Sullivan: They ‘understand what the military is up against’
The Association of the United States Army recognized Reps. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., and Rodney Frelinghuysen, R-N.J., at its Outstanding Legislator Award presentation July 28 on Capitol Hill.
Dicks, chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, said in accepting the award, “We are committed to helping the troops” and that his committee has and “needs to operate on a bipartisan basis. I pledge to you that I will keep that going.”
He cited the work of his fellow recipient and Reps. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., and “Bill” Young, R-Fla., both former full committee chairmen, in working together on legislation to improve the lives of soldiers, their families and retirees.
Soldiers in all components “are doing incredible work” and “sometimes we don’t realize that.”
Adding, “We cannot do enough” to help wounded warriors.
He said he learned from Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., his predecessor as committee chairman, “to ask the troops: ‘Do you have what you need?’”
Frelinghuysen, who was a draftee serving in the Mekong River Delta during the Vietnam War, said, “This is a special rise for a specialist 4th class.” He added, “We have to emphasize they are all volunteers” serving in the Army now. “It’s not just the soldier” serving; “it’s the family.”
As he concluded his remarks, Frelinghuysen, also a member of the subcommittee, said, “AUSA, thank you for being there.”
Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., AUSA president, said, “These two congressmen, as well or better than anyone in this business, understand what the military is up against and understand its impact on the nation.”
He thanked Dicks for being “an advocate for a strong national defense to include military end strength increases.” Other work Sullivan cited, included raising the death gratuity, helping enact the Post 9/11 GI Bill and health care.
Sullivan called Frelinghuysen “a sincere advocate for our military personnel, their families and for the need to provide appropriate funding for our Army.”
Other work cited included more funding for research into traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress improving better benefits for veterans especially in health care and working to prevent homelessness.