U.S. Sen. Scott Brown returned to his home court Wednesday, when he met with Plainville veterans at the town's senior citizens center in his old state legislative district.
Brown, R-Mass., said he had been to the School Street building many times as a state representative and senator, and was happy to greet so many familiar faces when he returned there as a U.S. senator.
The occasion was an annual breakfast for Plainville veterans attended by about 45 people the day before Veterans Day. Brown lives in neighboring Wrentham.
"I'm honored to be here to thank all of you who have served. This is good. You have to stick to your roots and not get too big for your britches, if you know what I mean," he said.
A National Guard officer, Brown told the gathering his work on the Senate Armed Services Committee has brought him closer than ever to veterans and military personnel.
He said one of the few areas of bipartisanship in Washington is the desire on both sides to take care of veterans.
There is a lot of work to be done to help veterans with post-traumatic stress, homelessness and joblessness, he said.
One area he is working on now is forcing Arlington National Cemetery to modernize its recordkeeping and improve its management, he said.
"It's a tremendous mess," he said.
The freshman senator said he has also traveled to Afghanistan and Iraq to visit the troops.
Brown said he is always surprised by how young the soldiers are, but also by how eager they are to serve.
The biggest worry the soldiers seem to have is not for their own safety, but how their wives and children are coping back home, he said.
As a senator, Brown said, he can act as an advocate for the troops and their families.
After speaking to the veterans, Brown touched on some political issues before leaving for another veterans event in Lowell. He said:
Massachusetts Republicans can take solace in knowing that they have added about 14 new members to the state House of Representatives, despite losses in statewide races.
Gov. Deval Patrick ran a good re-election race, but still got 60,000 fewer votes than Brown got in January's special election.
He hopes Republican gains in Congress will lead to more bipartisanship.
Congress should extend all the Bush-era tax cuts that will expire Jan. 1, including those for wealthier Americans. Democrats want the break extended only for the middle class, saying giving the wealthy a tax cut would add $700 billion to the deficit.