Issue Position: Veterans
Congressman Murphy believes that a good military officer puts the needs of his or her troops ahead of his or her own. To Congressman Murphy, that meant that as an Army officer in the 82nd Airborne he ate only after the enlisted soldiers. It meant protecting their lives and well-being above all - never letting them down. Even today, Congressman Murphy will not ignore his responsibilities to his brothers and sisters in arms and neither can America. The men and women of our armed services devote themselves to our great nation. That devotion compels them to serve America, to fight to protect her andfor someto die in her name. We dishonor the sacrifices of these great Americans when we fail to provide them with the resources they need and the opportunities they deserve. We have a responsibility to those who protect us, and it is a responsibility we must not neglect.
Especially now, during a time of war, we must move beyond the partisan gridlock and do everything we can to fight for those who have defended our freedom while wearing the uniform of the United States.
For far too long, funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs was not a priority in Washington. To help change this, Congressman Murphy proudly voted for the largest funding increase in the 77-year history of the VA. This will give the VA the resources it needs to treat the two signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan -- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) -- as well as adding personnel to reduce the VA's enormous backlog of claims.
Helping veterans get the treatment they need has been a priority for Congressman Murphy. Sometimes that is simply a matter of helping veterans cut through the bureaucratic red tape. For instance, many disabled veterans were unaware they were eligible for property tax relief and other benefits offered by the state government. Congressman Murphy fought to change VA policy, making sure the VA notifies veterans about these other benefits to which they are entitled based on their service. These benefits are no good to veterans if they don't know about them.
Locally, Congressman Murphy helped lead a bipartisan effort to bring a National Veterans Cemetery to Bucks County. For years veterans have fought to secure the long overdue honor of being buried alongside their fellow warriors. Finally, this dream is becoming a reality for the veterans of Southeastern Pennsylvania.
As we care for our aging veterans, it's critical that we meet the needs of the next generation of American heroes returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Congressman Murphy voted for an expansion of the original GI Bill, giving those who served after 9/11 up to four full years of college tuition, books and living expenses. Congressman Murphy had already introduced a similar piece of legislation, the 21st Century G.I. Bill of Rights, which included many of the same provisions. He also supported the Wounded Warrior Act to improve access to quality medical care for wounded soldiers and clean up the mess at Walter Reed Hospital.