We should be ashamed when the men and women who stepped up to serve our nation are forced to wait months for the care they earned, or face homelessness when they return home. I have a long record fighting for Michigan’s 700,000 men and women in uniform whose sacrifices keep us safe, and I’ll hold government accountable for the lack of respect for our veterans that led to incompetence, neglect, and tragedy at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.
As governor, I will honor our men and women who served in uniform by:
Engaging Valuable Veteran Experience. We must capitalize on the dedicated talent that our veterans have to offer and close the skills gap by working with the US Department of Labor to increase the number of occupations with eligible apprenticeships and leverage federal funding to do this through the GI Bill.
We will work with the National Guard to coordinate training to align with occupational skills and require every state agency to be a veteran friendly employer. We will help build careers for veterans and match qualified vets to many of Michigan’s need-to-fill positions.
Putting training to work because the men and women who bravely defend our country have every right to serve their families and communities with honor and earn a good living. We owe our veterans every opportunity, and must connect them to the paths that lead to good-paying jobs when they return home. Let’s get veterans back into the workforce, help them find jobs, fast-track certification programs, and reduce barriers to opening a business.
Improving care by putting our veterans ahead of politics to make sure they get the benefits and medical care they deserve, including mental health services, addiction care, and counseling. One veteran suicide is too many, and we must do better for our servicemen and women who face the difficult transition of returning home. Michigan has let our veterans down in Grand Rapids, where trained nurses were replaced by a private contractor, leading to the neglect and abuse of our veterans. As Governor, I’ll work across party lines to get more medical staff in veterans homes, increase oversight for service providers, and end the privatization of services for our veterans that led to tragedy.
Returning home should not mean housing uncertainty for our nation’s heroes. I will work with our state housing agency and Michigan banks to help veterans take maximum advantage of VA home mortgage loans, especially in our urban communities.