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May 30, 2013

  05/31/13 As part of a district-wide tour, Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (IN-02) Wednesday met with County Veterans Service Officer (VSO) Pam Schweizer-Betz and a group of 20 Marshall County veterans at VFW Post #1162 to hear concerns and issues affecting the local veterans’ community.


“After our brave servicemembers return home, Congress must ensure the VA is properly utilizing their resources to reduce the backlog and resolve inefficiencies that are delaying claims,” said Walorski, a member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee.  “I encourage veterans to meet with their VSO and work with the service officers to file paperwork and expedite claims.  Our goal is to remain an effective sounding board for Hoosier veterans to ensure their needs are addressed at home in Indiana and in Washington.”


According to the most recent report from the VA regional office in Indianapolis, the average wait time for a Hoosier veteran is 443 days, with over 12,000 claims pending over 125 days.  During the visit, Walorski spoke with Schweizer-Betz and veterans to learn more about local challenges, seeking effective ways to highlight the role of the VSO and improve veterans’ resources.  Indiana’s Second District is home to an estimated 53,318 veterans.


“We appreciate Rep. Walorski stopping in Plymouth to listen to the concerns of Hoosier veterans,” said Marshall County VSO Pam Schweizer-Betz.  “Her continued efforts to reduce the backlog and serve as our voice in Congress are important to Hoosier veterans and their families.  She is clearly working hard at the grassroots level to connect VSO’s with veterans to help with claims and local outreach.”


Walorski visited LaPorte, Starke, Fulton, and Pulaski earlier Wednesday and plans to stop in all 10 counties of Indiana’s Second District over the next couple of days to meet with various veterans groups and service officers to hear concerns and share a legislative update from her committee work and sponsored legislation in Congress. 


Over the past month, Walorski led a letter from members of the Indiana delegation to VA Secretary Shinseki inquiring about the impact of the new 2.3% medical device tax on the VA and prosthetics for veterans.  Just last week, a separate letter was sent to the President requesting a plan to address the lack of timeliness for VA claims, particularly a decision about the electronic transfer of medical information between the Department of Defense and the VA.


Marshall County VSO Pam Schweizer-Betz can be reached at (574) 935-8543 or e-mailed at