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Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger

Representing the 2nd District of Maryland

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House Resolution Expressing Support for Members of the Uniformed Services

Mar 14, 2005
Hearing

Mr. Speaker, I am honored to join my colleagues--Congressman TOM DAVIS of Virginia, Congressman WALTER JONES of North Carolina, and Congressman STENY HOYER of Maryland--to introduce a truly bipartisan resolution expressing support for the members of our Armed Forces and their families. In particular, this resolution offers support for those service members wounded or severely injured in service to the Nation, as well as support for the newly established Military Severely Injured Joint Support Operations Center. With the 2-year anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom arriving on March 19, I can think of no better way to salute our disabled and severely disabled troops who have returned home than the quick and bipartisan support of this resolution.

This resolution recognizes many efforts made by our brave men and women in uniform. It reaffirms our support for all members of the Armed Forces and their families. It acknowledges that all returning troops--whether an active, National Guard or Reserve component--should be treated with the same degree of dignity and respect. It pledges our desire to help all injured, wounded, and severely disabled service members returning home by providing the assistance they require to navigate the complicated medical and bureaucratic processes to transition back to active duty or civilian life. Most important, this resolution specifically acknowledges the number of National Guard and Reserve components called for prolonged duty in today's military and pledges Congressional support to the Department of Defense Joint Support Center to ensure we take care of our own once we bring them home.

I applaud the action of the Department of Defense for establishing the Joint Support Center on February 1, 2005. I, along with Mr. JONES and Mr. HOYER, proposed the same concept in H.R. 5057 in the 108th Congress. That bill was eventually introduced in the Senate by Senator BOND and Senator KENNEDY. It received full endorsements from every major veterans' and military service organization. We are proud to see that effort taken up by the Pentagon and welcome the Joint Support Center. This resolution supports the Pentagon's initiative by expressing Congress's strong commitment to the center and our assistance in ensuring that the center receives the resources it needs to succeed in its mission.

Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join me in passing this resolution quickly to send a clear message to our service men and women that the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 109th Congress are firmly behind them.

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