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Launch of Veterans for Begich

Begich joined by Alaska veterans and military family members


ANCHORAGE — Flanked by Alaska veterans and military family members U.S. Senator Mark Begich recognized the service of Alaska’s veterans and affirmed his commitment to fight for the benefits and services they’ve earned. In turn the veterans and family members joined Begich to launch Veterans for Begich in support of his campaign for U.S. Senate.


Nelson Angpak Speaks (Quote Below)

“Mark Begich is a veteran’s Senator,” said Sergeant Vanessa Meade, retired. “He has helped make sure all Alaska veterans have access to VA health care through his work developing connections between the VA and village corporations, eliminating the unnecessary cost of travel to Anchorage. As a veteran who also worked as a state trooper in the bush, I can’t tell you how important that benefit is to Alaska veterans.”

“Mark Begich has many of the characteristics his father demonstrated and has also risen faster in leadership than any other member of the Senate,” said Specialist 5th Class Nelson Angpak, retired. “As veterans, we asked Senator Begich to help us restore benefits to the Alaska Territorial Guard when people in Washington cut them and he had the willingness and strength to follow through for us so the ATG could receive the full benefits they earned.”

“As a member of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, I am fighting every day so that Alaska veterans like Nelson and Vanessa are represented in the U.S. Senate. As a result, I’ve been successful in restoring COLA benefits to our veteran, reducing the backlog and wait time for veterans waiting for care in Alaska, and expanded care so our rural vets could receive care closer to home. With more veterans per capita than any other state, I am committed to making sure they receive the benefits and care they have earned and deserve,” said Mark Begich.

Begich is currently airing a commercial about his successful fight to earn rural Alaska veterans health care from local clinics, instead of flying to Anchorage:



Veterans for Begich joins the following groups launched in support of Begich’s campaign: Women for Begich — Alaska Natives for Begich — Seniors for Begich — Pilots for Begich

Today, Begich outlined the ways he will continue to fight for Alaska’s veterans:

  • Stopping cost increases to Alaska commissaries.
  • Lowering the staggering rate of military families and children on food stamps.
  • Stamping out veterans homelessness.
  • Making sure veterans have career transition support, both right out of the military and later in their careers.

In the U.S. Senate, Begich has built a record of fighting and delivering for Alaska’s veterans:

  • Alaska Territorial Guard – In 2009, Senator Begich successfully secured reinstatement of pension payments for members of the WWII-era Alaska Territorial Guard.
  • “Significant legislative victory for veterans” – The Disabled American Veteranscalled Begich’s push to establish advanced appropriation for veterans health programs “the most significant legislative victory of veterans in a generation.”
  • Extended TRICARE for Military Dependents – In 2011, Begich helped extended TRICARE services for dependent children of military members to the age of 26.
  • Waived Telehealth Copays – In 2012, Begich and Sen. Grassley’s proposal to waive copays for telehealth and telemedicine visits for veterans was signed into law.
  • Historic Rural Care Access – Begich followed through on campaign promise to helpveterans access care closer to home by allowing rural veterans access to Native health facilities.
  • Recognition from Combat Veterans’ Organization - In March, Begich received an Inspirational Leadership Award from the Military Order of the Purple Heart for his work on behalf of veterans.