Vol. 57, No. 5

In this edition

With American politics polarized and America facing an increasing number of threats around the world, the 5th Annual Veterans Day Special Edition of The Ripon Forum shines a light on a group of Republican and Democratic leaders who are working across the aisle to take care of our veterans and keep our nation secure.

“A Time to Reflect on the Privilege, Service, and Sacrifice of Veterans.”

Veterans Day is our opportunity to celebrate and thank those who served honorably and returned to build their lives as our fellow citizens.

“Live Everyday According to Their Values: Duty, Honor, and Service…”

More military virtue is needed in Washington. Unfortunately, there are some who seemingly care more about their party than their country.

“A Life of Service is One That is Well-Lived.”

It is critical that we remember those who have fought for our values and those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of all we hold dear.

Working Across the Aisle for America’s Veterans

The Chairman and Ranking Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee have put politics aside to fulfill the promise President Lincoln has made to veterans, their families, and their survivors.

Bridging the Partisan Divide for Our Veterans and National Security

In these highly polarized times, Republican and Democratic veteran members of the For Country Caucus are working together to keep America secure and help those who served.

Putting Veterans at the Center of Their Care: If the VA won’t implement the MISSION Act, Congress must step in

If the VA won’t implement the MISSION Act, Congress must step in.

Beyond the Uniform: Veterans Shaping Civic and Political Landscapes

A look at how veterans are shaping the civic and political landscape heading into the 2024 election.

Veterans in the White House: A Brief History of Presidents Who Served

Of the 35 men who have served as President, 31 previously served in uniform, as well.

Housing First Does Nothing to Solve the Homelessness Crisis

Despite spending billions of dollars, the number of homeless individuals has continued to rise.

The VA assists Veterans in a Way the Private System Cannot

We need a system that allows veterans to have options for the best of what VA can offer, as well as the best of what the private sector can offer.

To Protect Service Members and Honor Veterans, Reform the VA

Privatization of the VHA would improve health care for veterans and nonveterans alike.

Ripon Profile of Mariannette Miller-Meeks

Veteran and Lawmaker U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-01) discusses her career in the military and her job on Capitol Hill.

Ripon Profile of Mariannette Miller-Meeks

Name & Occupation: Mariannette Miller-Meeks; Ophthalmologist (physician) and Congresswoman

Previous positions held: Iowa State Senator; Director of Iowa Dept of Public Health; President, Iowa Medical Society; Chief of Medical Staff, Ottumwa Regional Hospital; Councilor, American Academy of Ophthalmology; Alternate Delegate, American Medical Association; Assistant Professor, University of Michigan and University of Iowa

Your desire to serve others is evident in your distinguished military record. How does your service shape your approach to serving in Congress? A life of service shapes my worldview that I work for the betterment of my district, State and country. It requires some humility, which can be in short supply in DC.

What is one piece of advice you have for someone considering joining the U.S. Army today? Absolutely consider it as there is so much to gain, and very little to lose. You gain formal education, discipline, focus, training, experience, tremendous colleagues which may be friends for a lifetime, and the privilege to serve your country. And all of this knowledge and experience is translatable into any workplace, career direction or field and even your personal life.

What has been your greatest accomplishment for veterans since being elected to Congress?The Vet Tech Bill, VIP Act, the work we are doing on veteran suicide and PTSD with emerging breakthrough therapies and our push since April 2021 until today to get SIV’s for our Afghan interpreters and allies who risked their lives for our US servicemen and women.

If there was one thing you could change in the VA system, big or small, what would it be and why? To deliver high-quality care, with great ease, regardless, of where a veteran lives, and regardless of whether it is at a VA facility, or in the community.