I come from a family with a strong military tradition. As a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, I finished my tour at Plattsburgh Air Force Base before spending three years in the Reserves. From my own service, and the stories my father and others told me as a young man, I feel a deep commitment to ensuring the long-term strength of America's military.
My own family experiences include severely disabled veterans of the First and Second World Wars. As a result, I am personally conscious of the need to care for those who have sacrificed for our country. I know that when we ask the men and women of our Armed Forces to put their lives on the line to defend America, we have an obligation to care for them when they come home. Their service is what keeps America safe and free, and from the men and women at Fort Drum to service members across the globe, we must continue to do our part to honor their courage and sacrifice.
As a member of the House Armed Services Committee I will fight for America's veterans, and for the brave soldiers still fighting in America's conflicts today. I have supported several pieces of legislation that would provide improved benefits for veterans, including training for caregivers of those suffering from traumatic brain injury, tax deductions for veterans traveling to VA facilities, and automatic enrollment in the VA upon discharge from active duty to eliminate the waiting period before veterans can access VA services. These commonsense steps help to provide the care and services in a quicker, more cost-effective way. I look forward to working with my colleagues to continue the effort to get care to wounded warriors, help connect returning veterans with good-paying jobs and create a solid foundation to help service members return to civilian life.