Portrait of Ron DeSantis

DeSantis Campaign Press Release - DeSantis Releases Plan to Support America's Veterans

October 19, 2023

Tallahasee, FL - Prior to his first "Veterans for DeSantis" event today in Anderson, South Carolina, Ron DeSantis released a plan to support America's veterans. DeSantis will modernize the VA and transcend its bureaucracy, combat the mental health and economic issues facing veterans, expand access and benefits to veterans, reverse Biden's recruitment crisis, and restore accountability to the VA.

"DC elites have weakened our nation's military -- wokeism runs rampant, morale has taken a nosedive, and recruitment has sunk to an all-time low," said Ron DeSantis. "The ruling class has also left behind the patriots who put their life on the line for America, and that ends under my administration. We will restore our military and take care of our heroes. I know what it means to wear the cloth our country, and I will not let America's veterans down."

This is the fifth major policy announcement DeSantis has made since launching his campaign. It follows the plan to stop the invasion and secure the border DeSantis unveiled in Texas in June, his plan for a mission first military he released in South Carolina in July, his plan to declare America's economic independence he announced in New Hampshire in August and his plan to revive American energy dominance he detailed in Texas in September.

The only veteran in the race, DeSantis would be the first president to serve in a war to be elected since 1988.

Ron DeSantis' Plan to Support America's Veterans

Transcend Bureaucracy and Modernize VA Systems and Infrastructure

  • Connect veterans with all available support -- veteran care, benefits, and resources should never be limited to a single federal agency
  • Ensure veterans have access to a simple, straight-forward portal connecting all available support from federal, state, local, private, business, religious, and charitable organizations, similar to Florida's Care Portal and Hope Navigators
  • Audit IT deficiencies, streamline infrastructure, and upgrade patient record system
  • Eliminate redundant Congressional & VA boards, review management layers, independently audit programs, and investigate and prosecute fraud
  • Expand grant programs and partnerships with community-level veteran organizations

Combat Veteran Suicide, Substance Abuse, and Homelessness

  • Address root causes, facilitate timely access to care, and increase support for PTS, depression, and substance abuse
  • Expand benefits, educational training, and work opportunities to assist veterans in the transition to civilian life
  • Expand the VA FOX Grant program and ensure funding goes to state and local entities
  • Make the Executive Director of VA Suicide Prevention a politically appointed position that reports directly to the Secretary
  • Create a uniform veteran status verification tool for local counties and municipalities, ensuring better data on veteran suicide

Focus on Care, End Delays and Denials, and Expand Access and Benefits

  • Rescind left-wing policies not aligned with the VA's core mission, such as CRT, DEI, paid leave/travel for abortion, sex reassignment surgeries, and hormone therapies
  • Set clear benchmarks for quality and timeliness of services delivered, including reductions in delays & denials, inaccurate wait estimates, and canceled appointments
  • Codify standards on care choices under the MISSION Act, streamline the referral process, protect veteran-doctor relationships, and empower veterans to seek the best health care available, including outside the VA system
  • Expand access to private disability exams and improve claims automation
  • Enhance rural care options and recruit additional medical officers and nurses to underserved regions

Prioritize Lethality, Readiness, and Cohesion to Reverse Biden's Recruitment Crisis

  • Restore pride and trust in our military and expand recruitment programming and partnerships in high schools, JROTC, and school civics programs
  • Ban woke indoctrination at all military academies and the promotion of woke ideology by anyone acting on behalf of the U.S. military
  • Ban race and gender quotas in military recruiting and promotions and mandate personnel decisions, including accession, assignment, selection, and promotion based on merit
  • Reinstate servicemembers with backpay who refused to get mandated COVID vaccines
  • Permit education savings accounts for military families to ensure no one has to choose between a career in the military and a quality education for his or her child
  • Retool the Foreign Service by active recruitment of honorably discharged veterans

Restore Accountability at the VA

  • Strengthen accountability measures and expedite termination process for bad employees
  • End union deals that don't put our veterans first and negatively affect service quality
  • Enhance protections for whistleblowers

Ron DeSantis was a member of the United States Navy. Use of his military rank, job titles and photographs in uniform does not imply endorsement by the Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.

Ron DeSantis, DeSantis Campaign Press Release - DeSantis Releases Plan to Support America's Veterans Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/367755

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