U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Armed Services Committee, began his in-state work week in Emporia with families of National Guardsmen and women who were recently activated to discuss ways he can support them in the Senate and thank them for their sacrifices on behalf of the nation. The Emporia-based unit will be the first Virginia National Guard unit to enter federal active duty since last year.
"When I sit in Budget Committee hearings or Armed Services hearings and discuss military benefits, we're not just talking about numbers on a page. We're talking about what we have promised you and your families," said Kaine. "It's important I know what support you all need."
As a member of the Armed Services Committee, Kaine has discussed the impact of sequester and other budget uncertainty on National Guard units and their families. In addition, Kaine has met with Virginia National Guard members at the Armory in Staunton, and hosted a roundtable discussion with military families in Hampton Roads. As governor, Kaine served as the Commander of the Virginia National Guard and worked to ensure their families received necessary benefits and protections as the operational tempo of the guard increased.
Following the roundtable, Kaine joined Congressman Randy Forbes and officials from Emporia and Greensville County for a briefing on economic development and a discussion on helping local businesses compete and thrive. Kaine then joined Mayor Person and members of the Emporia City Council to tour the West Atlantic Street and Belfield Historic District neighborhood revitalization projects.
"I'm so pleased to join my friend Randy Forbes to hear from all of you about how we can best serve you in Washington," said Kaine. "I come out of the local government tradition as a mayor and city council member and I know you all have some of the best ideas on how to develop this economy and create jobs."
Kaine will continue his tour tomorrow at the Roanoke Regional Chamber of Commerce to meet with Mayor Bowers and economic development organizations and discuss the upcoming vote on the Marketplace Fairness Act to level the playing field for Virginia's small businesses. He will also visit the Virginia Women's Institute for Leadership at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton to discuss the future of the military and importance of service.