November 11, 2021

Chairman Takano on Veterans Day: “The best way we can honor veterans’ service to our country is through action”

Press Contact

Jenni Geurink (202-819-4684) 

Washington, D.C.— Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif) released the following statement in recognition of Veterans Day: 


 chairman takano sitting in front of a camera

Watch Chairman Takano’s full video statement here 


Today is much more than a federal holiday. Today is a day of celebration – a day to properly honor the service of veterans from all walks of life who defended our country and our democracy. And as we celebrate another Veterans Day in the midst of a global pandemic, I want to say thank you. To all of the veterans who came forward to serve their communities, to all the veterans who worked diligently to help their Afghan allies and former colleagues find safety—thank you.    


The best way we can honor this service to our country is through action—and the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs has been working hard to do just that. Our country’s strength has always been through our diversity, and our veteran population is no exception. Our veterans – each with unique backgrounds and upbringings – are all unified by the same sense of duty and patriotism to serve the country they and their families call home.   

We owe it to them to make sure that all veterans—regardless of gender, gender identity, sexuality, race, or citizenship, have equitable access to the care and benefits they’ve earned.    

This year – the tenth anniversary of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – VA took a momentous step in the right direction by opening its doors to veterans who were unfairly denied their earned care and benefits because of their sexuality or gender identity. With this move, along with Congressman Chris Pappas’ and my bills, we can continue the necessary work to reckon with the injustices LGBTQ+ veterans faced during their time in service and after.    


“Addressing inequities such as these will also help reduce veteran suicide. So far this year, the Committee helped introduce bills that will expand mental health care and services to at risk veterans and saw some legislation signed into law, including Representative Axne’s Sergeant Ketchum Rural Veterans Mental Health Act. This new law ensures veterans in rural areas can access the mental health services and care they need from VA, regardless of where they live.  


We are also working hard to make good on our promise to care for all veterans living with the effects of toxic exposure – including burn pits, Agent Orange, and radiation. This summer, the Committee passed the bipartisan Honoring our PACT Act, a comprehensive bill that upholds the promise we make to veterans that we will take care of them when they return home. By expanding VA benefits and care to up to 3.5 million toxic-exposed veterans, we are letting current and future veterans know that VA will be able to take care of them.    

This Committee will never relent in its duty to serve veterans and their families—and we will continue to back up our thank you's with action. Let’s recommit ourselves to honoring our veterans and their families with meaningful solutions to the issues they face on a day-to-day basis. Today, let us celebrate all who have served our nation.