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Congressman Takes Veteran to State of the Union Address


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Congressman Takes Veteran to State of the Union Address

By Angela Monroe. CREATED Jan 24, 2014

 The President will be giving the State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Our local Congressman, Dr. Raul Ruiz, will be there, and he's bringing a special guest from our area.
The Congressman has invited retired Air Force Sergeant Andrew Walker.
He's a veteran who has a long history of service, both in the Air Force and now as an officer for the state.
Retired Sergeant Andrew Walker is working as a state officer.
Before that he served 30 years in the Air Force, 
"I've participated in every military campaign from 1977 to current, except for the Norieaga."
In that time, Walker suffered several injuries.
He applied for medical assistance through the Veteran's Affairs system.
"What I was entitled to after all the years of service, I thought it was going to be a little easier process.. and it turned out it wasn't that way."
Walker was stuck in the backlog for six years.
He looked for help, and eventually found Congressman Raul Ruiz.
"He's a doctor, and for him to see what I had written, I thought it would make an impact, he would understand," said Walker.
The Congressman was able to help, and encourages other veterans to reach out.
"Especially our veterans that they can call us at any time, and we can help them process their claims and expedite that," said Ruiz.
Congressman Ruiz has been working on a bipartisan bill to address the backlog at the VA.
"Combine the electronic medical records from that of the of the VA with the Department of Defense, so that we don't have to wait over two years to get medical records to process the claims, but we can do it as fast as the click of the mouse," said Congressman Ruiz.
And for the Congressman, it just seemed to click to bring Walker to the State of the Union address.
"Two years ago I was an emergency medicine physician working in the emergency department, taking care of people locally, and two years later I find myself in the State of the Union, in our Nation's Capital was such a big change, and this is what it's all about, just to give those experiences also to the people I represent," said Ruiz.
"For him to take the interest to even remember me, I feel very honored," said Walker.
As a serviceman himself, Walker appreciates Ruiz's service.
"It's my honor," said Ruiz.
Walker says he flies out Monday.
The Congressman says he'll also be receiving a tour of the Capitol building, and hopefully get a chance to go inside the White House.