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It seems that with regard to veterans issues, the efforts made toward their improvement exemplify the importance of bipartisanship and open-minded collaborative work. In a New York Times article, Nicholas Fando notes that just in the month of July of 2017, the secretary of Veterans Affairs was confirmed unanimously and a temporary funding extension was granted for the Veterans Choice Program, which provides private-sector healthcare for veterans.

Such cooperation is "shocking because we so rarely see it these days,” explains Philip Carter, a scholar from the Center for New American Security. This is especially noteworthy because this appointment was approved while Congress was still stalled in their efforts to pass the recently proposed health-care changes. For more information about bipartisanship within the Veterans’ Affairs Committees, see Nicholas Fandos’ article, "A Bipartisan Congress That Works? Veterans Committees Show How It’s Done,” which speaks volumes about the connections. 

The operations of the Veterans Affairs Committees reflect the multifaceted nature of veterans issues. Johnny Isakson, the Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs said, “We don’t want to have a fight for fights’ sake. We want to find solutions.” Undoubtedly, it is this understanding that complex issues require complex solutions that allows members of the Veterans Affairs Committees to operate relatively more quickly than other Congressional committees. However, as the aforementioned veteran issues continue to plague our society, it is clear there is still much to be accomplished in alleviating such burdens.

Hopefully, members of the Veterans’ Affairs Committees of the House and Senate can continue to emulate the collaborative attitude of Chairman Isakson, and that the bipartisan behavior of the committees will pave a way towards a more united country. It is with this hope that the Academy of United States Veterans believes in the importance of collaboration and works enthusiastically with people of all perspectives, all party affiliations, and all general walks of life. We hope our policy of nonpartisanship inspires others to place the needs of their fellow citizens under one flag above divisive mindsets. Only by doing this will we be able to formulate more comprehensive solutions to better the lives of not only our nation’s veterans, as is the mission of AUSV, but of all our fellow Americans whom our brave armed forces serve and protect.

Collaboration by: Jeanne Abella

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