Veterans & Military Families
Tim has made it a top priority in the Senate to support veterans, servicemembers, and their families. There is no state more closely connected to the military than Virginia. The map of the Commonwealth is rich with military history: Yorktown, Appomattox, the Pentagon, and more than 20 military installations. With over 700,000 veterans residing in the Commonwealth, Virginia has one of the highest state populations of veterans in America.
Tim has been a leader on efforts to reduce unemployment for veterans and military spouses and ensure that those who have served our nation receive the health care and benefits they were promised. He has successfully pushed to pass legislation, including the Honoring Our PACT Act, to improve veterans’ access to health care. He has also introduced legislation to help Vietnam veterans harmed by Agent Orange and address serious problems facing the Department of Veterans Affairs. He has also introduced a bill to address opioid overmedication so veterans struggling with pain can receive safer, more effective pain management services through the VA.
The first piece of legislation Tim introduced in the Senate—the Troop Talent Act of 2013—was a bill to ease the transition for servicemembers into the civilian workforce. After hearing from veterans across Virginia who could not get hired despite expertise they had gained through military training, Tim wrote this bipartisan bill to help address the challenge. The Troop Talent Act helped align the skills servicemembers acquired in the military with certifications or licenses to make it easier for them to be hired in the civilian workforce, and key provisions of this legislation have been signed into law. Tim has also introduced legislation to improve the quality of educational programs for servicemembers and veterans to help them compete and succeed in the workforce after their service.
Tim believes Congress has a duty to support military families, who sacrifice so much for the nation. After meeting with military families across Virginia, Tim learned that one of the biggest concerns facing military spouses is the toll frequent moves and unexpected transfers have on a spouse’s ability to find work and maintain a career. Tim recognizes that this causes financial insecurity for families, hurting our troops’ ability to do their jobs. To help tackle the problem, Tim has introduced several bills—including the Military Spouse Employment Act and the Jobs and Childcare for Military Families Act—to reduce military spouse unemployment and support military families. Key provisions of these bills have been passed and signed into law. Tim believes that by expanding military families’ access to career opportunities, continuing education programs, safe housing, and affordable child care, Congress can better ensure the military is ready to accomplish its mission.