DISAMBIGUATION NOTICE: This is the webpage for Veterans for Common Sense (VCS), a 501(c)(3) veterans service organization based in Washington, DC – not to be confused with the “Veterans Coalition for Common Sense“ or “Florida Veterans for Common Sense“ or the “Florida Veterans for Common Sense Fund”.
Since 2002, Veterans for Common Sense has continued to provide critical information and education on issues related to veterans, the military, and U.S. foreign affairs.
Veterans for Common Sense maintains a special focus on improving the VA and programs and services for veterans and military service members, the costs of war, and military toxic exposure issues.
VCS FACT SHEET: The Honoring Our PACT Act: What Does it Do?
VCS Praises PACT Act becoming law: “For the countless veterans — and their survivors — affected by toxic wounds resulting from military toxic exposure, the Honoring Our PACT Act is an important step forward for every veteran affected by one of the cancers or respiratory diseases now recognized in law or newly eligible for VA healthcare. VCS was honored to be at the White House yesterday as President Biden signed this bipartisan legislation into law, marking a new national reckoning with long overlooked toxic wounds and the millions of veterans forever affected by them.” (8/11/2022)
VCS Statement on the PACT Act: “Once upon a time, national defense issues including veterans’ issues were sacred in our national politics. We stand with our fellow Gulf War, post-9/11, Vietnam, and other toxic-wounded veterans in pointedly reminding Congress: national defense including veterans issues should never be subject to partisan politics. Stop playing politics with veterans. Pass the Honoring Our PACT Act now!” -Anthony Hardie, National Chair & Director, Veterans for Common Sense. Read the full VCS statement. (7/29/2022)
VCS in the news today: Nerve Gas Sarin Probably Caused Gulf War Syndrome –“…this landmark study offers a clear path for the VA to definitively presume sarin exposure for all 1991 Gulf War veterans, and to stop denying all these claims,” -Anthony Hardie, Veterans For Common Sense’s National Chair & Director. “Right now, most veterans who file a claim with the VA are denied,” he noted. (U.S. News & World Report, May 12, 2022)
VCS is in the Washington Post today: “Biden wonders publicly whether burn pits caused his son’s death. Activists want him to do more on the issue“). “In August, VA announced it was granting presumptive status to three additional conditions — asthma, rhinitis and sinusitis. Some 4,000 veterans have received benefits from those conditions, according to McDonough — but advocates say it’s barely made a dent. ‘Burn pits claims continue to be denied at an 80 percent rate — these are our concerns, not a runny nose,’ said Anthony Hardie, director of Veterans for Common Sense. ‘There’s a lot of veterans sick, a lot dying, a lot of families suffering. There needs to be substantive change where it matters.'” (Washington Post, November 28, 2021)
VCS in the News: “Bills in Congress to improve veterans’ access to health care are moving forward“: In response to the Cost of War Act, The Veterans for Common Sense told [Boston 25 News] in a written statement “The most critical part of these competing toxic exposure bills is ensuring the greatest number of health conditions are made “presumptive” for the largest number of veterans.” (Boston 25 News, October 17, 2021)
VCS advocacy for the “Presumptive Benefits for War Fighters Exposed to Burn Pits and Other Toxins Act” is in the news again. (Florida Daily, “Marco Rubio Continues to Push Benefits for Veterans Exposed to Burn Pits”, September 15, 2021)
One of the world’s largest investment banks, Jefferies, has recognized Veterans for Common Sense’s work with a $25,000 grant, for which VCS is sincerely grateful. “Jefferies’ Clients, Employees and Shareholders Contribute $6 Million to 45 Charities Supporting Those Most in Need in Afghanistan, Haiti, as Well as Military Veterans” (Jeffries, August 25, 2021)
Capitol Hill Forum on Gulf War Illness: Veterans for Common Sense, in collaboration with other veterans and military service organizations, hosts leading Gulf War Illness researchers and clinicians for a Capitol Hill Forum on Gulf War Illness. (August 23, 2021)
Costs of Caring for Afghanistan and Iraq Vets to Top $2T by 2050. “…the largest single long-term cost of these wars will be benefits and medical care…” (Brown University Press Release, August 18, 2021)
VCS in the News: “Rep. Axne Reintroduces Bipartisan Legislation to Connect National Guard and Reservists with In-Demand Skills Training, Employment” (Press Release, July 27, 2021)
VCS joins 37 organizations writing to the Department of Education sharing negotiated rulemaking priorities including substantial student and borrower representation among negotiators, and strengthening safeguards against predatory practices from for-profit institutions by reinstating the gainful employment regulation and having a strong borrower defense rule. (July 1, 2021)
VCS in the News: “Nearly All” VA Claims for Gulf War Illness “Improperly Denied” (May 20, 2021)
VCS in the News: Gulf War Illness Treatments Discovered. Will Veterans Affairs Officials Listen Now? (April 6, 2021)
Veterans for Common Sense strongly supports the VA VACCINE Act. (March 9, 2021). LATEST UPDATE (03/19/2021): This legislation passed Congress and was signed into law by President Biden, after being further expanded as the Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize all Veterans and Every Spouse (SAVE LIVES) Act.
Veterans for Common Sense is on NPR’s Here and Now show today, marking the 30th anniversary of the 1991 Gulf War’s ground campaign. “…VA continues to deny most Gulf War veterans’ claims. We have a little saying about that — ‘delay, deny, wait until we die’ before they’re approved…” (WBUR/NPR, February 23, 2021)
Veterans for Common Sense among 53 organizations issuing Letter to Congress on Student and Taxpayer Protections. Veterans have been specifically targeted and disproportionately harmed by predatory for-profit colleges. A loophole has the unfortunate consequence of incentivizing for-profit schools to target veterans, service members, and their families with aggressive and deceptive recruiting tactics in order to gain access to their GI Bill and military tuition aid. 53 Organizations, including Veterans Education Success, Student Veterans of America, and Veterans for Common Sense today issued this letter to Congress on these and related issues. (February 2, 2021)
Veterans for Common Sense among 72 organizations and hundreds of individuals calling on the USEPA to stop open-air burning of toxins at this U.S. military installation within the United States. (January 16, 2021)
Statement on the Peaceful Transfer of Power: 38 Organizations, including Veterans for Common Sense, release the following statement about the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States (January 19, 2021)
Veterans for Common Sense Provides Testimony for Congressional Hearing on Toxic Exposure Presumptive Conditions (Available December 9, 2020)
Veterans for Common Sense among 104 organizations calling for Congress to complete annual Appropriations bills stalled in the Senate: Failure to soon enact the fiscal year 2021 Defense Appropriations Act will result in cessation of critical Servicemembers and veteran medical research programs affecting veterans with Gulf War Illness and Burn Pits exposure (September 10, 2020)
Open Letter from Veterans for Common Sense. Join veterans from around the country in signing the open letter regarding the murder of George Floyd and anti-racism, constitutional principles. and concerns regarding the Insurrection Act. (June 6, 2020)
VVA, Veterans for Common Sense Call for Peripheral Neuropathy Research (February 22, 2020)
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