February 22, 2024

Cassidy Meets with Veterans in Hammond

BATON ROUGE – On Wednesday afternoon, Senator Cassidy met with area veterans in Hammond to discuss issues important to their community. Among other topics, they discussed how to improve mental health services for veterans, with a special emphasis on group therapy and support for female veterans.

“The veteran community supports each other,” said Dr. Cassidy. “They shared their concerns, not just for themselves, but for all those returning from service at any period of time. I continue to be impressed how those who served our country in the military continue to serve in other ways.”

During a September 2023 hearing, Cassidy grilled the Executive Director for Suicide Prevention at the VA after an Office of Inspector General report found that a 2021 veteran suicide was improperly handled. Cassidy also passed into law the Solid Start Act in 2022, which requires that the VA contact veterans three times within their first year of separating from the military to make them aware of the benefits they can receive, including health care benefits.

Cassidy secured over $155 million for military bases in Louisiana as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 National Defense Authorization Act, including for a weapons generation facility at Barksdale Air Force Base, and medical, residential and recreational improvements at Barksdale, Fort Johnson and Camp Minden. The NDAA also included a 5.2% pay raise for service members to offset inflation.

Present at the meeting were local leaders of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and the Vietnam Veterans Association of America (VVA). That included Mr. Richard Neher, Adjutant of VVA Chapter #1052 in Hammond, who helped organize the event.

“We appreciate the opportunity to sit down with Senator Cassidy and discuss the issues important to veterans in our community, including VA medical services and issues important to female and homeless vets,” said Mr. Neher. “We look forward to working with him to make a positive difference in our community for veterans and their families.”