I am grateful for the opportunity to represent a district in the Florida Senate that contains such a large number of veterans. I feel a tremendous debt of gratitude to the brave veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, and to the new generation of veterans from the Gulf War, and the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. My motivation to serve in Congress comes from the example of service provided to me by my father who volunteered for World War II as a teenager and earned a Purple Heart at the Battle of the Bulge. I see my father's sacrifices in every veteran that I meet, and it is essential that we go above and beyond in meeting our obligations to these heroes.
In that respect, I have worked for over two years to create a program in Florida that would provide mental health services to our veterans and their families. It is our duty to provide for America's troops - not only overseas, but also here at home.
We owe it to our brave men and women in the armed forces to ensure that our troops are provided with a strategy for victory, protected in battle, and supported as veterans. I am strongly supportive of recent efforts in Congress to increase funding for the VA and disabled veterans. Long waits and substandard care for veterans is simply unacceptable. We must ensure that veteran patients are provided with timely and excellent care including specialty care in areas including prosthetics and aging. We must deliver on the promise our nation made to service members who risk their lives in defense of our freedoms.