Carbajal Honors Local Veteran Advocate Bob Handy

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Santa Barbara, CA, February 23, 2021 | comments

Santa Barbara, CA – Last week, Rep. Salud Carbajal held a ceremony recognizing local veterans advocate Robert “Bob” Handy for his work on behalf of Central Coast veterans.

Rep. Carbajal entered a special written tribute honoring Bob Handy into the official Congressional Record, permanently memorializing the contributions he has made to improve life for veterans on the Central Coast. Rep. Carbajal presented Mr. Handy with a framed copy of the Congressional Record insert during the ceremony.

"I am honored to celebrate Bob Handy’s distinguished service, exemplary advocacy, leadership, and commitment to Central Coast veterans," said Rep. Carbajal. "Our service members sacrifice so much to defend and serve our country. Too often, they return from service only to be denied the support they need and deserve. Bob has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of countless veterans and I am thankful for his service, both to our country and to our community. 

Bob Handy is the founder and Chairman of Veterans United for Truth, Inc. (VUFT), a veterans’ support non-profit that played a critical role in addressing the Veterans Administration’s (VA) mishandling of veterans’ medical services, particularly of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) cases, and restrictive policies within the VA that prevented veterans with PTSD from appealing negative findings in their cases.

Bob Handy led VUFT as principal plaintiff in a 2007 class action lawsuit challenging the federal government for failing to meet legal and moral obligations to care for wounded veterans. Mr. Handy’s advocacy and tireless pursuit of the case brought new attention to the health issue of PTSD and his work resulted in significant changes to the VA’s approach to treating it.  

Photos from the ceremony can be found here.

Read the Congressional Record honoring Bob Handy here or below.

HONORING BOB HANDY FOR HIS PUBLIC SERVICE

HON. SALUD CARBAJAL

OF CALIFORNIA

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

December 20, 2020

Mr. Carbajal. Madam Speaker, I celebrate the service of one of my constituents and good friend, Robert “Bob” Handy, who is a staunch advocate for veterans and had a prodigious 22-year career in the U.S Navy as a Hospital Corpsman.

Bob is the founder and Chairman of Veterans United for Truth, Inc. (VUFT), a veterans’ support non-profit that played a critical role in addressing the Veterans Administration’s (VA) mishandling of veterans’ medical services, particularly of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) cases, and restrictive policies within the VA that prevented veterans with PTSD from appealing negative findings in their cases.

Bob led VUFT as the principal plaintiff in VCS et al. v. Nicholson et al., a 2007 class action lawsuit that challenged the federal government’s compliance with the First and Fifth Amendments to the United States Constitution, and with section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 794, as it related to veterans’ PTSD cases.

While the suit was initially successful in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, after being referred there by a District Court, a subsequent revised finding by a full panel of the court rejected it. The case was supported by millions of dollars of pro bono legal support and lasted into 2009.

Bob Handy’s tireless pursuit of this case in the public realm brought new attention to the serious health issue of PTSD. His work resulted in important changes to the VA’s approach on this issue.

I am honored to celebrate Bob Handy’s distinguished service, exemplary advocacy, leadership, and commitment on behalf of veterans.

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