Showing Our Appreciation

Today, on Veterans Day, we take the time to remember, honor, and thank our service men and women, both current and former, for everything they have done at home and abroad to keep our country safe. This morning, I am excited to have the chance to participate in the City of Sacramento Veterans Day Parade. It is always a humbling experience to be in the presence of Sacramento's heroes.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been able to meet with some amazing veterans, both young and old, while at work in Congress and at home here in Sacramento. Speaking with these different groups of veterans reminded me of how far we have come in recognizing and supporting all of our veterans. Last week, I watched as a number of local Japanese American veterans were awarded a Congressional Gold Medal for their efforts serving in the 100th Infantry Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team and Military Intelligence Service during World War II. These units fought valiantly, even as their loved ones' loyalties were being questioned at internment camps. While it took decades for those veterans to be recognized, we are making great efforts to support our veterans at every stage of their lives. As an example of that, on Wednesday, I visited the new Sacramento State Veterans Success Center, which will help ensure the success of student veterans on and off campus.

DOM_and_WWII_VetsCongresswoman Matsui visits with World War II veterans in her office.

It is inspiring to see these types of efforts being made in our community. American service men and women have worked hard to protect our freedom and our way of life, and it is vital that we show them their sacrifices do not go unnoticed or unappreciated. And as more and more troops return home from Iraq and Afghanistan, I will continue to advocate for programs that will provide job-readiness training, job placement, hiring incentives and other resources for our veterans.

For example, the Hiring Heroes Act, H.R. 1941, will provide federal funding for many important projects that help veterans transition to civilian life and plan for a future post-service. President Obama has also introduced measures as part of his American Jobs Act that will greatly benefit veterans as they look for employment, including the Returning Heroes and Wounded Warrior Tax Credits. These credits will provide incentives for businesses that hire veterans who are either short-term or long-term unemployed, as well as unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities. It is important to me that we continue to ensure veterans are able to compete for and secure jobs after they leave the armed forces.

Additionally, last week the House of Representatives passed S. 894, legislation that will provided disabled veterans with a Cost-of-Living Adjustment of 3.6%. This benefits increase was long overdue, and will help support our disabled veterans and their families.

Please know that I will continue to advocate for our troops and our veterans during the 112th Congress to ensure that they have the benefits they need and the quality of life they deserve. And, as always, if I can do anything to assist you, please don’t hesitate to call my office at (916) 498-5600.