As a member of Congress and as a Navy veteran, Maurice understands the solemn responsibility that he has to safeguard our country from foreign threats, to promote peace and freedom around the world in a way that demonstrates the United States' role as a global leader, and to ensure that our troops have the support and resources they need both while in active military service and when they become veterans.
Maurice has visited Afghanistan three times, including in December 2001 as a member of the first congressional trip to the country following the September 11th terrorist attacks as well as last Thanksgiving to spend the holiday with our troops who were away from home and their families. Those trips have enabled Maurice to gain a solid firsthand understanding of the situation on the ground and the needs of our servicemen and women. He supported the invasion of Afghanistan following September 11th in order to root out al Qaeda and the Taliban, which provided cover to the terrorist organization. Maurice strongly and vigorously opposed the invasion of Iraq because he felt the U.S. needed to stay focused on Afghanistan -- where the terrorist attacks originated -- and because he did not believe the justifications that former President George W. Bush used as a pre-text for war, namely the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Regardless of his support or opposition for certain military operations, Maurice has consistently supported increased funding for safety equipment and communications gear for our troops who heroically risk their lives on behalf of our nation.
With a huge number of U.S. casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan coming from troops heading to and from refueling centers, Maurice has led the effort to make the military more reliant on solar and other forms of renewable energy. By doing so, troops will not have to make nearly as many dangerous trips to refueling centers. And to bring matters full circle, Maurice is working to have local New York companies be the ones that develop the solar and renewable technology for our troops.