More than 325 Veterans from across the Sixth Congressional District gathered Wednesday at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky in support of Congressman Andy Barr’s re-election campaign.
The event featured guest speakers including Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH), Congressman Doug Collins (GA), former Congressman Geoff Davis, Major General (Ret.) Donald C. Storm, Colonel Bill Coultrup, and Corporal Matthew Bradford.
Additionally, a number of Veterans from the Sixth Congressional District spoke in support of Congressman Barr.
“We have been blessed in Kentucky to have experienced political leaders from both sides of the aisle who have made contributions to our National Defense; however, no one has done more for Veterans, service members and their families than Congressman Andy Barr,” said Major Gen. (Ret.) Donald C. Storm of Lexington. “Congressman Barr has made a difference in the lives of so many of our Veterans and their families. For that, we are forever grateful.”
In his first term in office, Congressman Barr established the Sixth District Veterans’ Coalition, which meets quarterly allowing Congressman Barr and his staff to hear directly from Veterans and solicit their input and advice on legislation and military matters. The coalition has grown to more than 1,000 members, and the casework team has helped hundreds of Veterans resolve issues including disability claims and replacing lost medals.
The coalition brought an idea to Congressman Barr to introduce legislation to rename the Lexington VA Medical Centers after two Kentucky World War II heroes. Congressman Barr successfully moved this legislation through the House and Senate earlier this year, and President Trump signed the bill into law on March 9, 2018. Just this month, Congressman Barr officially renamed the VA health care facility off Cooper Drive in Lexington as the Troy Bowling Campus, and the facility on Leestown Road as the Franklin R. Sousley Campus.
Congressman Barr has also fought to reduce the VA’s disability claims backlog, and he voted for numerous reforms to the VA so that all Veterans can have access to the benefits they earned and were promised. Additionally, he supported and voted for the VA Mission Act, which improves Veterans’ access to non-VA community care providers, authorizes a full review of the VA medical infrastructure and expands the VA caregiver program to all eras.
Congressman Barr has also worked tirelessly to petition Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to recommend to President Donald Trump that the Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park in Jessamine County be designated a national monument.
In May of this year, the House of Representatives passed Congressman Barr’s legislation to allow survivors of sexual assault in the military to receive the treatment of their choice outside of the VA system, and he passed an amendment to the FY18 VA appropriations bill that increases funding for equine assisted therapy to help our returning warriors recover from the psychological scars of combat.
Just this past July, Congressman Barr voted for vital funding to rebuild our nation’s military, increase readiness, bolster our Naval forces, invest in critical procurement and replacement of aircrafts to maintain air superiority, increase end strength of our Armed Forces, and provide the largest pay raise for our troops in a decade.
For his efforts as a member of the National Guard Caucus, Congressman Barr was awarded the 2017 Charles Dick Medal of Merit from the National Guard Association of the United States for distinguished service in providing “exceptionally strong support” to the National Guard.
“Over the past five and a half years since I took office, we have developed a unique and special bond with the Veterans of the Sixth Congressional District and beyond,” said Congressman Barr. “I have made it a priority to see that legislation has been passed to give our Veterans the benefits and resources they deserve. I’m honored to work on their behalf and continue to make Veterans one of my top priorities.”
“We’ve been able to deliver real results and reforms at the VA to ensure our Veterans are taken care of after putting their lives on the line for our freedoms,” Congressman Barr added. “We constantly hear from our Veterans and their families, and it is more than gratifying to hear their support for the policies we are implementing. In working with the Administration, the newly confirmed VA Secretary Robert Wilkie, and Congress, I’m confident we will be able to achieve even more great things for our nation’s heroes. It’s because of their service we are able to enjoy the core American principles of liberty and freedom.”
Videos of Speakers from the Event:
- Congressman Andy Barr
- Robert Givens
- June Helligrath
- General John Coburn
- Don Bramer
- Congressman Doug Collins
What the Veterans are Saying about Andy:
- “Congressman Barr believes in the American Way – a strong, united country with strong borders and a military ready to defend at a moment’s notice,” said Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran and U.S. Marine Cpl. Matthew Bradford of Nicholasville. “He cares about and listens to our Veterans, and he works hard to address their needs and concerns – and he gets results. We are thankful to Congressman Barr for being a voice in Washington for our Veterans.”
- “As a 30-year retired Army veteran, I support Andy Barr because of his work on behalf of veterans on national defense issues and policy such as the National Defense Authorization Act, said Army Veteran Jim Lucas of Richmond. “Closer to home, Andy makes himself and/or staff member available to veterans on a regular basis to discuss issues of interest affecting veterans and their families. One example of this is his efforts, in Berea, on behalf of a friend and World War II veteran, Mr. Orville Boes (now deceased), in obtaining medals awarded to him for service in that war. Mr. Boes cherished Andy’s efforts on his behalf for the rest of his life and Orville’s wife Ann is still thankful for Andy’s efforts on behalf of her husband.”
- “As a Navy Vietnam Veteran, I would like to thank Congressman Andy Barr for his ongoing support of all Veterans and active military,” said Vietnam Naval Aviation Veteran Drew Costa of Woodford Co. “I am particularly thankful for Congressman Barr’s attention to the opioid crisis that our state and country are experiencing, and his attention to Veteran housing issues. I’m also proud to have worked on the committee to rename the Lexington VA campuses after Franklin R. Sousley and Troy Bowling, a recognition for two Kentucky Veterans which only happened because of Congressman Barr’s hard work and dedication. His support of our military and their families is recognized and appreciated.”
- “Congressman Barr has been an advocate for all our Veterans for years – in particular those of us with disabilities who have reached out to him for help with benefits,” said CW4 Claude Shaw, an Army helicopter pilot from Winchester, Ky., who served two tours in Vietnam. “His support for Veterans and their families is unmatched, and I’m proud to support him for just that reason. Congressman Barr works hard for our Veterans.”