Today, Mark Udall renewed his commitment to ensuring that the opportunities for veterans returning to civilian life matches the sacrifices they have made to serve our country. Udall and his Senate colleagues passed the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, a bipartisan bill that will help returning veterans find and transition into civilian jobs. The bill includes tax credits to encourage businesses to hire veterans, and expanded education and training opportunities for veterans, which will help facilitate a seamless transition from active duty to civilian jobs.
"When the men and women of our armed forces donned their uniforms to defend us, we made a covenant to take care of them when they came home. That is a sacred promise I aim to keep," Udall said. "One of the most difficult challenges veterans face now is finding work, and with the especially bleak job market we have today and high rates of homelessness among veterans, they don't deserve to be forgotten or to fall through the cracks. With more members of the military coming home every day, it's our duty to make sure new and existing veterans have our support to help ease their transition. I'm proud my colleagues and I were able to come together to provide a safety net as they translate the skills they utilized in the military to the needs of civilian employers."
Udall thinks it a fitting tribute that the Senate has made this pledge to our veterans on the eve of Veterans Day, and he released the following statement to thank veterans, service members and military families for their sacrifices to keep our nation safe. In addition to recording his own video of support, Udall is calling on his fellow Coloradans to also share their messages of support to honor our troops; check it out at http://markudall.senate.gov/veteransday.
"Our veterans, service members and their families are a source of inspiration and pride for all Americans. My father served in the Army during World War II, and through my work on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I see our troops' love of country and commitment to defending our freedoms every day. But let's not forget the unsung heroes who have made such service possible. Military families have made their own unimaginable sacrifices throughout the history of our nation, and they are heroes in their own right. They are the backbone of the best fighting force in the world -- the U.S. military.
"So this year, I thank all of our service members, veterans and our proud military families -- particularly our Colorado heroes. I'll keep fighting for policies to spur veteran hiring, make health care affordable for military kids, and foster treating the signature wounds of our decade at war. This Veterans Day, I'll be visiting wounded troops at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and I encourage all Coloradans to thank the veterans in communities across our state," Udall said.