The Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act of 2017 is currently being discussed in Congress.

What it does is expand caregiver support to disabled Veterans of all eras not just 9/11 Veterans. As I go to my appointments and meetings at Hines and the Aurora CBOC I see Veterans from WWII, Korea, Gulf War and Vietnam lovingly being taken care of by their wives or family members.

Several times it brought tears to my eyes. You can contact your congressman or senator by visiting the info listed at the end of this column online, but it has been my experience and others, too, that when you do that you will get a letter back saying that because it came from a third party it won’t be read or no action will be taken.

My suggestion is to call your congressman or senator. For your convenience the phone numbers are listed below. For those that ask me what can I do to help Veterans this is what you can do. I humbly ask you to call your congressman and senators in support of this act. A direct email to them works, too.

VFW Launches Action Alert to Expand Caregiver Benefits: Caregivers of military veterans, the overwhelming majority of whom are family members, put their lives and careers on hold, often accepting great emotional and financial burdens to ensure their veterans have a meaningful quality of life and stay in their homes instead of having to receive institutional nursing home care. The family caregivers of post-9/11 veterans are eligible for comprehensive support to include a living stipend to alleviate the financial burden of being a full-time caregiver. Unfortunately, veterans of previous eras are unjustifiably denied eligibility simply based on the era in which they served. The Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act of 2017 would correct this inequity by expanding eligibility for the Caregivers Program to veterans of all generations.

Please urge your members of Congress to support this important bill by visiting


Senator Durbin: D.C. (202) 224-2152 / Chicago (312) 353-4952

Senator Duckworth: D.C. (202) 224-2854 / Chicago (312) 886-3506

Congressman Roskam: D.C. (202) 225-4561 / West Chicago (630) 232-0006

Congressman Foster: D.C. (202) 225-3515 / Aurora (630) 585-7672