by Jennifer Swift
Aug 4, 2013
08:33 PMConnecticut Politics
Connecticut's Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Nominated for Post in U.S. Gov
Photo by Peter Hvizdak/New Haven Register
Linda Spoonster Schwartz, RN, DrPH, FAAN, Connecticut Veterans' Affairs Commissioner, in her office January 23, 2013.
President Barack Obama has nominated Linda Schwartz, the state’s Commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs, for a similar post with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Schwartz, a Yale Nursing School grad and former Reservist and nurse, has worked for the state in her current role since 2003. If confirmed, she would become the Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Policy and Planning. Schwartz served in the Air Force Nurse Corps for 16 years.
In an interview with The New Haven Register a few months ago, Schwartz detailed her personal experience suffering from a traumatic brain injury, which she said has helped her to understand what afflicts veterans. She described her role at the time as caring for needy veterans and preventing suicides. She spoke of problems with the way the VA functions.
“It’s not that people there don’t know what to do. It’s how do you get a system (to work smoothly) that cares for ... 22 million people and tries to provide” help for various disabilities? Schwartz said. She has heard the waiting period on a disability claim is more than 250 days.
Because of her work in helping veterans and reforming the system, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman applauded the nomination.
“For more than ten years, Commissioner Schwartz has been a strong and important voice for veterans in Connecticut, and she is an excellent choice to serve veterans on a national level. Her appointment is also a great loss for Connecticut,” Malloy and Wyman said in a statement. “The Commissioner’s integrity and her work on behalf of Connecticut’s veterans and women veterans, and on the Governor’s Veterans Cabinet has a critical impact on improving how the state delivers programs and services to our veterans and military service members. She has greatly improved the lives of our military men and women.”Connecticut's Commissioner of Veterans Affairs Nominated for Post in U.S. Gov