Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) and House Majority Whip, gives us his weekly update from Capitol Hill.
"There are more than 22 million veterans in America, about 2 million
reside in California. Our Congressional District is home to one of the
highest concentrations of veterans in our state – nearly 55,000. Just a
few examples of the courageous individuals from our community who have
answered the call to defend America include: highly decorated Korean War
veteran Larry Ybanez, who continues to give his time assisting fellow
veterans; Iraq War veterans Jeremy Staat and Wesley Barrientos, who are
gearing up to ride across the country from the Wall of Valor Memorial to
the Vietnam Memorial in Washington D.C. to unify the nation’s vets; and
Ashleigh Martel, a veteran of the Iraq War who now works at the Kern
County Veteran Services Department.
"The men and women who have served our country deserve our unending
gratitude for the sacrifices they and their families have made to ensure
we can wake every morning to a nation full of endless possibility. One
way we can demonstrate our gratitude is to make certain our veterans
receive the benefits they earned. This past August, legislation I voted
for was signed into law to ensure that veterans receiving tuition aid
under the GI bill receive the funding they are entitled to. I was also
pleased to vote for improving job training programs and employment
opportunities for veterans. In addition, I recently led a group of my
colleagues in requesting an independent audit into the Veterans
Administration to get to the bottom of the continued backlog and delays
our local veterans have been experiencing with getting the health care
they need in our region.
"As we take a moment to remember those who have answered the call of
duty, let us renew our commitment to honor them when they return home.
We are a grateful nation, and I thank the residents in our community for
always showing our veterans our heartfelt appreciation for their
service. I encourage everyone to take a moment to thank a veteran for
their service this Veterans Day and to reflect upon the opportunities
afforded us because of their sacrifice.