thanks to their families and loved ones, for they too sacrifice
The Assistant Secretary of Labor for Veterans' Employment and Training oversees the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, which provides career service and preparation to America's veterans, service members, and their spouses.
Senator Collins joined veterans, members of the Armed Forces, Congress, and the President at Arlington National Cemetery to honor and celebrate our nation’s veterans, and their families, for their service and sacrifices to our nation.
"Today, 22 million veterans live among us, including more than 127,000 in Maine. These numbers are not just statistics; each one tells a story of courage, sacrifice, and devotion to duty, and today we honor them and thank them for their courage, sacrifice, and service."
The bill contains nearly $80 billion in funding, which represents an increase of more than $1 billion above the President’s FY 2016 budget request. It also reflects bipartisan compromise and a commitment, on the eve of Veterans’ Day, to ensure that Congress funds programs and priorities that support veterans, our troops, and their families.
On Oct. 31, the Navy’s newest destroyer, the USS Rafael Peralta, was christened at Bath Iron Works. The story of the namesake of the United States Navy’s newest Maine-built destroyer would be inspiring at any time. On Veterans Day, it is an especially powerful reminder of the qualities that unite all who have served our country throughout our history.
We will continue to urge the VA to articulate a clear vision for the future of this critically important program and work to ensure that all veterans receive the health care they need close to home.”
“The Peralta family forged Sgt Peralta’s character, courage, and dedication. My hope is that this family, who suffered such a terrible loss, will find comfort in the prayers of a grateful nation,”
From the Senate floor, Senator Collins stated, “We owe it to our nation’s veterans, 127,000 of whom reside in the great state of Maine. There are more than 21 million nationwide. We owe it to them to move forward with this important bill."
The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.
Each year, Americans set aside National POW/MIA Recognition Day to honor those who fought for freedom and who experienced the worst of war.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins released the following statement in remembrance of September 11, 2001:
“Fourteen years ago, our nation was stunned by the terrorist attacks that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people in our country. We will never forget those who perished that day, nor will we waver in our defense of the American way of life.
The American spirit was born on July 4th, 1776, when 56 patriots gathered in Philadelphia. The Declaration of Independence they had crafted with care and forged by vigorous debate was considered an act of high treason against a king. At the same time, it was an act of supreme loyalty to the highest aspirations of mankind – the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Access to Community Care for Veterans Act of 2015, legislation co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Angus King, passed the United States Senate today by unanimous consent. This legislation would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to expand eligibility of the Choice Program to cover veterans who reside more than 40 miles driving distance from the closest VA facility that offers the specific care they need. The bill must now be considered and passed by the House of Representatives before it can be sent to the President.
More than a century and a half ago, as our nation faced its gravest crisis during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln spoke of the “mystic cords of memory, stretching from every patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land.’’
From the founding of our great nation to the conflicts of today, the men and women of our armed forces strengthen those mystic cords. From generation to generation, they add new and everlasting strands of valor, devotion to duty, and sacrifice.
In this season of giving, our thoughts turn to those who have given us the most precious gift of all: our freedom. We Mainers can be proud that an inspiring and generous expression of America’s gratitude began right here in our state.
Throughout our nation’s history, our citizens have left the safety of home to preserve our freedom and to extend the blessings of freedom to others. Each year, as we did recently, Americans pause on Veterans Day to honor these brave men and women for their duty, honor, and sacrifice.