Dr. Boozman's Check-up

Veterans face the same daily challenges we all do like finding adequate housing, family concerns, problems with an employer and other issues that sometimes require legal help. However, these problems can be exacerbated by a service-related disability or other complications unique to those who served in our nation’s uniform.

Fortunately, it is easy to connect with legal resources through the VA healthcare system and other organizations in Arkansas that help veterans navigate these situations and reach favorable outcomes.

For the last ten years, the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHS) has partnered with Arkansas Legal Services to assist with common legal problems veterans face. This includes service-related issues such as benefit denials and discharge upgrade appeals, and also non-service issues like family law and landlord/tenant disputes.  

Veterans can also contact the Veterans Legal Services Clinic at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock. The William H. Bowen School of Law program helps with compensation appeals, discharge upgrades and referrals to other lawyers and organizations that can assist with civil legal matters. 

For veterans served by Veterans Healthcare System of the Ozarks (VHSO), Legal Aid of Arkansas has a walk-in clinic on the medical center campus two days a week. Veterans can also find information and register for legal assistance online. 

I am also pleased to see the growing number of counties in our state with Veterans Treatment Courts. These voluntary, multi-phase intervention programs are specifically for veterans involved in the justice system due to underlying substance abuse or mental health disorders. Veterans can connect to these options through the Arkansas Judiciary or by reaching out to contacts with the VA’s Veterans Justice Outreach specialists.

I am proud to support resources like these and appreciate the great work Arkansans are doing to serve veterans as they have served us.

America’s National Parks continue to see a record number of visitors. Last year alone, the National Park Service reported a four percent increase with more than 325 million visits. If you are taking a summer road trip, plan ahead to make sure you aren’t left outside the gates.

As a result of the increasing demand, more locations require reservations for timed entry. At some parks, this is only for the most popular sites and peak times. However, many of our busiest parks require reservations for all park-goers as officials try to better manage resources and make sure visitors get to experience the full beauty and history of these important places.

Before you take off, be sure to do a few things: 

First, check out the reservation system used by many of our parks, campgrounds and historic sites across the country at Recreation.gov. This site handles everything from a day pass at Rocky Mountain National Park to tour reservations at Blanchard Springs Caverns in Arkansas. Available dates are rolled out at different times, so check back frequently. In addition, some parks and campgrounds still handle their own booking, so be sure to check both Recreation.gov and the specific website for your destination to make sure you have the passes and information you need. 

Second, consider getting an annual or lifetime pass to our National Park system. These range in price, but are less expensive if you are over 62.  They are free for active military and their dependents, Americans with permanent disabilities and fourth graders nationwide. 

Finally, don’t forget about Arkansas! We are blessed with beautiful state and federal parks, forests and historic sites – many of which are free to visit. The National Historic Site in Fort Smith recently announced it is now fee-free so families can enjoy the museum and walk around the grounds on the banks of the Arkansas River at no cost. In addition, the National Park Service offers several free entrance days during the year for all National Park visitors. The remaining days this year are June 19, August 4, September 28 and November 11.

I grew up in a military home. As the son of an Air Force Master Sergeant who served for more than 20 years, I learned at an early age about how military service is a family affair.

I’m proud to join my colleague Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to introduce a resolution designating April as the Month of the Military Child to recognize those whose parents serve in uniform and acknowledge their unique experience.

Month of the Military Child is observed each April to honor and celebrate military children and youth for their service, commitment and sacrifice in support of the Department of Defense’s mission. The observance reiterates a commitment to provide these children the positive development and best care they need for a bright future.

It’s a privilege to support military families and improve policies to better meet their needs. Last month, I introduced the Helping Heroes Act of 2023. This legislation recognizes the work done by the approximately 2.3 million children living in homes with a disabled veteran and seeks to provide critical support and assistance to connect these young caregivers with additional resources so we can help them at every stage. We’re working to incentive hiring military spouses who face challenges in finding meaningful employment as a result of frequent moves for new military assignments. I’m also championing bipartisan legislation to update the Dependence and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits for military survivors. The Caring for Survivors Act of 2023 would bring payments to DIC recipients in line with payments to surviving spouses of other federal employees as DIC benefits currently lag behind other programs’ payments by nearly 12 percent.

Through these proposals and others, I’m proud to advocate for military kids and families so we can improve their quality of life and address the specific needs that come with being an extension of our nation’s Armed Forces.

As the city of Bentonville marks its 150th anniversary this year, I’m proud to help recognize such a significant milestone. I recently submitted remarks to the Congressional Record, the document of the official proceedings of Congress, highlighting this occasion and praising some of the features that make this community so unique, dynamic and successful. As a resident of Northwest Arkansas for several decades now, I’ve seen firsthand the impact of the city’s growth on the entire region and its ability to attract visitors and new residents alike for the enhanced quality of life and opportunities it offers.

I was pleased to present Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman with a signed copy of the Congressional Record as part of the State of the City Community Recognition program celebrating its past, present and future.

Presenting the Congressional Record to Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman

The following remarks are printed in the Congressional Record:

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Bentonville

I rise today to recognize Bentonville, Arkansas’s 150th anniversary.

Founded in 1873, Bentonville has a long and vibrant history. In 1837, a site was designated as the county seat for Benton County. Then in January 1873, residents filed a petition with Benton County to incorporate as the Town of Bentonville. On March 28, incorporating documents including a petition, map, and transcripts of the court hearing were certified, and in April, the certified incorporating documents were officially filed with Benton County.

The county and the town, which became the county seat, were named in honor of Senator Thomas Hart Benton, from Missouri, in recognition of his advocacy for westward expansion of the United States that resulted in Arkansas’s admission to the Union.  

Over the years, this community has grown and flourished, becoming a hub of commerce and culture in the region. It officially became a city in 1905 and was known most for the agricultural activity that characterized its economy and lifestyle. Just a few decades later, its economic footprint began to change. By 1950, Sam Walton had opened the original Walton’s 5&10 store on the Bentonville Square and helped transform the city as the company continued grow, expanding its influence both locally and globally. 

Bentonville is also home to the stunning Crystal Bridges Art Museum, which houses a world-class collection of American art. The museum's architecture and natural surroundings make it a must-see destination for art lovers throughout the U.S. and around the world. 

The Natural State is blessed with over 100,000 miles of streams and rivers, 600,000 acres of lakes, hundreds of miles of trails and over 3.2 million acres of public land, and Bentonville is a great example of a community that embodies the opportunity these outdoor amenities hold. The city has become a premiere cycling destination with over 181 miles of dedicated trail across Bentonville and neighboring cities in the county. These paths have become a key cultural and economic driver and represent the strong recreational quality of life that thrives in the region.

Given its rapid growth, I’ve been proud to work with local leaders and support their efforts to improve infrastructure and allow citizens to enjoy these trails or access the unique opportunities available in the community and throughout Northwest Arkansas. 

Congratulations to the entire Bentonville community on the milestone of 150 years and counting. I applaud the City of Bentonville Public Art Advisory Committee members for their hard work and dedication in organizing the celebratoryevents. They have brought pieces of the past together in a commemorative logo that defines the history, small-town feel and culture that is Bentonville. The state flower of the apple blossom shares the story of the city’s history as a one-time top apple producer. I’m pleased to see the excitement in recognition of this occasion and wish the community the very best as it continues to grow, help define Northwest Arkansas and serve as wonderful place to live, work and explore.

As someone who grew up in Fort Smith, I know how much of a gamechanger this is for the community and our state as it will enhance economic development and opportunity in the region and strengthen Arkansas’s role in defending our national security. The Arkansas Congressional Delegation has worked tirelessly along with state and community leaders to demonstrate to the Air Force what we all knew – Fort Smith is the best location for this mission.

Here is some coverage of the excitement surrounding the selection in the River Valley and beyond:

KFSM: Officials say the military pilot training could possibly have an economic impact on the region as high as $1 billion a year. 

SWARK Today: Since 2021, when the U.S. Air Force announced Ebbing Air National Guard Base as its preferred location for these missions, members of the delegation have worked to strengthen relationships with Singapore leaders and allies who have an interest in enhancing their air power with the F-35 in addition to recently securing $28 million to support the F-35 FMS program.

KATV: Ebbing ANGB will become the new location for the 425th Fighter Squadron, a Republic of Singapore F-16 Fighting Falcon training unit, currently based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

KAIT: State leaders have delivered critical funding in support of an expanded runway and community leaders have demonstrated their commitment to investments in this project, warm welcomes to foreign dignitaries, and a widespread embrace of the project at public comment events.

Stars and Stripes: Ebbing ANGB was selected to host this mission based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, environmental considerations and cost.

Dem Gaz: “We're very excited for all that this means for Fort Smith and the region. We are ready and willing to welcome these military members and their families to our community and show them the true meaning of Fort Smith hospitality. This is a big achievement for the area and one that will pay dividends for decades to come." 

Talk Business: This new training center will bring about 900 military members and their families to the Fort Smith region, the chamber noted. The U.S. Air Force anticipates moving approximately 230 personnel to the base, and the Republic of Singapore will have 300 military personnel with 300 dependent families in the region.

Arkansas Business: Boozman called the announcement a "gamechanger" for Fort Smith. "The Arkansas Congressional Delegation has worked tirelessly along with state and community leaders to demonstrate to the Air Force what we all knew — Fort Smith is the best location for this mission," he said.

Deltaplex News: Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Congressman Steve Womack applauded the U.S. Air Force’s selection of Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith as the home of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) mission that will bring F-35 fighter planes and a Republic of Singapore F-16 squadron to the installation.

Times Record - It became official on Wednesday. Ebbing Air National Guard Base will be the location for the U.S. Air Force foreign jet fighter training program.

With an economic impact to the Arkansas River Valley anticipated to be about $1 billion a year, foreign pilots are expected to start training sometime between September 2024 and September 2025, the Air Force's fiscal year.


WASHINGTON – The Rural Community Assistance Partnership Incorporated (RCAP) honored U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) with its 2023 Congressional Champion Award for his outstanding service, dedication and tireless advocacy on behalf of rural community and small towns in Arkansas and across the nation. 

“As a rural state, Arkansas has unique needs that I’ve been proud to champion including expanded broadband, improved access to health care and modernized delivery of safe drinking water along with reforming how small communities can afford to update water and wastewater infrastructure. I’m honored to receive this recognition and will continue to advance causes important to residents who call these communities home as well as provide them with critical resources. As we craft the next farm bill, I am committed to enhancing policies that preserve the rural way of life,” Boozman said.

 Senator Boozman was honored with the RCAP Congressional Champion Award.

RCAP’s congressional award is given to lawmakers who have gone above and beyond in backing policies that support small communities and take action on their behalf. RCAP Congressional Champion Award recipients have shown themselves to be exceptional allies of the RCAP network and the needs of rural America.