Thank you for inviting me to share a few words. I want to especially thank Barb Skelton and Paul Gatzemeir for their strong leadership and for their service to our veterans. Montana has a long and proud history of service—including here in Yellowstone County where over 13,000 veterans call home. As Ranking Member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee it is my job to uphold the promise made to all who have served.
I have worked with both parties to cut red tape at the VA, hold the VA more accountable, and increase access to mental health for our veterans. President Trump has signed ten of my veterans bills into law—including the VA MISSION Act that scraps the Choice Program and replaces it with an initiative that works better for veterans and local health care providers. But the VA doesn’t always have the answer. Barb and Paul, and their healing horses, have helped cover that gap in care, and provide veterans with the treatment they deserve.
I have seen firsthand the healing power that equestrian therapy can have on a veteran, and I proudly support the great work being done here at Horses Spirits Healing Inc. The men and women who signed up to serve did so to protect us and preserve our freedom, and now it is our turn to help them. We owe it to the folks who served to do everything we can to help them recover, and I can’t thank you enough for your great work.
Please keep it up, and stay in touch.