Veterans Day gives us the opportunity to come together as a community and reaffirm ourselves to supporting veterans and upholding the ideals they have fought so valiantly for. This week I had the honor to join in Winthrop and Revere’s Veterans Day services and, in paying tribute, was reminded of the work that lies ahead for our state government.
I am so proud of the district’s and nation’s military personnel – past and present – and am guided by that respect as we shape legislation on Beacon Hill. Through our efforts we have distinguished Massachusetts as the national leader in supporting veterans. This is an amazing feat. The Commonwealth spends more than double the amount on veterans than any other state. We provide the highest number of benefit programs, offering 67 unique services, and we’ve made it a priority to open dialogues so that we can better understand the challenges facing veterans.
In 2009, acutely aware of how difficult economic times would hit veterans returning home, the Legislature passed a law to ease the financial burden on these families. We then crafted the VALOR I and II Acts. In the span of only two years we expanded Military Family Relief Fund, enhanced health care support, and provided resources for education, housing, and job training.
Our legislation puts a premium on finding targeted ways to help our veterans, military personnel and their families build a bright future. These individuals have made sacrifices for our nation and we are so thankful for their pride and bravery. On behalf of the House of Representatives, I would like to express my profound gratitude and let you know that my door is always open as we find new ways to support the state’s veterans.