As Americans, we all owe a special debt of gratitude to our nation’s veterans. More importantly, we have a responsibility to protect and support them when they return from defending our freedoms abroad.
Every veteran deserves quality healthcare, access to education, housing and employment. As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I’ve fought to increase funding for veteran mental health services, suicide prevention, and medical and prosthetic research. I’m also a proud cosponsor of the Veterans Small Business Enhancement Act and the Reducing Barriers for Veterans Education Act, both of which aim to improve veterans access to meaningful work and education, improving the quality of life for millions of military families. It’s been an honor to share the ice with the USA Warriors, a team comprised of injured and disabled Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans who play hockey as part of their rehabilitation efforts. Additionally, it’s one of my greatest privileges to greet Chicago area veterans traveling to Washington, DC several times a year as part of the Honor Flight program. And, as a stalwart champion for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, I continue to engage with the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs to create a more inclusive military for women and LGBT service members and veterans. As President Trump has targeted transgender service members, I have spoken out against his harmful rhetoric and attempts to block these heroes from serving the country that they love. We must also always ensure that transgender veterans are getting the care and respect they’ve earned through their service.
President Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” As your representative in Congress, I take these words to heart and strive to better serve all those who have served America.
Rep. Quigley enjoys meeting Illinois veterans during regular Honor Flight events in Washington.
Rep. Quigley introduced the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act, which would protect veterans from predatory for-profit colleges.
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All of us who enjoy the benefits of living in this, the greatest of countries, must always remember that there is a reason the United States stands as a beacon of freedom throughout the world. We owe a special debt to all of you.