AP NEWS

Mrozinski wraps up Washington trip

March 21, 2018

La PORTE — Rich Mrozinski, chairman of the Veterans of Foreign Wars’ national legislative committee for Indiana, said his most recent trip to Washington, D.C., on behalf of the organization was more fruitful than ever.

“This was my 15th trip in eight years and the most successful so far,” Mrozinski said of his March pilgrimage to the nation’s capital.

Mrozinski, elected to the La Porte County Board of Commissioners in 2016 after serving two terms as county councilman, said he met with U.S. Sen. Todd Young, a Republican, and Sen. Joe Donnelly, a Democrat, as well as eight of the nine congressional House members from Indiana during his four-day visit.

Most conversations with lawmakers were 10 to 20 minutes each, he said, not including longer sessions with legislative staff members and group sessions with top policy-makers.

One of the photographs Mrozinski brought back last week was one of him and others posing with Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin.

“We like him,” Mrozinski said.

Better health care for veterans has been a top issue for the VFW. Mrozinski said Shulkin has been working hard to reduce wait times at Veterans Administration clinics and improve access to health care providers.

Most lawmakers from Indiana are on board with the VFW’s legislative agenda, he said.

“They take the time to talk with us because they know how how important it is,” said Mrozinski, an Air Force veteran.

Other top issues for the organization include better care for women veterans and an end to sequestration — automatically triggered across-the-board budget limits enacted in 2011 — which Mrozinski said hurts the military and veterans.

“If we’re going to continue to have a leadership role in global affairs, we’ve got to maintain our military readiness,” he said. “We need to be the world leader we profess to be.”

Mrozinski is a member of VFW Post 9423 in Rolling Prairie.