There's nothing more important than keeping our promise to the men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. But that promise doesn't end when our nation's heroes return home from battle. It's something I take very seriously, and it's why I've fought to make sure that America's veterans have access to the benefits they've earned through their service. That's why, in Congress, I:
* Supported $17.7 billion in increases to veterans' health since 2007, a 40% increase.
* Helped pass the new G.I. Bill for the 21st century, to ensure that all veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan have the opportunity to get a four-year college education.
* Voted in favor of giving businesses a $2,400 tax credit for hiring unemployed veterans.
* Voted to get nearly 2 million veterans a $250 economic recovery payment.
* Supported H.R. 1804, to end the Military Families Tax; the bill allows for the families of military servicemen and women who are killed in action or die of service-connected injuries to receive both Dependency and Indemnification Compensation (DIC) and survivors benefits.
* Introduced the Disabled Veterans Fairness Act in the 109th and 110th Congresses, to increase the mileage reimbursement rate for veterans who have to travel long distances for medical care. The bill was included as an amendment to the Wounded Warrior Assistance Act of 2007. Since February 2008, the rate of reimbursement has increased from 11 cents per mile to 28.5 cents per mile, to the current rate of 41.5 cents per mile.
* Voted for the 2009 Supplemental Appropriations Act, which included a provision for service members who have had their enlistments involuntarily extended since 9/11; the provision would provide an extra $500 payment for every month they were held under stop-loss orders.
* Voted for H.R. 3082, the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2010. The bill includes $108.9 billion to the VA, for veterans' care, claims processors, and facility upgrades, and $45.1 billion to the Veterans Health Administration.
* Have fought to get a VA Community-based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC) in Statesboro, GA, to offer primary care and mental health services for approximately 5,000 enrolled veterans. Currently, the plan is undergoing a technical review by the VA.
* Host a yearly Veterans Town Hall tour, where I tour the district, meeting with veterans and veterans' families through the 12th District to hear what's on their mind.