Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Wed, Oct. 27

Council delegate Kee Allen Begay Jr. seeks to address lack of veteran healthcare and services on Navajo Nation
Delegate advocates for veterans, gold and blue star families

Western Navajo Agency Veterans, Billy Goodman, Jr., Leslie Dele and Don Coleman posting colors for the 2021 Navajo Nation Council Summer Session. Currently, there is no Veteran’s Affairs office or direct federal service available on the Navajo Nation. (Photo courtesy of the Navajo Nation Council)

Western Navajo Agency Veterans, Billy Goodman, Jr., Leslie Dele and Don Coleman posting colors for the 2021 Navajo Nation Council Summer Session. Currently, there is no Veteran’s Affairs office or direct federal service available on the Navajo Nation. (Photo courtesy of the Navajo Nation Council)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — A new resolution in the Navajo Nation is requesting Congress and the Biden-Harris Administration establish a direct line of service for veterans and their families on the Navajo Nation.

This resolution came after reports of excessive delays for veterans seeking healthcare and other basic services from the federal government.

Resolution No. NABIAU-25-21 is sponsored by Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay Jr. of the 24th Navajo Nation Council and was presented during a Naabik’íyáti’ Committee meeting hosted earlier this month.

“Our veterans and their families deserve the best care and support possible from our respective veteran agencies at the local and federal level. Educational opportunities need to be expanded and the proper infrastructure for electric and water lines need to be constructed,” Begay said.

Currently, no Veterans Affairs (VA) offices or direct federal services are available on the Navajo Nation, resulting in long wait or travel times for veterans seeking care. Although the Navajo Veterans Administration offers some basic services, it is limited to housing and a financial assistance program.

In 2010, tribal leaders gathered to offer comments on a Memorandum of Understanding to address the lack of healthcare access to the VA and the Indian Health Service (IHS). Reports showed that the IHS lacked the funding and specific support to address the post-traumatic stress disorders and other traumatic brain injuries experienced by Native American veterans nationally.

“We need to ensure our veterans and their surviving spouses, and our gold and blue star mothers, get the support they need. President Joe Biden must uphold his commitment to uplift veterans and their families during this pandemic,” Begay said.

As of this year, there are more than 128,000 Native American veterans living in the U.S. with approximately 10,000 veterans from the Navajo Nation.

Information provided by Navajo Nation Council

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