Weekly Column

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Memorial Day is a time for us to come together as a nation and honor the sacrifice of those brave men and women who have given their lives in defense of our country.

As we recognize our veterans this Memorial Day, we are once again reminded that we must do everything we can to support our troops and their families who have given so much to preserve our freedom and liberty both at home and abroad.

This past week, the House of Representatives passed several bipartisan pieces of legislation to help ensure that our veterans, troops, and their families receive the benefits and protection they deserve.

The House passed measures that seek to fix the Post-9/11 GI Bill, revise the penalty for small businesses claiming to be owned and controlled by veterans or service-disabled veterans, and put into place a new process for the reservation and placement of monuments at Arlington National Cemetery. 

The House also passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which sets our defense priorities for the 2012 fiscal year. By targeting unnecessary and inefficient bureaucratic expenditures, the House was able to reduce billions in defense spending while still keeping our commitment to provide our servicemen and women with the necessary resources to defend and protect our nation as we continue to fight an ever-evolving global war on terrorism.

In addition to our legislative activities, this past week I had the privilege of visiting servicemembers at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. I was deeply moved by the strength and courage of our wounded warriors and their families, and it was a great opportunity to show our appreciation for their selfless service to our country.

I also had the honor of meeting with and welcoming many 5th District veterans who traveled all the way to Washington, D.C.  to see our nation’s war memorials. These memorials tell the story of our veterans, a story of virtue and freedom that sets us apart from the rest of the world.  And I am proud to represent the thousands of veterans from Central and Southside Virginia who have fought for our country so valiantly over the generations. Please visit my website at hurt.house.gov to watch my Memorial Day video message that I taped while at the World War II Memorial this past week.

As the House continues to make sure our armed forces have what they need to successfully complete their missions and return home, I hope that you will join me this Memorial Day in recognizing all of those who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe and protect our American way of life.

If you need any additional information on these or any other issues, please visit my website at hurt.house.gov or call my Washington office: (202) 225-4711, Charlottesville office: (434) 973-9631, Danville office: (434) 791-2596, or Farmville office: (434)395-0120.