The Association of the United States Army (AUSA) presented Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, with its 2011 Outstanding Legislator Award at a Capitol Hill ceremony June 8.
The presentations were made by Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA, Ret., AUSA president, who was joined by Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, Army chief of staff.
Murray received the Outstanding Legislator Award based on her long-time and strong support for the Army as a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Defense Subcommittee; the Military Construction Subcommittee and on the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
She is now serving as the chairman of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.
"Murray is known in the Senate as a fierce advocate for veterans," an AUSA official said.
She has advocated for increased funding for military and veterans research and care for PTSD/TBI, and supports community-based veterans’ health clinics.
She also supports increased TRICARE coverage for reserve component soldiers, and helped pass the legislation creating the Post 9/11 GI Bill.
Murray recently introduced the "Hiring Heroes Act of 2011," a veterans’ employment bill that would authorize all returning veterans to receive broad job skills training and require that service members attend a transition assistance program before they leave the military.
The bill also would create new direct federal hiring authority to permit faster vet hiring, as well as improving veteran mentorship programs in the work sector.
Sen. John Cornyn received the award based on "his long-time and strong support for the Army," an AUSA official said.
Cornyn serves on three subcommittees of the Senate Armed Services Committee – Emerging Threats & Capabilities, Readiness & Management Support, and Strategic Forces.
He is a strong advocate for improving the quality of life for soldiers and their families as well as providing high quality equipment to soldiers.
He is also member of the Senate Reserve Caucus, the Army Caucus and the Senate National Guard Caucus.
He introduced the Fort Hood Victims and Families Benefits Protection Act in the Senate in the 112th Congress.
This is the 13th year AUSA has presented the award.