Today Representatives Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) joined with other members and veteran advocates to announce the introduction of H.R. 1492 to establish a Commission on America and Its Veterans.
Co-sponsored by 17 other House members, the bipartisan bill would explore ways to better care for the returning members of our Armed Services by:
* Recommending ceremonies for a special national acknowledgment and honor of the wars recently fought;
* Convene hearings around the country about the impact of war on military communities and establish better practices for improving reintegration services and experiences for veterans; and
* Create an office of outreach to bring veterans' stories to civilian audiences.
"Thousands of men and women have died fighting for us and we'll never be able to repay that debt. But we can minimize the agony and suffering those still with us," McDermott said. "Our troops and their families need a lot more than bumper stickers. They need help and we owe them that."
"I am proud to join my colleague Jim McDermott in introducing this very important piece of legislation," said Jones, "Our veterans have sacrificed everything for our country and it is imperative that we keep our promises to them. This commission will honor their service and maintain support for these brave men and women, while helping them cope with their physical and emotional wounds. I want to thank Jim McDermott for his efforts and I look forward to seeing this commission become a much-needed reality."
McDermott collaborated with Karl Marlantes, author of Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War and What It Is Like To Go To War, and Sebastian Junger, author of War and The Perfect Storm and director of the award-winning documentary Restrepo, to outline the scope of the commission and its goals.
Also in attendance were Representatives Sam Farr (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and representatives from Wounded Warriors Project, the Reserve Officers Association, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).