Veterans: Good Stuff!

Happy Monday – May the fourth be with you!

In the past few weeks, there have been some good things done by the Montana Congressional delegation for veterans. They deserve some recognition for it.

With over 100,000 veterans in Montana, we are a force to be reckoned with.

I am a veteran and I believe that credit should be given when it’s due no matter what side of the political fence the member of Congress resides. The Western Word is independent and most importantly pro-veteran – a voice for Montana veterans on the web!

Here are some of the great things that U.S. Senator Jon Tester, U.S. Senator Steve Daines, and U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke are doing for veterans:

-U.S. Senator Steve Daines announced last week that he has hired six Montana veterans to work in his state offices and serve Montana’s veterans and military communities. (Press Release)

Like a broken record, I’ve written about the need for congressional offices to hire more veterans. Why? Because I think veterans make better workers and they have the dedication and discipline to accomplish the mission. Having veterans working on veterans and military issues is a no-brainer – and that idea should extend to any business. When I first read the press release from Daines’ office, it (almost) brought tears to my eyes. I don’t know if that’s a record for veterans in one office, or how it compares to other offices, but it’s great to see it happen. I salute Daines for this.

-U.S. Senator Jon Tester is a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and he is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and he is the ranking member of the Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. This is a pretty big deal for Montana veterans having a member of our delegation with two important committee assignments dealing with veterans.

Tester announced that he is introducing legislation to provide support for those who care for wounded, ill, or injured veterans.

According to a press release, Tester’s Military and Veteran Caregiver Services Improvement Act would expand upon the Department of Veterans Affairs’ current caregiver services program by increasing the types of resources available to family members who have taken on a caregiver role. Among other provisions, this legislation would extend caregiver support services and assistance to veterans of all eras. That is a very good thing.

Tester also announced that he is sponsoring legislation to increase research into the long-term impacts of toxic chemical exposure on veterans and military families. (Press Release)

Tester’s bill, the Toxic Exposure Research Act, increases research into the health conditions of descendants of veterans who were exposed to toxins during their military service, particularly those exposed to the herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

I worked several Agent Orange cases during my time as a congressional staffer and there’s still information coming out about it that was not previously known. This bill should pass quickly.

You can see what other legislation Senator Tester is working on for veterans by clicking HERE.

-U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke is Montana’s only veteran in the Montana Congressional Delegation. To commemorate Memorial Day and recognize Montanans for their service to our nation, Zinke is seeking photos of Montana veterans and current service members to permanently display in the nation’s capital and to honor the week of Memorial Day. For more information, click HERE.

These are just a few of the things dealing with veterans that caught my attention. I hope that Tester, Daines, and Zinke keep up the good work and keep politics out of the veterans and military issues.

Here at The Western Word, I’ll be watching…

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