Hudson Pushes for Pope Runway Extension, Veteran Care

February 17, 2017  
Hudson Pushes for Pope Runway Extension, Veteran Care
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Yesterday U.S. Representative Richard Hudson (NC-08), representative of Fort Bragg, sent a letter to the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies to request funding in the MilCon-VA Appropriations bill to extend the runway on Pope Field and to prioritize care for veterans.
To view the letter, click here. The text of the letter is included below:
Dear Chairman Dent and Ranking Member Wasserman-Schultz,
In response to the Subcommittee’s recent “Members’ Day” hearing, I am writing on behalf of the soldiers and airmen at Ft. Bragg and the veterans of North Carolina’s 8th District to ensure our shared priorities are brought to your attention and included as you draft the FY18 MilCon-VA Appropriations Act.
I would like to request that robust funding be included in this year’s MilCon-VA Appropriations bill for airfields so we can ensure we have the best-trained troops in the world. My district is home to an example of why this is needed. Ft. Bragg, the epicenter of the universe, is the home of the Global Response Force, the first response in the United States military. Right now, our Airborne soldiers in the Global Response Force are unable to deploy or train on a fully loaded C-17 because the Pope Field at Ft. Bragg is too short to support the fully loaded aircraft. This delays the time to target response for our soldiers due to the added fueling stops required. This is unacceptable.
I would also ask that you continue to show strong support to the Choice program, which was signed into law through the Veteran’s Access to Care Through Choice Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014. This program provides veterans the opportunity to seek outside care when wait times are too long or the specialist they require is too far away. 
Recently, I proposed legislation, the Care Veterans Deserve Act, with my colleague Rep. Ruppersberger to enhance and improve the Choice program. Our legislation would make the pilot Veterans Choice Card program enacted in the 2014 VA reform legislation permanent and expand eligibility to all Tier-1 veterans so that they too may have the flexibility to see the doctor of their choice.
For too long, our nation’s veterans have suffered because of a bloated bureaucracy at the VA. As I have said before, the only way we are going to get veterans the quality and timely care they deserve is to break that bureaucratic stronghold. The first step in this process is improving the choice program to ensure veterans get the best care possible.
Richard Hudson
Member of Congress (NC-08)
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