Congressman Walden's top priority remains supporting our men and women in uniform, those who have served in the past, and their families. Whether giving our Armed Forces the resources they need to carry out their missions safely or supporting legislation to increase funding for Veterans' Affairs and medical care, Congressman Walden knows that he has a responsibility to help care for those who have bravely sacrificed so much. In appreciation for his continued dedication and support, the Oregon National Guard recently presented Walden with an award during a visit they made to Washington, D.C.
In addition to supporting investments to enhance equipment and safety in the field, Greg has cosponsored legislation to encourage families to communicate with loved ones serving abroad through mail and care packages, provide incentives to employers that hire returning military personnel to aid in the transition from active duty to civilian life, and increasing the military death benefit provided to the families of those who make the ultimate sacrifice. He has also supported giving the Defense Secretary authority to purchase new, advance equipment in a much shorter time frame so our troops have the best possible equipment in the field as soon as possible. Supporting our nation's veterans is equally as important, which is why Greg has supported historic investments in veterans' programs, including veterans' medical care. As more and more men and women return home from battle, we must be able to provide them with the best possible physical and mental health care.
Legislative action is not the only way Greg demonstrates his support for our military. He knows that maintaining direct relationships with our service men and women is the single best way to learn what their needs are and to find ways that the Congress can help them carry out their missions safely and effectively. Greg has traveled to Iraq and Forts Polk (LA) and Bliss (TX) to visit with Oregon troops both serving overseas and preparing for their such deployment. Earlier this year, Greg took part in an event sponsored by The USO where he stuffed care packages for troops containing items such as playing cards, calling cards, toiletries and snacks. He has also met with family members of Oregon Guardsmen serving abroad.
In conjunction with the 60th anniversary of V-E Day, Greg hosted an event for House members and staff with Sgt. Don Malarkey (a native Oregonian) and Lt. Buck Compton, both of whom served in the 101st Airborne Division's "Easy" Company, which was featured in the popular Band of Brothers novel by Stephen Ambrose and the HBO miniseries of the same name. Don and Buck traveled to Washington, DC, to share their stories of leadership and bravery during the Allied advance toward victory in WWII. These highly-decorated men exemplify true humility and valor and it was honor to have them in the nation's capital.
It is a distinct honor to continue to represent the men and women have served and are now serving in our Armed Forces. The sacrifices made by past and present service members to safeguard liberty and protect our way of life are debts that we can never fully repay. I will continue to do all I can to express my gratitude to our nation's brave patriots.
There are many ways to show support for our military men and women. If you are interested in finding ways you can help, please take a moment to visit the following sites:
America Supports You is a Department of Defense website designed to help Americans find ways to support our military men and women through volunteer events, providing care packages or donations, and sending messages of support. This site contains links to more than 175 organizations and efforts dedicated to supporting our troops.
The USO (United Service Organizations) seeks to maintain a connection to home for service personnel by representing the American people through celebrity visits and concerts, care packages and various other morale-boosting efforts.