Manchester, NH) – Nearly 75 veterans rallied in support of First District Congressman Jeb Bradley at American Legion Post 79 today in support of his re-election bid for New Hampshire's First District Congressional seat. Many prominent members of the veterans' community thanked Bradley for his hard work on behalf of New Hampshire veterans and pledged their support in the upcoming general election. In turn, Bradley reiterated his enduring support for those issues important to veterans of the Granite State and the nation. Bradley has long been a champion of veterans' issues, working to increase budget authority for veterans' health care and ensuring that veterans receive the benefits they deserve.

"Keeping our promise to our nation's veterans is one of our most important responsibilities in Congress, and is a top priority of mine. As a member of Congress, I am fully committed to ensuring that the approximately 130,000 veterans living in New Hampshire have access to the benefits, pay and health care that they need and deserve. I will continue to work hard to make sure that their concerns are addressed in Washington."

As a member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Bradley offered two amendments to the Congressional Budget Resolution in 2005 and 2006 that increased budget authority for veterans' health care. This year, his amendment – which passed the Committee unanimously and was incorporated into the House Budget Resolution – increased the budget authority for veterans' health care by $795 million in fiscal year 2007 and by $3.975 billion over the next five years without the Administration's proposed increases in drug co-payments and enrollment fees.

Bradley worked with the Deputy Secretary of the VA to ensure that the VA's proposal to curtail the hours of operation at the Manchester VA Medical Center emergency room would not be implemented. In addition, Bradley introduced legislation that would give Congress ample opportunity for oversight on any future proposals to curtail emergency room hours within the Department of Veterans Affairs' Health Care System.

Bradley has also been a strong advocate for expanding the community-based outpatient clinic network in New Hampshire and helped to bring a new CBOC to Somersworth in 2003. Bradley introduced legislation that will provide chiropractic care for veterans and expand outreach services and readjustment counseling for veterans returning from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Bradley has also introduced legislation to improve access to State Veterans Homes for severely disabled veterans, and to provide supportive services to very low-income veterans in their homes in an effort to prevent homelessness.

Paul Chevalier, Past State Commander of the N.H. Veterans of Foreign Wars, stated, "I am honored to be among the group of New Hampshire Veterans supporting the re-election of Jeb Bradley as our U.S. Representative for New Hampshire's First District. Jeb has worked tirelessly for veterans issues since going to Washington in 2003. He serves on the key committees for veterans: the Armed Services Committee, Veterans Affairs Committee, and the Budget Committee as well. His influence and hard work have been instrumental in keeping the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard open when it was targeted in the recent BRAC process, and it was due to his diligence that the VA Emergency Rooms are being kept open nationwide. All of New Hampshire's veterans and active duty men and women can be thankful we have him working on our behalf."

Dr. Brian K. Matchett, Past Department Commander of the N.H. Disabled American Veterans, stated, "New Hampshire veterans have a new, 3,100-square foot Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Somersworth because of Jeb Bradley's involvement and advocacy. Jeb has fought for more counselors to work with recently-discharged combat veterans with PTSD and stopped the VA from implementing a proposal to curtail emergency room hours across the country. Jeb has risen beyond the call and is a tremendous human services advocate for veterans."

Bill Hooley, Past Department Commander, American Legion 2004-2005, stated, "Congressman Bradley has been a champion of veterans issues both here in New Hampshire and in Washington. He truly understands the needs of the veteran community in the Granite State and has worked hard to ensure we have access to the facilities, health care and benefits that we need. There is no one who has worked harder for New Hampshire veterans and I am thrilled to support Congressman Bradley's re-election effort."