Senator Collins was honored Friday night alongside Secretary of Defense James Mattis, “FOX News Sunday” host Chris Wallace, and comedian Jay Leno
Click HERE to watch a video of Senator Collins’ remarks
Annapolis, MD - U.S. Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) received the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society for her work to support veterans by protecting access to rural health care, holding the VA accountable in the wake of scandal, expediting the process for disabled veterans to get the services they need, and supporting Community Based Outpatient Clinics. Senator Collins received this highly prestigious award at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society 2018 Convention, which was held at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland.
“When the men and women of our armed forces return home, we all have a duty to welcome them all the way home. I am deeply honored to receive this award for my efforts to fulfill this obligation,” said Senator Collins. “As a member of the subcommittee responsible for funding the Department of Veterans Affairs, I have long worked to ensure that veterans receive the highest quality health care that is convenient and close to home. I have also advocated for veterans by supporting military caregivers, expanding educational benefits, and reducing veteran homelessness. I will continue to work hard to ensure that these brave men and women receive the benefits that they have earned through their service to our nation.”
Lance Corporal Kyle Carpenter, who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in Afghanistan in 2010, presented the award to Senator Collins. Other individuals who were recognized for their work to support veterans included Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Fox anchor Chris Wallace, and comedian Jay Leno. One of the co-chairs of the convention is Phebe Novakovic, the Chairman and CEO of Bath Iron Works’ parent company, General Dynamics.
There were approximately 600 attendees, including Medal of Honor Recipients and their guests, honorees and their guests, and sponsors. First responders to the Capital Gazette shooting and victims’ family members were also in attendance. Senator Jerry Moran, former Senator Elizabeth Dole, and VFW Executive Director Bob Wallace recorded a video congratulating Senator Collins on receiving this award.
This week, Congress passed the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) Appropriations Bill, which includes $865 million – an increase of $369 million over the amount requested in the administration’s budget – for the VA Caregiver Program. This program, which supported caregivers of post-9/11 veterans, will be expanded in the coming years to include pre-9/11 veterans and their caregivers with the enactment of the VA Mission Act, which was signed into law following the advocacy of Senator Collins.