Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins met with a group of nearly 20 officers and auxiliary members of the Department of Maine Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) in her Washington, D.C., office. Those in attendance included Christopher Robinson, State Commander; Brenda Blair, State Auxiliary President; and Steven SanPedro, Legislative Chairman.
“Throughout Maine, the VFW advocates for patriots serving in our military today, those who served in the past, and military families,” said Senator Collins. “Members make a tremendous difference in the community through their hard work and devotion to service. I am proud to be a part of this great organization as a life member of the VFW Auxiliary in my hometown of Caribou. It is one of my top priorities to ensure that veterans have access to the benefits and resources they have earned through their service.”
Senator Collins has advocated for members of the military and their families as well as military caregivers throughout her Senate service. In December, legislation authored by Senators Collins and Doug Jones (D-AL) to repeal the military widow’s tax was signed into law as part of the Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Collins championed provisions in the FY 2020 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs funding bill to improve rural veterans’ access to health care, support veteran caregivers, increase access to mental health services and suicide prevention outreach, and decrease veteran homelessness.
Senator Collins has also strongly advocated for increased funding for the VA Caregiver Program. This program, which previously only supported caregivers of post-9/11 veterans, will be expanded to include pre-9/11 veterans and their caregivers with the enactment of the VA MISSION Act, which Senator Collins pushed for.
In June, Senator Collins attended the Department of Maine VFW’s 99th Annual State Convention Joint Opening Ceremony.
The Department of Maine VFW, established in 1921, is a nonprofit veterans service organization for eligible veterans and military servicemembers from the active, guard, and reserve forces.