Maine has one of the highest populations of veterans in the United States. In order for our nation to be strong, we rely on the devoted service of our men and women in uniform. When they return to civilian life, they often carry with them the scars of battle or return needing new skills to transition to new careers. My family has had a proud service record to this nation. My great-uncle, Navy Captain Albert Perkins, led the development of the arrestor-hook system used by warplanes returning to aircraft carriers, and was a combat pilot in World War II. My father, BM/1C Robert Dunlap served in the Pacific and Atlantic theaters of operation during World War II as a deep-sea diver and chief of an anti-aircraft crew with the U.S. Coast Guard. My wife's father (Navy) and uncle (Army) fought in Vietnam, and her own great-uncle died of wounds sustained during the Battle of the Bulge as an Army infantryman. I know and understand the profound impact military service has on these heroes and their families in our communities, and the tremendous prosperity, freedom, and safety we live in is owed entirely to their service and sacrifice. With a new generation of veterans returning from dangerous service abroad, we cannot defer the debt we owe them.