Honoring Our Veterans – Today and Everyday
By Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D.
On Veterans Day, we honor our brave men and women who have served this nation. I hope you will join me in thanking our soldiers, past and present, for their service. They have our backs and we will always have theirs. I am working hard to guarantee that our veterans receive the benefits they have earned.
I am honored to represent a community that supports our veterans and our military each and everyday. We have done a lot for our veterans that we can be proud of.
Last week, the President signed a bill that would extend unemployment benefits and boost our housing market. This bill included a provision I co-wrote to extend the first-time home buyers tax credit for one year for members of the Armed Forces serving overseas. Our men and women in uniform and their families have sacrificed so much – they should not have to miss out on this opportunity. This bill will help our economy by stimulating housing sales and help our veterans build a better future for themselves when they return.
This legislation was inspired by Jerry Kavanaugh of Kaukauna. Jerry’s son Dave is serving in Southern Iraq with the 32nd Infantry Combat Brigade out of Appleton and wants to be able to purchase a new home for his family when he returns from his deployment. The $8,000 non-refundable tax credit will help Dave, and thousands of other men and women serving overseas, buy their first homes. It is an honor to be able to deliver for Dave and his family after all they have done for our country.
Throughout Northeast Wisconsin, veterans are attending college on the 21st Century GI Bill. I was proud to vote for this legislation that restores the promise of a full, four-year college education for our veterans.
In the coming months, we will be announcing the location of expanded Milo C. Huempfner Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic in Brown County. The new facility will offer services not currently available in Northeast Wisconsin to thousands of veterans who have had to drive to Milwaukee to receive routine medical care. As a doctor, I know that the best health care is closest to home. This clinic will deliver quality care for our veterans while generating jobs and economic development in our community.
We must help heal our soldiers’ minds as well as their bodies. My thoughts and prayers are with the soldiers of Ft. Hood and their families. The tragic shooting there is another example of the horrid toll that war can take.
I recently had the opportunity to visit the World War II memorial in Washington, DC with veterans from Northeast Wisconsin as part of the Old Glory Honor Flight. It was a tremendous opportunity for me and a reminder of how they protected and rebuilt our nation.
At the dawn of this new century, together we will pay tribute to their legacy by building a better future for all of us.