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Caldwell County News (Op-Ed): Two New Laws to Honor Our Nation’s Heroes & Their Families

December 11, 2017

For most of us, the holiday season is a time to be with our families and celebrate all of our blessings. That’s not the case for the thousands of service members who are deployed overseas and their families.  For them, the holiday season is a poignant reminder of the sacrifices they make for the blessings we enjoy. This is an important time to reflect on everything they’ve done, and everything they continue to do, to keep us safe. And, it’s an even more important time to honor that sacrifice with our actions.

Today, we have the most powerful military in the world, but we all recognize that our military men and women do not serve alone. Military families provide the unwavering support our service members need to carry out their missions. There are innumerable challenges that come with military life, and it’s our job to ensure military families have the support they need. That’s why I’m proud to announce that President Trump recently signed the Military Family Stability Act into law as part of this year’s defense policy bill.

The Military Family Stability Act, which I introduced in May of this year, will help military families manage frequent moves that occur every two to three years. This bipartisan bill creates a buffer that allows military families to either move early or remain at their current duty station when a service member receives a new assignment. That added flexibility will allow military spouses to pursue their career or complete their education, and allow children to finish a school year in one location. Our military has evolved over the past decades, and the policies affecting their families should as well.

Supporting military families also means ensuring service members have opportunities and access to good-paying jobs once their active duty service has ended.

Our veterans have the skills and experience that are assets to employers in every sector of our economy. Unfortunately, the transition from military to civilian life can present a number of obstacles, and is often one of the most difficult personal decisions that service members make.

That’s why I’m also proud that President Trump signed into law my Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing Veterans Act, or HIRE Vets Act, earlier this year. This bipartisan legislation created a national standard to help veterans narrow down their employment options and focus their job search efforts on companies that recognize the value their military service will bring to the job. It also gives these employers the recognition they deserve and encourages more businesses to step up their Veterans recruitment and retention efforts.

As a member of the bipartisan Congressional Veterans Job Caucus, I’ll continue working to help ensure the nearly 500,000 veterans in our state, and millions more across the nation, are able to find the good-paying jobs they deserve.

Together, the HIRE Vets Act and Military Family Stability Act represent an important step toward our goal of ensuring that we keep our promises to our service members and veterans. However, our work is far from finished. We must continue our efforts to make sure veterans and service members are receiving the care, benefits, and support they have earned.

This holiday season, I hope every family will take a moment to reflect on the tremendous debt we owe to our nation’s veterans and service members, especially those stationed or deployed abroad, and the families that are eagerly awaiting their return.

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