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Mrs. HALVORSON. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.
I rise to urge my colleagues to support my amendment to H.R. 4061, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act of 2009. This amendment is simple, necessary, and beneficial to veterans. It will add veteran status as an additional item of consideration when selecting individuals for the Cyber Scholarship for Service program.
In light of recent attacks on both government and commercial technology infrastructure, it is critical that America be on the forefront of cybersecurity. Our veterans and service members have a proven track record of successfully protecting American interests at home and abroad. The experiences and skills that our veterans have gained through their service are exactly what we need to improve our cybersecurity.
My amendment helps veterans continue their service to our country by increasing the likelihood that a veteran or service member will be selected for this competitive scholarship. The scholarship program will provide funding to individuals seeking B.A.s, M.A.s, and Ph.D.s in the field of cybersecurity. This amendment will allow our veterans and service members to afford a better education and continue to serve their country.
Additionally, many veterans and service members have already received cybersecurity and other relevant training during their service in the military. They are uniquely qualified to defend our Nation from cybersecurity threats we face. Furthermore, upon successful completion of their degree, scholarship recipients will be eligible for Federal employment in the field of cybersecurity. With thousands of veterans returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and more than 20 percent of veterans under the age of 24 unemployed, it is critical that they are given every opportunity to continue serving their country.
Our veterans and service members have sacrificed to protect our country and our freedom. We owe them all the assistance we can give them in helping them to better education and job opportunities in their civilian lives.
I would like to thank the committee and the chairman for working with my colleague from New Hampshire and me to introduce this amendment. Once again, I rise in strong support of the amendment, and I urge my colleagues to vote in support of it.
With that, I reserve the balance of my time.
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