The freshman Democrat and veteran was joined by VA Secretary Robert Wilkie in Staten Island.

Democratic Rep. Max Rose visited the Staten Island Community VA Clinic this month, where he joined Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to talk with veterans and clinic staff about providing high-quality health care. 

Rose is a veteran himself, having served as an active duty officer in Afghanistan. His experience returning to civilian life after combat has influenced his work in Congress, leading him to serve on Veterans’ Affairs committee and focusing on improving veterans’ healthcare and benefits. 

“I’m proud to work with this administration to address the public health crisis of veteran suicide and to increase funding for the VA,” Rose said in a statement about his visit to the VA clinic. “We will always need to do more, including working to not only ensure all VA facilities are properly equipped to treat a growing population of women veterans, as well as improving transportation and accessibility issues, but also working to ensure the promises made to all veterans are kept.” 

Wilkie, who was appointed by President Trump in 2018, joined Rose to tour the clinic. Although the two government officials come from different sides of the aisle, they have developed a working relationship.

“When it comes to ensuring our veterans receive the best quality care and treatment, there’s no place for party and partisanship,” Rose said. 

Wilkie also noted the benefit of working in a bipartisan fashion alongside someone who has similar experiences to veterans at the Staten Island Community VA Clinic. 

“It’s an honor for me to be here with a warrior,” Wilkie said. “I think it’s great for Staten Island [to have Rose]—a borough with a military record of achievement that goes back hundreds of years, the highest number of veterans who served in World War II came from this borough—so having someone who speaks the language and understands the culture is absolutely key,” Wilkie said in a statement after the tour.

In his first year in office, Rose has focused on prventing veteran suicide and improving care for female vets. Rose has also had town hall meetings focused on veterans, and has worked to increase funding for the VA.