EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

January 20, 2013

Column: We must serve those who have served us

Ann McLane Kuster

I’m the daughter and daughter-in-law of World War II veterans.

My father, Malcolm McLane, flew 63 missions in his P-47 fighter plane before being shot down in the Battle of the Bulge on Christmas Eve in 1944. He spent the last six months of the war in a German prisoner of war camp.

My husband’s father, Bob Kuster, set up advance communications for the Army. He landed on the beaches of Normandy — while my father flew cover overhead — and his unit liberated the concentration camps at the end of the war.

Earlier this month, as I was appointed to the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee in the United States Congress, my thoughts turned to my father and father-in-law, and the generations of veterans who have sacrificed so much to protect our country and way of life.

As a nation, we have no higher responsibility than to honor their service and sacrifice — not just one day a year, but every day; not just with our words, but with our actions. As a member of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee, that’s exactly what I will do.

Our work starts with ensuring that all veterans have access to high-quality health care. The men and women of our armed forces put their lives on the line every day to defend our freedom. When they come home, we owe them and their families the peace of mind that comes from knowing they have access to medical care they can count on.

Before coming to Congress, I brought the private and public sectors together to make health care more accessible and affordable in New Hampshire. I will use that experience to improve medical care for our veterans and make the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) more efficient, so that every taxpayer dollar in the VA’s budget advances a simple mission: supporting our veterans.

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