I strongly support the need for an upgraded Delaware cabinet secretary role for veterans. Delaware is 48th out of 52 states and territories in overall fiscal year 2022 Veterans Affairs funding. The total compensation and pension for Delaware veterans that year was $253,227,079.20, below the average amount received for all U.S. veterans.
These kinds of issues need to be dealt with by a Delaware cabinet-level position that will support both regular, Reserve and National Guard veterans living in Delaware. Delaware veteran support organization members (for example, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, the American Legion, etc.) will also benefit by aggressively supporting the addition of a Delaware cabinet-level position in the state government.
The proposed cabinet-level position will help increase Delaware’s visibility on all veterans’ health and compensation needs with: 1.) the federal Veterans Affairs, through working with our senators and representatives and their staffs on Delaware veterans’ needs; 2.) the director of the VA offices in Elsmere; 3.) the Veterans Integrated Service Network in Pittsburgh, which oversees Delaware benefits and services, veteran hospitalization benefits/budget and state care facilities; and 4.) the Delaware state legislature, to ensure there is sufficient funding for the Office of Veterans Affairs to maintain a sufficient staff to manage additional state responsibilities, such as the Delaware Veterans Home and Cemeteries; to provide sufficient veteran services officers to support veterans’ disability needs and compensation benefits; and to obtain funding for the necessary Delaware-managed Veterans Affairs health care facilities located throughout the state.
Retired U.S. Air Force Col. David Archino
Delaware Aviation Hall of Fame member
Former C-130 combat pilot
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