This Memorial Day, honor and remember those who have served our country bravely and sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom and democracy

17d4b9e1970e46035607_lance.jpg
17d4b9e1970e46035607_lance.jpg

On Memorial Day Americans pay tribute, honor and remember those who have served our country bravely and sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom and democracy.  Across the country we will honor our fallen heroes over the coming days at picnics, county fairs and town parades.

We not only memorialize those gone but we give thanks to the more than 20 million American veterans still alive today.  These brave service members have made significant sacrifices and we have an obligation to honor them by "keeping the promise" to our men and women in uniform.

To this end I am proud that Congress has passed a number of important measures that address the needs, services and care required of our veterans and their families.

Sign Up for E-News

The U.S. House recently passed the “American Heroes COLA Act” that would make cost-of-living adjustments for veterans’ benefits automatic rather than subject to congressional approval.  Instead of subjecting these benefits to the unpredictability of congressional action, this bill provides veterans with greater certainty that they will receive the benefits they have earned through their service.

Job creation and economic issues are also important to veterans and their families.  All too often those who have given so much to the Nation face a difficult transition to civilian life and struggle to find a job that matches their talents. 

With a national unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans ages 20 to 24 is 19 percent, it is imperative that we bolster existing job training programs for returning military veterans and make it easier for them to find good-paying jobs.

That's why I am proud to have voted for the "Improving Job Opportunities for Veterans Act" that allows returning vets to use the educational benefit that they would otherwise expend on college for on-the-job training. The measure requires the U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs to promote the program and it boosts the incentives for employers to hire veterans and increase the availability of apprenticeship programs to help veterans make the transition to the workforce.

One of the great honors of my job as Congressman is assisting individuals who need help with federal agencies – including veterans and their families who need assistance in obtaining long overdue, lost or stolen service medals, in some cases posthumously.  These awards, and the men and women who have earned them are worthy of the utmost respect and sanctity.

But there are a handful of persons who benefit from not telling the truth about receiving one of these awards.  This is an affront to all who have worn the uniform and especially to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  That's why I voted for the "Stolen Valor Act" that would make it a crime to benefit knowingly from false statements about receiving certain military awards. 

While I am proud of what Congress has accomplishment in a bipartisan capacity on behalf of veterans and their families, much more still needs to be done. 

The VA has almost one million disability and compensation claims pending, including more than 610,000 older than 125 days and about 250,000 claims at least one year old, according to VA records and statements.  It is essential that we address the unacceptably large backlog of claims in order to get veterans the benefits they've earned as quickly as possible.

In an effort to reduce the backlog dramatically I have authored bipartisan legislation with Congresswoman Grace Meng of New York that would strengthen accountability at the Veterans' Administration by requiring annual reports on the agency’s regional offices that fail to meet the target of processing claims within 125 days with 98 percent accuracy.  In the reports the agency would be required to explain why it did not meet a specific goal and ask for the resources it needs to meet the goal. 

Rest assured I am committed to reducing the VA claims backlog effectively and efficiently by whatever means necessary.

On behalf of my wife Heidi and me, we'd like to wish everyone a safe and happy Memorial Day.

Without the brave sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, we would not enjoy the freedoms we have today. As you enjoy traditional Memorial Day activities with friends and family, please take a moment to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

 The Guest Column is our readers' opportunity to write about a given issue or topic in an in-depth and educational manner.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Chatham

Upcoming Events

Tue, July 17, 10:00 AM

Healing the Children, new providence

Summit Old Guard

Giving Back

Fri, August 10, 6:00 PM

Museum of Early Trades and Crafts, Madison

Downtown Concert Series: Mama D & The Vexations

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_8ab0795d7266f1cbd501_9f7a7a4ff4becf97e74c_regwalk_skyrw_9.30.18_email-1

Sun, September 30, 8:00 AM

College of Saint Elizabeth, Morristown

Walk to Fight Alzheimer's

Giving Back Health & Wellness

A Week at the Library of The Chathams Monday, July 9 – Sunday, July 15, 2018

Please note that the library will be closed on Sundays now through Labor Day weekend

PROGRAMS AND EVENTS

Our summer program is in full swing.  This week we are starting some of our most popular children’s programs, Chess for Kids and sewing classes with Miss Polly.  Children will also enjoy a visit from a special guest, Queen Maria Isabella from Medieval Times.  Teens ...

Longtime Chatham Resident Passes the Torch to Current Residents

July 13, 2018

To the Editor,

I moved to Chatham from Ohio in 1961 and left just over a year or so ago. My daughters went through the school system and one of them still lives there with her son.

Clearly, we found the Library and local educational opportunities to our liking. 

When it came to giving back to the community, I chose to support the Library and served as a Board member for 15 ...

Chatham Residents Corry, Garavente, Myler, Radigan and Robbins are 2018 Graduates of Loyola University Maryland

July 14, 2018

BALTIMORE, MD -- Loyola University Maryland recognized the class of 2018 at its 166th Commencement Exercises on May 19, 2018, which included Chatham residents Bridget Corry, who received a BA degree in Communication; Elizabeth Garavente, who received a BBA degree in Business Administration; Jacqueline Myler, who received a BA degree in Communication; Leigh Radigan, who received a ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...