All blog posts related to the issue: Veterans
  • Honoring America’s Heroes

    Oregonians paid tribute to our veterans in many different ways and Senator Wyden was honored to be a part of several of them.

    At the Portland VA Medical Center, Senator Wyden and other Oregonians gathered to visit with veterans and thank them for their service. For Reynolds High School’s 3rd annual Living History Day, Senator Wyden, students, and community members gathered to honor over 400 veterans and hear their stories of service.

    In Portland, Senator Wyden helped serve at the Portland City Bible Church Veterans Day breakfast and also chronicled the stories of Oregon veterans by interviewing Iraq War veteran Coleman LaFazio for NPR’s StoryCorps.  Senator Wyden then headed to Forest Grove for the Elks Lodge day room dedication and met with WWII veteran Lt. Col. Dewitt.

    In a unique moment, Senator Wyden -with the help of Mrs. Royse- surprised World War II Navy veteran Dick Royse with six military honors that were long overdue. Afterwards, he headed to Albany’s American Legion’s Veteran of the Year Banquet where he presented veteran Harlan Neal and his wife, Inez, with a flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol to commemorate Mr. Neal’s service.

    On Veterans Day, Senator Wyden, paid his respects to the fallen at the Linn County Veterans Day Memorial Service with Major General Hokanson and visited with the Albany Eagles at their annual Biscuits and Gravy Veterans breakfast. One of the highlights of the weekend was marching in the Albany Veterans Day parade- it was fantastic to see so many Oregonians attend and show their support for those who sacrifice for our freedom.

    “America’s veterans represent the best of America and I am deeply grateful for their service,” said Senator Wyden. “It’s important to honor them, not just on Veterans Day, but every day through our actions and public service.”

  • Wyden Amendment to NDAA Forces Pentagon to Disclose Contractor Indemnification Agreements

    On December 4, 2012 the U.S. Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. Included in the NDAA is an amendment written by Wyden which requires the Pentagon to disclose and justify to Congress any contracts that contain indemnification clauses that hold military contractors harmless of acts of negligence.

    Last month, a jury ordered defense contractor Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to pay $85 million in damages to troops negligently exposed to toxic levels of sodium dichromate in Iraq. Under a previously-classified indemnity clause in their contract KBR was allowed to sue the Federal government to recoup those damages and pay their court costs. Wyden’s amendment ensures that Congress is not left in the dark about clauses that leave the taxpayer holding the bill for a contractor’s wrongdoing. 

    “What KBR received -- and Oregon soldiers and the American taxpayers may be stuck paying for -- is a get out of jail free card that no one outside of the Pentagon had any say in giving them,” Wyden said. 

  • Have you been targeted by a Pension Poacher? Tell us your Aid and Attendance story.

    As a life-long advocate for seniors, and a passionate supporter of veterans, veteran’s rights, and veteran’s programs, there are few things that upset Senator Wyden more than individuals and groups who use the promise of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits to mislead and even steal from America’s elderly veterans.

    Recently, he has been looking into the VA’s enhanced pension with Aid and Attendance, commonly referred to as “Aid and Attendance.”  While this program meets real needs of financially burdened vets who need help in their daily lives, Senator Wyden is deeply troubled by the emergence of predatory organizations that are providing false, misleading, or incomplete information to veterans.  Many of these companies have names and logos that seem to affiliate them with the VA and claim to want to help veterans, but in many cases are only interested in lining their own pockets.

    Our office is gathering information on these deplorable practices, but we need your help.  Have you, a friend, or family member had an experience regarding Aid and Attendance?  In the comments section below, please tell us your story.  Senator Wyden may share some of these experiences in the Senate.

    Have you been targeted by a Pension Poacher? Tell us your Aid and Attendance story.

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