This past week, I joined my colleagues on a Congressional Delegation to the Middle East, which included stops in Slovakia, Georgia, Yemen, Djibouti and Spain, to share with our allies throughout the Middle East our commitment to securing peace in the region. This week provided a valuable opportunity to meet with and exchange ideas with several key figures in Georgia and Slovakia and gain first-hand insight into the status of ongoing military efforts in the Middle East.
In Slovakia, we met with senior uniformed and civilian officials and took the time to recognize the significant commitment of the Slovak military in Afghanistan. While in Georgia, my colleagues and I visited the grand opening of a local medical clinic and received an update on the status of the Georgian-American military partnership. We also had the chance to watch members of the United States Marines Corps in action at a training exercise.
Following our departure from The Republic of Georgia, we traveled to Sanaa, Yemen, where we met with President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi and observed the fragile security situation on the Arabian Peninsula. Our time in Yemen reminded us of the critical need to focus our attention not only in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but also in the Arabian Peninsula as well.
I was newly inspired by the level of dedication and commitment from our uniformed service members and our Middle East partners to their mission of supporting global security in the Middle East. It was truly an honor to personally thank each and every one of them for their work toward achieving greater stability and securing peace in the Middle East, especially in areas where the U.S. has a strong military and diplomatic presence.
Before making a final stop in Rota, Spain to meet with Navy officials, we visited Camp Lemmonier in Djibouti, Africa, to celebrate the 4th of July with the men and women deployed as part of the Combined Joint Task Force -- Horn of Africa. There we met with senior military leaders in Djibouti to discuss ongoing efforts to improve regional security in East Africa.
Having the chance to spend the Fourth of July holiday with our troops overseas was a humbling reminder of the heroism and sacrifice of the men and women bravely serving our country that makes America what it is today.
The Independence Day holiday and my visit with our troops also reminded me of the duty we have to care for our veterans and military men and women. As a fellow veteran, I have been working to combat the unacceptably high unemployment rate amongst America's veterans. I introduced H.R. 4155, the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act, to cut through bureaucratic obstacles and streamline the federal certification process to make it easier for our returning veterans to utilize the skills they acquired in the military to find work at home. In a show of broad bipartisan and bicameral support, the Veteran Skills to Jobs Act was recently passed in the U.S. Senate, and will be up for a vote in the House on Monday.
This Fourth of July, many of you gathered with friends and family to celebrate the 236th anniversary our nation's independence and the victory and valor of our armed forces, past and present. I'd like to congratulate both the Enochs High School marching band, who represented its school and our whole community at the National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C., as well as the Turlock ambassadors from the Pitman High School Marching Pride who also participated in the national parade. Thank you to these young students for proudly representing the Valley in our nation's Capital; it's truly inspiring to see our young and talented students accomplish such rewarding goals.
The latest unemployment numbers released today show that the Administration's failed policies of taxing and over-regulating are not the answer to putting the American people back to work. Right now our job creators do not have the certainty they need to succeed in this weakened economy, which is why we've being working on solutions that include over 30 pro-growth, pro-jobs bills passed out of the House with bipartisan support that will get our economy back on track to create jobs. Because one of my top priorities as your representative is making sure Valley residents and our local veterans have the employment opportunities they need, I will be holding a Jobs Fair on August 22, 2012 to provide an opportunity for job seekers to meet face-to-face with employers looking for new hires in the Valley. You can RSVP and find out more information on my website, http://denham.house.gov/jobs.