I believe that we owe it to the brave men and women who have worn this nation's uniform to ensure that the needs of the Veterans Affairs Department are met. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, I am committed to ensuring that the Senate continue to support America's veterans to the fullest extent possible.
On August 23, I toured the San Francisco VA Medical Center. During my visit, I had the honor of bestowing Purple Hearts on two California U.S. Army National Guard soldiers recently returned from Iraq. I met with researchers and toured the facility's new Center for the Imaging of Neurodegenerative Diseases. And I also met with veterans suffering from Parkinson's disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Gulf War illness. And on August 30, I joined VA officials and Los Angeles County Supervisor Zev Yarovslavksy on a tour of the West Los Angeles Medical Center. During our visit, we also met with a group of veterans to discuss important issues, such as quality health care. We also discussed the controversy over plans to develop the Westwood VA property for commercial use.