For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 7, 2008
Fact Sheet: The Bush Administration Has Provided Unprecedented Support for Our Veterans
On The Anniversary Of Pearl Harbor, Administration Recognizes Important Steps Forward In Keeping Our Promise To Veterans And Their Families
In Focus: Veterans
"One of the things I have treasured the most is to be the Commander-in-Chief of men and women of courage and character and decency."
President George W. Bush (December 6, 2008)
Today, on the 67th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, all members of the military, past and present,
and their families deserve to be honored for their service, courage, and sacrifice to protect our Nation
and make the world a safer place. President Bush has remained committed to ensuring all veterans
receive the care and support they need from the Federal government. Under his leadership, the
Dramatically Increased Funding To Support And Care For Those Who Have Served Our
- Increased funding for veterans' medical care by more than 115 percent since 2001.
- FY 2009 funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) totals more than $97 billion, nearly
double the level of funding when the President took office and the highest level of support for veterans
- Provided more than $6 billion to modernize and expand VA medical facilities and more than $1
billion over the past three years to support traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder
treatment and research.
- Honored our veterans with a hallowed, final resting place by implementing and fully funding the
largest expansion in the national cemetery system since the Civil War.
Improved Care And Services For Wounded Warriors
- Created the Commission on Care for America's Returning Wounded Warriors co-chaired by
former Senator Bob Dole and former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala to ensure
that wounded service members and veterans receive quality care and services and can live lives of hope,
promise, and dignity. Nearly all of the Commission's recommendations have already been implemented,
- Expanded training, screening, and staff resources to help service members and veterans suffering
from mental health disorders.
- Created a joint Recovery Coordinator Program for seriously injured service members.
- Initiated a pilot program to replace the cumbersome system of two separate disability
examinations with a single, comprehensive medical exam.
- Established a Center of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury and
expanded VA's polytrauma system of care to 21 network sites and clinic support teams to provide
state-of-the-art treatment to injured veterans at facilities closer to their homes.
Ensured Those Who Have Served Our Country Receive The Benefits They Deserve
- Called for and signed a GI Bill for the 21st century, which expanded education benefits for service
members and veterans and made it easier for those who defend our Nation to transfer unused education
benefits to their spouses or children.
- Increased career counseling services for returning veterans, particularly those wounded in combat.
- Signed legislation that increased from two to five years a combat veteran's eligibility to enroll
for lifetime VA medical care and allowed family members of injured service members to take additional
time away from their jobs to care for their loved ones.
- Signed legislation to ensure military retirees with severe disabilities receive both their military
retired pay and their VA disability compensation.
- Helped more than 1.9 million veterans enroll in the VA health care system since 2001.
- Reduced the average length of time to process a veteran's disability claim to under 180 days, down
from 230 days when the President took office.
"The President has done his job
since the first day he
took office on behalf of veterans."
Senator John Warner (R_VA)(Sept. 20 2004)
Worked To Decrease The Number Of Homeless Veterans
- Expanded Federal grants and worked extensively with faith-based and community organizations to
help homeless veterans.
- Cut the number of homeless veterans by nearly 40 percent from 2001 to 2007.
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