Veterans React to Trump Budget's Proposed Increase in Veteran Care

President Donald Trump has released his budget blueprint, which would increase funding to services for veterans.

Trump would give the Department of Veterans Affairs a 6-percent bump from its 2017 budget. The president's budget calls for a $4.6 billion increase for VA health care, by improving access and timeliness of medical care. It also extends the Veterans Choice Program and funds services for at-risk and homeless veterans and their families.

On Friday, a group of veterans took part in the Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride at White Rock Lake in Dallas. It was the first ride for Sgt. First Class Aubrey Hamilton and Sgt. Derek Brown of Temple, Texas. Both said they enjoyed the camaraderie of getting to know veterans on the open road.

"Guys that have been through combat, and understand and can relate to what you are talking about. There is not a lot of that in the civilian world," Brown said.

Friday's bike ride included 18 miles, and over the course of the three-day weekend they will travel 36 miles total.

Hamilton, who has several injuries, was enjoying the challenge. His military career spanned more than 20 years.

"I will never be the same, but I'm trying to keep on, keeping on," said Hamilton.

Hamilton said he has had very good care, but it has been a little tougher for Brown. Both men applaud more money going to veterans in the president's budget.

"We do a lot when we are over there. Yes, we volunteer to do it, but on the back side of it, you know, I think the care system needs to be brought up," said Brown, who added, "I am not hurt nearly as bad as a lot of other veterans that need the care, so I think it's important for them."

But on this day, their focus was on the open road and getting through 36 miles while spending time with other veterans.

"I think if, you know, they put the money in the right spots and get people into the VA and get them the care they deserve, you can get more people out here to do this," said Brown.

MORE: Read more in the president's budget blueprint, including Veterans Affairs funding on Page 39.

Contact Us