According to the Army Times, nine veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be heading for Congress next year. However, the overall number of veterans in Congress continues to decline in a trend that began in the 1980’s.
This year 107 veterans ran for Congressional office, 60 as Republicans and 47 as Democrats. As a result, there will be nine new veterans in the House of Representatives. However, the overall number of veterans serving in the House will drop from 92 during the last two years to between 83 and 86 (different sources are reporting different numbers). In the Senate, the number of veterans will drop from 26 to 20.
Large numbers of WWII veterans served in Congress until the 1980’s when the number of veterans started declining by about 10 percent each election cycle (every two years). Because the number of personnel serving in Iraq/Afghanistan was, by comparison with WWII much smaller, it is unlikely that veterans will see an uptick in the percentage that serve in Congress.
Homeless Veterans Bill
On Tuesday of this week the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6328, a bill that would direct the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to give unclaimed clothing recovered at airport security checkpoints to groups that would distribute the items to homeless veterans. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kathy Hochul (D-N.Y.), who was defeated in her attempt to be re-elected to her seat in the House.
It is estimated there are about 75,000 homeless veterans on any one night in the U.S., and about 20,000 veterans of Iraq/Afghanistan have been homeless within the last five years, according to Bloomberg news.
A similar bill, authored by Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee and sponsored by 38 members from both parties, would also require the TSA to give any money it recovers at airports to the USO to help fund its activities. That bill, H.R. 2179, has not been considered by the full House.
On Thursday, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) introduced a companion bill in the Senate S.3640. “I thank Rep. Hochul for her leadership on this issue, and I urge my Senate colleagues to join me in supporting this bipartisan, common-sense measure to help our veterans and their families,” Toomey said in a press statement.
Whether or not the Senate has time to act on the Toomey bill is a real question at this point. TREA supports these bills and if they do not become law this year we will support them next year if they are reintroduced in the new Congress.
This brings back both good and bad memories from Vietnam! I will never forget my Brothers and Sisters that paid the ultimate sacrifice. Take a look at this video and let me know what you think.
Need help with current federal, state and local veterans’ programs, entitlements or referral services available in Florida? FDVA assistance is free and available by calling (727) 319-7400.
Decorated repeatedly, U.S. Army Ranger who went to war for his country (14) fourteen times was killed by a Taliban bomb. 10.22.11
A husband and father of two from California, Sergeant 1st Class Kristoffer Domeij died alongside two other soldiers when their attack team triggered an IED near Kandahar. During his remarkable career, he was awarded three Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart and was part of the team which rescued Private Jessica Lynch from her Iraqi captors. 75th Ranger Regiment‘s Lt. Col. David Hodne paid tribute to his ‘unparallelled skill and bravery under fire.’ He added: ‘He is irreplaceable in our formation and in our hearts.’ — with Angela Marie Hatch.
We are now living in the I world! I want this or that. I come first over everything else, stop and think about that for a minute or two or maybe five. It not really all about you and you need to consider what others may need that are in your life. What is your purpose in life? Do you lead a life of faith? Where is God in your life? Where is the love in your life? I get it, It’s all about you isn’t it!
Make some changes and you will find more happiness and love in your life. Find a Purpose in your life! I look forward to reading your Comments