Strengthening our commitment to our veterans

July 3, 2011


This weekend we celebrate our country’s 235rd birthday, and the freedoms and values upon which it was built. And, while the 4th of July is a great time for family and parades, picnics and flag ceremonies, it’s also a time to take stock of our American values.

For example, today is an opportunity for Americans to come together and remember those who in uniform who sacrifice daily on behalf of our country in the name of freedom and democracy. The debt we owe them is immeasurable. Their sacrifices and those of their families are freedom’s foundation.  Without the brave efforts of all the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen – and their families – our country would not live so freely.

On this Independence Day, let us start by honoring the memory of the nearly 6,000 Americans who have lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan and the nearly 50,000 who have been wounded in those conflicts. And as we remember those patriotic sacrifices, we must renew our commitment to the nation’s more than 2 million troops and reservists, their families, and 23 million veterans, including over 40,000 here in the 23rd Congressional District.

That’s why I was proud when Congress in 2007 enacted the largest increase in veterans’ funding in the 77-year history of the Veterans Administration. It’s also why I’ve promoted policies in Congress to modernize and streamline health care systems within the VA, like reducing wait times for veterans with pending health claims.

Congress also improved and expanded educational opportunities for veterans by enacting the Post-9/11 GI Bill – the most extensive educational assistance program authorized since the original GI Bill was signed into law in 1944. The new GI Bill, which marks its third anniversary this week, allows eligible veterans who served at least 90 days active duty since September 11, 2001, to receive an in-state, undergraduate education at a public institution at no cost.

This law is already helping many of our neighbors on the Central and South Coasts. For example, a veteran from Santa Maria recently expressed to me how valuable the Post 9/11 GI Bill was for him and his future. He wrote that he had assumed his nearly seven years of experience as an officer in the Air Force would help him to find a job.

Sadly, that was not the case.  So he used the opportunity to study Public Policy at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. And, as a result, he found a job working for a high technology firm that supports operations at Vandenberg Air Force Base. He told me the Post 9/11 GI Bill gives veterans an opening “to get valuable education or training and compete in this global job market.”

But there is more that we can and must do. We have to enact the Hiring for Heroes Act – which takes major steps to help our women and men in uniform obtain good jobs when they come home. With nearly one-in-four young veterans unemployed, this critical legislation would strengthen much needed training programs for separating service members. And it would encourage businesses and government contractors to hire the brave men and women who have developed valuable skills and professionalism while in the armed forces.

The bill is strongly supported by a broad array of veterans’ organizations, including the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, because they know it would smooth the transition for our returning troops and put them on the path to success.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be pushing for a vote on this vital legislation. I’ll also continue my work to provide our troops and veterans the benefits they have earned and resources they need, including helping those experiencing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and reducing the number of suicides among veterans. And, I’ll keep pushing for more tax incentives for companies that hire veterans and for assistance to veteran-owned businesses on the Central and South Coasts.

On the battlefield, the military pledges to leave no soldier behind. On this Independence Day, let it be our pledge that we leave no veteran behind. This day and every day, let us honor their service with actions that fulfill our commitment to our troops, our veterans, and their families.



  1. WiseGuy says:

    Congresswoman Lois Capps does NOT work for Washington D.C.. She works for her district and her constituents, and with that she had done an admirable job. Lois Capps IS a significant member of Congress with a presence and respect that has allowed her to advocate forcefully for the interests of her district and constituents. Her district is doing quite well in regards to the type of things that Capps has an opportunity to influence.

    A member of Congress needn’t be on the 6 o’clock news or be making headlines in the Washington Post in order to take care of her district and constituents in an effective manner.

    (-2) 6 Total Votes - 2 up - 4 down
  2. esteroboy says:

    Are there any safe political postions left for Capps? Year after year she positions herself in the “comfort zone” of public opinion. Her constituents can’t exactly argue with her statements, but after all this time, and with all that seniority in The House, voters have got to be wondering why she has so little presence in Washington.

    (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
    • easymoney says:

      But, it’s because she is “the nicest legislator” and she works hard to do little and appear like she is doing something…

      (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
      • WiseGuy says:

        So, I guess you would prefer to elect the “the most crooked legislator” or “the most scandalous legislator” or “the richest legislator” or “the most selfish legislator” or “the most inept legislator” or “the most extreme right wing” legislator, or “the most bought-off legislator” or “the most phony legislator”?

        The bottom line is that Lois Capps has worked harder and selflessly done more for the benefit of the Central Coast than likely any of the people who post here trying to insinuate, with no foundation, that Lois Capps is not doing the job she was elected to do.

        But on the contrary, Lois Capps is doing what those who voted for her expected and want her to do. And thus she gets re-elected year after year, scandal free.

        (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
  3. mrcyberdoc says:

    Like clockwork, you can always tell when elections are right around the corner. They open the old “promise bag” thinking we don’t remember the last time they said the same thing and did nothing. Lois, every time you open your mouth, you are adding to global warming.

    (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
  4. justme says:

    …in the name of freedom and democracy” ” ….without the brave efforts…. our country wouldn’t live so freely”.
    Lois, Lois, do you know how long ago that crap was exposed as BS? Hey, I guess the more wars we have the more freedom and democracy we get, right? I’m sure you’re a nice person but please, you’re a PTA Mom, not any kind of governmental representative with that belief system.
    Here’s the sequence of events @ work here: Leaders spew this “feel good” crap out there, then kids and ignorant parents buy it and enlist, get killed and injured on both sides.
    You’re a leader alright, right into more death and destruction. Just unbelievable.

    (8) 8 Total Votes - 8 up - 0 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Well said, justme. Capps is just another feel good mouth piece with a smile, ever ready to repeat all the mind control slogans that she ever heard and that the MIC (Military Industrial Complex) and banksters ever could have wanted her to say. Yes, she sure does do a good job of broadcasting them out to the public, doesn’t she? Big government corruption never felt so good, did it? Congratulations, Lois, on being a lyoal supporter of the biggest collection of gangsters in the history of the word–your colleagues!


      A witless consumer of bread and circus

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  5. rogerfreberg says:

    easy… sometimes we can all be on the same side.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • sloguru says:

      Let me share a story about Capps…On October 2008 I received a phone call from Capps staff informing me that the Congresswoman has no money to help fund the SLO County Veterans Express this year but in 2009 she promises to help fund the Veterans Express….a transportation service for Veteran who have medical issues but no means of transportation to our local clinics. I waited the entire year (2009) to here from her or her staff. In February I sent a letter reminding her of her promise to help fund this service but as of today..July 2011, we have still heard nothing …no reply. They have also been invited to attend meeting after meeting regarding fundraising efforts and Capps staff has been invited to every meeting and have never called to say they cannot make it or have they ever attended another meeting. Her comments in this article are BS and I can say she does not care about Veterans in SLOCounty…especially the Veterans that need the most. Capps will not get re-elected and thank God for that

      (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
      • easymoney says:

        Very telling isn’t it…

        (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • WiseGuy says:

        Dude, you can’t expect for government representatives to take care of ALL your needs. Believe it or not, government does not have an endless supply of money to dole out.

        There are many who might say that the residents of SLO County should have enough respect and concern for local veterans that the locals could get it together to provide any needed transportation. Hand-outs from Washington D.C. might help, but we shouldn’t expect hand outs for everything.

        It seems to me the folks in this county would do well to organize and fund their own veterans transportation system, and it seems that is what they are doing. This is a local problem that could be solved by locals, without hand-outs from an already overburdened, war-spent federal government.

        We’ve got the vehicles, the fuel and the people right here at home to get these types of things done without expecting the Federal Government to be our “nanny” handing us money so we don’t have to spend out own.

        (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  6. ds_gray says:

    As someone who attempted to visit in person in D.C. with the Hon. Widow Capps, and was rebuffed at the door and told she was not in the office (and then her door opened and she was on the phone – cartoon images come to mind) I can say that I was underwhelmed with her staff’s level of service.

    That experience notwithstanding, I wish to be the first to say ‘Thank You’ for being willing to post your Op/Ed on this forum and take your lumps from your constituents in the comments (which can be turned off, but remain open).

    I wish to remind you, however, that many who read this forum regularly are students of Political Science, History, and Law, and as the posts prior to mine would suggest, can detect a campaign speech disguised as praise for the US Military.

    And may I please remind the Honorable Congresswoman that our soldiers do not sacrifice in the name of freedom and ‘democracy’, they fight to defend the United States of America, a Constitutional Republic, and I believe that the current wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya should not be fought at all. Bring the soldiers home, Congressman Capps, and the troops you save won’t need treatment for PTSD, and won’t need prosthetic limbs, and won’t need to spill their blood for unjust wars or Empire Building abroad.

    (8) 10 Total Votes - 9 up - 1 down
    • The Gimlet Eye says:

      Well said ds_gray, well said. But since the Banksters and the MIC are really in charge, Mrs. Capps’ actions really amount to a mere formality, unfortunately. Yes, this is supposed to be a “Constitutional Republic,” but it no longer is. That too, is a mere formality, theatre and fantasy for the gullible folks whom Mrs. Capps and her handlers are counting on not to resist their tyranny. That’s why nothing changes for the better, but only gets worse, as an artificially perpetrated financial Armageddon beckons.

      Thanks, Mrs. Capps, for your unflagging efforts to dismantle this once noble Constitutional Republic in favor of a dictatorship, namely, your beloved NWO (New World Order)!

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  7. Disgusted says:

    Just as an aside, I’d like to add that I’m very impressed with the Capps’ office staff. They are knowledgeable, polite and helpful in answering questions.

    (-6) 10 Total Votes - 2 up - 8 down
  8. srichison says:

    Way to use Independence Day for your campaign! Can’t you just be proud and thankful without making it political – just once?

    (4) 14 Total Votes - 9 up - 5 down
    • Typoqueen says:

      Capps has always fought for our veterens. So is she not supposed to update us if there is an election in the next year or two? How far in advance of an election should she stop working as not to appear to be campaigning? So I suppose that McCarthy’s recent article about nukes was for the upcoming elections as well. Perhaps congress should just go mute until after the elections.

      (-7) 7 Total Votes - 0 up - 7 down
      • r0y says:

        Whenever you hear that a politician “fights” for something, just remember, all they usually are doing is spending other people’s money. That’s it. Pretty easy fight, I think.

        Even if a bill or what have you does not pass, they still can claim to have “fought” for something.

        (5) 7 Total Votes - 6 up - 1 down
      • srichison says:

        Campaigning is fine. Just keep it away from Independence Day and Veteran’s Day. If one wants to be proud of our Vets and support them, do so. DON’T do so disguising a campaign. It’s disingenuous and cheapens the “admiration” in the eyes of those supposedly being admired and thanked.

        (4) 6 Total Votes - 5 up - 1 down
        • Typoqueen says:

          I can’t think of a better time to discuss Vet. issues than the 4th and Vets day. Get it out there while people are apprecitationg the Vets. So two or three times a year Lois needs to not speak about one of her pet projects so you won’t be offended. You don’t realize at all how crazy that sounds do you?

          (-6) 6 Total Votes - 0 up - 6 down
          • srichison says:

            No, not crazy. Just asking for some dignity and decorum in campaigning. It’s not just Lois – I’m disgusted with virtually all politicians. Sadly, they, including Lois, seem to believe their “job” is getting reelected.

            (5) 5 Total Votes - 5 up - 0 down
  9. bobfromsanluis says:

    The amount of partisan bile being spewed forth amazes me; you would think that Lois kicks puppies and kittens in her spare time the way some here write about her. To me she seems pretty close to what an elected representative is supposed to do; respond to the voters in her district, help forward the agenda of the party you are a member of, and have a few “pet projects” like hers are, helping to make sure that the Veterans in our area have access to the VA via satellite offices and to push for funding for Veteran’s issues. I can not understand the rancor directed at Lois Capps by those who are either current military (not that I have heard of any criticizing her) or the retired veterans whom she is apparently working to improve their lot in life as far as military benefits goes. Paso Guy, what exactly is your issue with Congresswoman Capps, other than her changing her mind about only serving a single term?

    (-8) 16 Total Votes - 4 up - 12 down
    • Paso_Guy says:

      “Paso Guy, what exactly is your issue with Congresswoman Capps, other than her changing her mind about only serving a single term?”

      She is an advocate of big government, has voted the lock-step for bigger and better government programs most of the time. I believe in a smaller government where individuals control their destiny, not the village. Simple as that, thanks for asking.

      (8) 16 Total Votes - 12 up - 4 down
      • bobfromsanluis says:

        “She is an advocate of big government, …. ” Unless you have specific examples that show a continued pattern of always trying to expand government, your argument would seem mostly ideological at best. Part of her push is illustrated by the gist of her article here on CCN, that being healthcare for Veteran’s issues. Since you answered my first question, how about another one: Is your ideological push for smaller government going to override your position as a veteran to the point that you would prefer to see the Veteran’s Administration reduced or eliminated completely? I am asking to see if there is a point where you would agree that government services DO actually help the citizens and are a responsible use of tax payer funds. Thanks in advance for your answer.

        (-4) 10 Total Votes - 3 up - 7 down
        • Paso_Guy says:

          How about Obamacare, that seems like a big government move to me.

          The VA provides for those that served and sacrificedand I’m OK with that There are other programs that reward the drug abusers and illegals. I’m for termination of those programs. I also don’t want to provide breakfast to anyone that attends public school……………..look, we are not going to change the way we think with this exchange, so why agrue?

          (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
          • Typoqueen says:

            You don’t want to provide children that go to school hungry with food! Now isn’t that special. Me me me it’s all about me, let them them rotten kids eat cake! I’ve seen these kids that receive a free breakfast meal, for many the only meals they get are at school and I wouldn’t exactly call them great meals at that. Your comment has to be one of the most pathetic comments that I’ve read in a long time.

            What a sad sad time that we live in.

            What programs ‘reward’ drug abusers?

            You listed one ONE talking point that the right harps on. Many of us are for health care reform. Capps votes for one thing that you don’t agree with and you say this: “She is an advocate of big government, has voted the lock-step for bigger and better government programs most of the time.” Most of the time eh,,one thing is not most of the time. With that said, when I read posts like yours it reminds me why we do need govt. oversight, thank goodness for govt. oversight. We need MORE govt. oversight to make sure that people like you don’t hurt us as a country even more.

            (-9) 13 Total Votes - 2 up - 11 down

Comments are closed.