Posted by: Rachel Kenyon | December 6, 2012

On to Conference Committee – SEND YOUR SUPPORT!

action alert***ACTION ALERT*** IN ONE CLICK YOU CAN TELL THE CONFERENCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS TO SEND OUR BILL ON TO THE PRESIDENT FOR SIGNATURE!!!!! Use the link below at Autism Votes to send an email to each member of the House and Senate Armed Services Committee Members with one click!

WE NEED YOUR VOICE!

Thank you!


My name is Rachel Kenyon. I am a proud and battle-tested Army wife and mom of two beautiful babes, one with autism.   Currently, TRICARE military healthcare provides less than half the recommended treatments for autism, and only to children of active duty service members.   Service members who retire after more than twenty years and Wounded Warriors forced to medically retire are stripped of what little treatment TRICARE allows via the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO).

 

On Thursday, May 17, 2012, Congressman John Larson took to the House floor armed with embarrassingly large photos of our little family and made the case for Caring for Military Kids with Autism Act to be included as an amendment to the FY2013 NDAA. It worked, because for Mr. Larson, this had become personal. It worked because Rep. Tom Rooney had the courage to walk up to Chairman Buck McKeon and tell him it was personal. Mr. Rooney has two nephews with autism. Mr. McKeon did the right thing, because now he understood, it was personal. The amendment passed as part of the NDAA in the House.

 

Senator Gillibrand and several bipartisan copsonsors passed a similar amendment in the Senate. Now our thousands of military families await conference committee members to approve this lifechanging legislation.

 

I contact you today because this fight is so very personal for so many of us serving our country each day. Not only do I want my husband to feel that his more than 26 years of service warrant the medical care our daughter with autism needs, but I want my daughter to have the security of being able to access the tools that can give her a richer, more meaningful life.

 

It’s personal because I now hold 23,000 other children in my heart, and more than that many parents who serve our country. I love them as I love my own. I want them to feel proud of their country’s service to them in return. I want them to sleep at night, knowing that though autism may have knocked on their door, they can live their lives to the fullest with the care they need and deserve. It’s personal.

 

I started a petition on Change.org several months ago to garner support for this legislation. I believe in my heart that if you read even a small portion of the petition comments from your constituents, both military and civilian, you all will choose to do the right thing. To take this fight personally. To share with your fellow staffers, Senators and Representatives that our families are proud. That our children are worthy. That if just one military child was denied the cancer treatments he or she needed, we would not be wasting time with emails and petitions and action alerts. A true American who hears that 23,000 military children are being denied the medical standard of care for autism takes that personally. Well, for real American patriots, it is so very personal.

 

I appreciate your time and I pray for all of you and your loved ones, because I know that your own public service to our country is so vital as well.

 

For our little family, we will be spending another holiday season living with autism in our house and praying so hard that this is one fight we can say we have found victory.

 

Best,

 

Mrs. Rachel E. Kenyon

 

Wife to Command Sergeant Major William W. Kenyon

Mother of two beautiful babes – one with autism.
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