December 6, 2023

Two years in the past, once I retired after serving 20 years in america Air Power, there was no query the place I’d put down my remaining roots: Virginia. As a Virginia Seaside native, the Commonwealth is house, but it surely’s additionally among the best locations to dwell for veterans transitioning to civilian life. There’s a purpose practically a million veterans name Virginia house. As a business-friendly state, it’s an unbelievable atmosphere for veteran entrepreneurs like me, and the quite a few federal and state Veteran Affairs services and Veterans Care Facilities throughout the Commonwealth make well being care accessible. 

I’m operating for the Common Meeting to make sure that Virginia stays a pleasant place for not simply veterans to transition to civilian life, but in addition for lively obligation and civilian army personnel. That’s the reason we can not enable Republicans to take care of management of the Home or flip the Senate and acquire full management of the Common Meeting. In each the Home and the Senate, Republicans will enact abortion bans that can make reproductive care well being care tougher for girls to entry. Which means army personnel, each lively and retired, will probably be required to go away Virginia to hunt well being care exterior of our Commonwealth. 

Within the U.S. Air Power, one of many quite a few positions I held within the medical discipline was serving because the noncommissioned officer in control of aeromedical evacuation (AE). I led floor AE groups each at house station and in deployed environments. The mission of AE is to supply time-sensitive, mission-critical affected person care between medical therapy services, particularly in cases the place the present stage of care can’t be offered to the affected person at their present location. I’ve seen firsthand how troublesome it’s, each bodily and emotionally, for sufferers and their households to journey out of state to obtain medical care that’s not obtainable at house. 

I by no means believed that there might be a day the place my fellow airmen must coordinate journey out of Virginia so servicemembers or their spouses may obtain reproductive care. Any measure that will increase abortion restrictions in Virginia would require servicemembers, their households, and veterans to go away Virginia for reproductive care. 

That is occurring proper now in states nationwide which have enacted draconian abortion restrictions. These serving within the army in states like Ohio and Texas should coordinate journey for service members who can’t obtain reproductive well being care close to their base. That journey is presently being threatened by Republicans in Washington holding up a whole bunch of promotions and nominations to get between servicemembers and their medical doctors. 

Republicans in Washington and Virginia need to make reproductive care tougher to entry for girls, no matter its penalties on army households that transfer across the nation and go away their properties to serve. If Virginia needs to stay a pacesetter for veterans and army households, we have to elect Democrats in November to make sure they proceed to have quick access to well being care.

Creator’s bio: Michael Feggans is the Democratic candidate in Home District 97 and a U.S. Air Power veteran.