WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) released the following statement after attending the State of the Union with Gil Hernandez, a constituent from Elko, Nevada. Mr. Hernandez is a Vietnam combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient who, for the past five decades, has dedicated his life to serving veterans by advocating for funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs, services to support veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress, illnesses associated with Agent Orange and burn pits, and equal care and facilities for female veterans.
“I hope that the President will keep the many promises that he made during his speech tonight,” said Senator Rosen. “This Administration must continue to work with Congress to support those who have given everything to protect our great nation. Veterans like my guest tonight, Gil Hernandez, know the struggles faced by our heroes who suffer from physical and mental health conditions. We must work in a bipartisan manner to increase medical treatment and veteran services for these heroes and break down barriers to care.”
“Here’s the truth,” Rosen continued. “When it comes to health care, immigration, prescription drug prices, and climate change, this Administration continues to undermine the ACA and strip protections for pre-existing conditions at every turn, dehumanize our immigrant communities, and ignore the science behind climate change. I will never stop fighting to protect and improve our health care system, standing up for our immigrant communities, or combating the real threat of climate change in order to protect our environment.”
BACKGROUND: During the Vietnam War, Mr. Hernandez’s tank was ambushed by explosives. Critically wounded, he was pronounced dead three times before finally being discovered to be alive. As a result of his injuries, Mr. Hernandez was unable to continue his dream of serving in the Marine Corps, but has instead devoted his life to bettering the lives of his fellow veterans.
Hernandez previously served as chairman of the Elko Convention and Visitors Authority board for four years and is a member of Elko Bighorns Unlimited and a founder of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Hernandez has received several awards and recognitions for his work and was named Veteran of the Month, All-American State Commander of the VFW, and was chosen to lead the Nevada VFW in 2007. He was honored with Great Basin College’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015.
Read about Gil’s heroic story here.