Cranston, RI – In the final weeks before Congress adjourned for 2011, a number of important provisions were passed to better protect and honor our troops. Today, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse met with a group of Rhode Island National Guard members to provide an update on those legislative victories, and to discuss progress on issues raised during a town hall meeting Whitehouse held with Guard members in 2010. Whitehouse also heard from attendees about their concerns and priorities for the year ahead.
“Our National Guard members have sacrificed so much for our state and our country in recent years, and it’s always an honor to hear from them and thank them for their service,” said Whitehouse. “Today I was pleased to bring good news about some important progress we’ve made on issues affecting servicemembers, and I got to listen to their thoughts and concerns for the year ahead. I look forward to continue fighting for them in the Senate.”
Topics of discussion today included the VOW to Hire Heroes Act, which was passed in November to help our veterans find jobs after returning from active duty, and the Combating Military Counterfeits Act, which Whitehouse introduced to protect troops from faulty counterfeit products, and which became law as part of the National Defense Authorization Act in December.
The group also discussed President Obama’s newly announced national defense strategy, which is intended to better align our forces to respond to emerging threats; efforts to raise awareness about the unique needs of military connected students; and initiatives to prevent banks from foreclosing on the homes of troops serving overseas.
Last fall Senator Whitehouse helped organize a training session for educators in Rhode Island highlighting the needs of military children. He has also introduced legislation to ensure that the homes of servicemembers are protected from foreclosure for 12 months following a tour of duty.