Veterans

 

The freedoms we enjoy as a nation are born from the many sacrifices of our veterans and their families. The brave men and women who have worn the uniform, and who today put their lives on the line in defense of our democracy, deserve our deepest respect and gratitude. Above all, the sacrifices of our veterans warrant our solemn commitment to providing high-quality health care, education, and employment opportunities as they transition from military service to civilian life.

Here at home, David is working with former service members through his Veterans Advisory Council, learning first-hand of the challenges facing the more than 60,000 Rhode Island veterans and their families. Through this engagement, David has put the advice of local veterans into action in Congress.  

David is dedicated to safeguarding and enhancing the resources and services our veterans have earned through their selfless duty. He knows that, just as our servicemen and women swore an oath to support and defend our nation, we too have an obligation to deliver on the promises made to our veterans once they return home. And when David learned that the Veterans Crisis Line was sending some of our nation’s heroes to voicemail, at a time when they needed urgent support, he led a bipartisan effort to demand funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide 24-hour support, 7 days a week for veterans who find themselves in crisis.

And, for far too many veterans, the challenges of life after military service start with obstacles to employment opportunities. In his first year in Congress, David supported the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which was later signed into law. This measure provided tax credits to businesses that hired unemployed veterans, enhanced employment benefits, and expanded educational and workforce programs. When authorization for some of the programs created under the 2011 law expired, David joined in support of legislation, the Putting Our Veterans Back to Work Act, which would reauthorize the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program (VRAP), an initiative that helps train unemployed veterans for careers in high-demand fields.

But, David knows our promise to veterans goes beyond the commitment of ensuring access to economic opportunities. Congress has a moral obligation to guarantee our servicemen and women receive high-quality health care without delay or bureaucratic red tape. That is why David has championed bipartisan legislation to increase the number of health care providers treating our veterans. 

Whether through his meetings in Iraq and Afghanistan with active duty Rhode Islanders, or while here at home in discussions at his annual Community Conversation for Veterans, David has learned about issues at the forefront of veterans’ minds when they return from the front lines. And he’s bringing that knowledge to Congress as a call to action, including through his Justice for Servicemembers Act, which passed in the House in 2020 and protects servicemembers from being denied their rights if an employer eliminates their job while they are out on active duty.  

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