6 May, 2005
The Honorable Barack Obama
United States Senate
Dear Senator Obama:
On behalf of the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), I want to personally thank you for bringing light to the need for the Department of Veterans Affairs to modernize its record keeping system during the 21 April 2005 Joint hearing before the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees.
As I mentioned at the hearing, the Presidential Task Force to Improve Veterans Health Care’s Final Report addressed some issues that would smooth the transition of service members to veterans’ status and speed the development of their claims. I have enclosed a copy of the Task Force’s recommendations along with some additional background information.
The following information may help provide a tangible blueprint for the steps that must be taken to ensure returning Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) combat veterans, as well as all other service men and women who complete their term or retire from military service receive timely access to VA benefits and services. The Association sincerely appreciates you volunteering to help usher in a more efficient method of record keeping and stands ready to assist in any way it can.
Please feel free to contact our legislative team if we can ever be of assistance to you or your staff.
JOSEPH L. BARNES
National Executive Secretary