Since the beginning of our history as a nation the citizen soldier has been the archetypical heroic figure that all Americans greatly admire and many aspire to become. Senator McCain is no exception. The son and grandson of highly decorated admirals, he began his service to our country at age 17 when he entered the Naval Academy as a plebe in the summer of 1954.
After a twenty year career as a naval aviator, five-and-a-half of which he spent as a P.O.W. in Vietnam, John McCain sought to continue serving by becoming a Member of Congress. During his tenure, first in the House of Representatives and now in the Senate, John McCain has been steadfast in honoring the commitment this country has made to our Veterans, service-members, and their families.
Whether through working to increase funding for Veterans health care, expanding access to TriCare and pharmaceutical benefits, or providing resources to better detect and treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Senator McCain has been there for our Veteran and military community.
He has always fought to enhance and increase the pay and benefits we as a nation owe our fighting men and women--whether or not they are deployed, active, reserve, or retired. He has worked to increase family separation and combat-related specialty pay. He has fought to ensure that military pay raises are no less than the Employment Cost Index, while authorizing across-the-board pay raises and targeted higher raises for selected personnel. In short, he has been responsible for a host of enhanced and increased financial benefits to our nation's military men and women, and Veterans.
Senator McCain has always fought, and continues to fight, for educational and professional benefits for our military and Veteran community. Whether through enlistment incentives, expanding benefits to reservists, or improving the Montgomery GI Bill Senator McCain is committed to the professional and educational success of those who have served--during and after their service.
Senator McCain has been fighting for more than a generation to honor the contract between those who sacrifice and serve America, and those Americans who are safer for their sacrifice.