The men and women of our armed forces endure unimaginable sacrifices on behalf of our country. As Americans, we have a responsibility to ensure that no veteran becomes a forgotten hero. My father, a World War II veteran, taught me the importance of military service at a young age. While he is no longer with us, honoring his sacrifice and the sacrifice of all American servicemen and women is one of my greatest privileges as a Member of Congress.
I am proud to represent a district home to veterans of every major conflict since World War II. Whether it be helping a veteran obtain long overdue military medals or sponsoring legislation in Congress to improve benefits for our servicemen and women, I will always stand up for America's heroes. Those who serve in our military deserve every benefit owed to them, and it is in this regard I have cosponsored legislation to end the Disabled Veterans' Tax, the Survivor Benefits Penalty, and concurrent receipt.
During the 112th Congress, two veterans issues I have paid close attention to are that of homelessness among our veterans and unemployment among our troops returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan. I have introduced the Helping Homeless Heroes Act of 2011 to bolster programs that have shown great success in helping veterans find affordable housing. I also recently helped organize an event aimed at helping veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan find good-paying jobs once they return home. This year, the Department of Labor released numbers showing that young male veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan had an unemployment rate of over twenty percent. The HeroHealthHire initiative represents a commitment from some our nation's most prominent health care companies to employ veterans and help them launch meaningful careers.
I have also cosponsored several pieces of legislation aimed at helping our veterans transition into civilian life. The Military Families Financial Preparedness Act seeks to put military families on a path towards long-term financial stability by providing pre-separation counseling sessions that will include information on budgets, saving, credit, and mortgages and will help veterans and their spouses to create a long-term financial plan. The Armed Forces Suicide Prevention Act will enhance the suicide prevention programs by increasing outreach to service members from their initial enlistment or appointment up through their final retirement or separation from the military.
We must work together to ensure than partisanship in Washington does not jeopardize the recent gains made on behalf of our veterans. There is no group of Americans more deserving of our reverence and commitment than our men and women in uniform, and honoring their service will always be a top priority of mine in Congress.