Murkowski Gets Follow Through for Vets, Base Construction Work

Senator to Receive Report on VA Improvements, Sees $335M in Projects OK’ed For Military

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Lisa Murkowski today succeeded in placing items in the 2012 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs appropriations bill that will reap physical, mental and emotional benefits for Alaska’s military community – in the form of construction projects and a thorough vetting of the health care provided Alaska’s veterans. “I’m proud of the language I included in this bill for Alaska’s vets.” said Murkowski. “It’s more than words; it is a hard, tangible action for the men and women of action who defend our freedoms.”

Language inserted by Murkowski into the appropriations bill raises the bar on the Department of Veterans Affairs and requires new benchmarks be considered when determining whether vets will be required to fly to Seattle and calls for two reports in the next year on progress made to reduce the number of Alaska vets required to travel outside for medical care.

Additionally, Murkowski has also asked the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to hold hearings in Washington on whether American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian veterans are being denied the access to veterans benefits because they reside in some of the most remote places in the country. “Historically America’s first peoples have served in the military in greater numbers than any other group in America. It is tragic that they are first to fight yet last in line when it comes to veterans benefits,” Murkowski noted.

In addition to the progress being made in securing health care relief for Alaska’s veterans, the Senate Subcommittee for Military Construction and Veterans Affairs directed $335 million dollars to needed military construction work statewide, including:

  • The next phase of the Aviation Task Force Complex at Eielson Air Force Base
  • The long-awaited fitness facility at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson
  • The Cold Weather Maritime Training Facility