Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez attended the Navajo Nation Veterans Services and Benefit Summit at the UNM-Gallup.
(Photo by Rick Abasta)
Published October 11, 2017
WINDOW ROCK – On Monday, Oct. 9, President Russell Begaye signed the reauthorization of the Veterans Trust Fund, which extends the fund from lapsing through fiscal year 2020.
“By reauthorizing the Veterans Trust Fund, the Office of the President and Vice President will continue building homes for veterans in all five Navajo agencies,” President Begaye said. “Through working with the Navajo Veterans Administration, we will continue to gather names of veterans who are in need of housing and aggressively build homes across the Nation.”
The president noted that the reauthorization assists the Nation in working with companies who build modular homes and utilizing these services for the purposes of housing veterans.
Originally signed in September 2013, the resolution amends the Navajo Nation Veterans Trust Fund to provide for equal distribution of the annual comprehensive amount budgeted between the Navajo Nation Trust Fund and the Department of Navajo Veterans Affairs (currently the Navajo Veterans Administration) to construct up to 15 homes and provide for minor renovations and repairs.
In order for the necessary funds to remain available for the Veterans Housing Program to use and not lapse on Sept. 30, 2017, a reauthorization of the resolution is required. The reauthorization administers continued availability of these funds by extending their exemption from the lapsing requirement until the end of FY 2020.
Many Navajo Veterans have expressed frustration with the red tape they face in dealing with the bureaucratic federal processes. The Office of the President and Vice President will continue to work with state and federal agencies to facilitate easier processing of claims and benefits.
“This reauthorization will provide the Nation a greater opportunity to assist our Navajo Veterans by providing funding to build, renovate and repair homes for a critical segment of our Navajo population,” Vice President Jonathan Nez said. “Our Navajo Veterans have given so much to protect our freedom. It is our responsibility as a Nation to give back to them.”