The nomination of Connecticut Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner Linda S. Schwartz for a top federal job sailed through the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Tuesday on a unanimous voice vote. It goes to the full Senate next and Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., said her bipartisan support within the committee is a good sign that she will be able to get to work soon as assistant secretary for policy and planning at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Advocacy is especially important in areas we have highlighted in Connecticut, including invisible wounds like post-traumatic stress, veterans’ homelessness, women veterans’ issues, and veterans with disabilities,” Blumenthal said. “Her new national position provides a solid platform for expanding and enhancing some of the Connecticut initiatives that have proved promising.”
Schwartz has headed Connecticut’s department for 10 years and brings personal and professional credentials. She retired from the Air Force after a blast concussion made it impossible to continue her work as a bedside nurse.
Connecticut Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner Linda S. Schwartz made it clear Wednesday that her approach to a top federal Veterans Affairs job is personal. Schwartz, after 10 years leading Connecticut’s department, is nominated for assistant secretary for policy and planning of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She’s got the professional resume to match the job – a doctorate in public health from Yale’s School of Medicine, nearly 20 years in the Air Force, a master’s degree in nursing and involvement in nursing and veterans’ groups. “For the past 40 years, I have devoted my life and profession to caring for others as a practicing nurse, researcher and an advocate for veterans,” she told the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee that is considering her nomination. “Keeping faith with the men and women who are wearing the uniform has been the fundamental and overriding purpose of my work and a guide star for my life journey.”
But Schwartz made her own case most forcefully when she talked about her time as a consumer of VA services.