WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama pledged Monday to make good on his promise to transform the Department of Veterans Affairs, and said he would "dramatically improve" mental health aid.
Flanked by Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki, the president said his budget calls for a $25 billion increase in funding for the VA over the next five years - a commitment that will be tested by the needs presented by veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.
"With this budget, we don't just fully fund our Veterans Affairs health care program, we expand it to serve an additional 500,000 veterans by 2013," he said.
He promised that the VA would "dramatically improve services" related to mental health, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury - and said homeless veterans would be targeted for support.
"Those heroes have a home," he said. "It's the country they served, the United States of America, and until we reach a day when not a single veteran sleeps on our nation's streets, our work remains unfinished."
March 16th, 2009 5:03 pm ET
We don't need your kind of "help", Obama. All you are after is to take over our lives like we are a bunch of blithering idiots who can't look after ourselves, much like the people who voted for you.
Abigail, maybe you should look at the exit polls again. Obama won those with a college education overwhelmingly. Blithering idiots believed he wasn't born here and that he wanted to teach sex ed to kindergarteners instead of teaching them how to read. McCain railed against a new GI Bill, saying the benefits were "too good" and that it would hurt retention. Which candidate cared more about veterans?
Excellent, the veterans deserve the help they need!
Thank you Mr. President.