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Tuesday
Sep252012

Carol Shea-Porter’s Ad: Highlighting a Deep Commitment to Military Veterans

New Hampshire – Carol Shea-Porter’s husband is a Vietnam-era veteran, and she was proud to be a military spouse. She understands the needs of our active-duty military and veterans, and knows the personal cost is high for all, but incredibly high for some. This personal background has led to a deep commitment to our nation’s military and veterans. While in Congress, Carol fought hard and successfully to ensure that they have improved access to the quality health care, education, and other benefits that we promised them. Their welfare continues to be one of her top priorities.

Carol thanked our troops and veterans for their service with expanded access to in-state medical care, with increased funding for veterans health care and benefits—the largest increase in the history of the VA—and with the new GI Bill of Rights. She started the fight for expanded care for our New Hampshire vets by introducing the Veterans Health Equity Act in 2008. Thanks to her persistence and hard work, veterans now have access to acute in-patient care in-state through a contract with Concord Hospital.  Carol has secured funding for everything from the Yellow Ribbon program for deployed members of the New Hampshire National Guard, to construction at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and National Guard installations. Carol held reckless defense contractors accountable for gross negligence that harmed troops, and her legislation prohibiting troop exposure to toxins from burn pits in war zones became law. She protected benefits by stopping health insurance rate hikes for our troops and veterans through her amendment to prevent increases in TRICARE fees. Carol also introduced two pieces of legislation, which became law, to make sure that our veterans and National Guard and Reserve families are treated fairly when overpayments or bonus issues arise.

Josh Denton, an Iraq War Combat Veteran who appeared in Carol’s ad, stated:

“I will vote for Carol Shea-Porter this election because she has a strong and indisputable record in Congress of supporting veterans.  She is a fighter, especially for younger veterans like me.  Thanks to her support of the New GI Bill, I was able to graduate from the University of New Hampshire School of Law. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Carol led the fight to end the practice of military burn pits, which may become the Agent Orange or Gulf War Syndrome of my generation.  Thanks to Carol, the Veteran's Administration not only recognizes burn pits as a potential cause of sickness, but  also veterans are not required to present documented exposure to the pits in order to receive treatment, unlike the victims of Agent Orange.”

In 2003, Josh received his commission as a US Army officer from ROTC.  He was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, where as a Second Lieutenant he served as an artillery platoon leader and then as a First Lieutenant served as the executive officer (XO) of an artillery battery.  As a Captain, he served in Baghdad from 2006 - 2007, as an embedded combat advisor to an 800 man Iraqi infantry battalion.  In Fall 2007, upon returning from Iraq, he left the service and moved to Portsmouth.  In Fall 2009, when the Post 9/11 GI Bill went into effect, he began law school and graduated this past May.  This past summer, while he studied for the bar exam, he organized New Hampshire's "Welcome Home" End of the Iraq War Parade, the first such parade in New England.

Wayne H. Merritt, Msgt (Ret.), USAF/NHANG, an Afghanistan War veteran, made the following statement.

“Carol Shea-Porter, who worked diligently on behalf of military personnel while in Congress, has earned my gratitude, my admiration -- and my vote.  Carol took the initiative and sponsored the Military Retired Pay Fairness Act, to prevent veterans like me, who completed a career in the military, from confronting extreme financial hardship when required to repay separation benefits.  Thousands of military members accepted early separation during the Post-Cold War draw-down, but then came back into the military in the mid 1990’s or were activated after 9/11, to restore troop strength.  Many completed a career, qualifying for retirement pay.  The Defense Department's repayment formula was draconian and did not consider the economic climate or the retiree’s financial status. Carol's legislative leadership enabled me and 1,100 other retirees to negotiate a reasonable recoupment plan with DoD.  Please join me in restoring Carol to the People’s Seat.”

 In 1981 Wayne enlisted in the US Air Force and received training as a Law Enforcement Specialist. and then as a Human Resource Intelligence Linguist/Debriefer/Interrogator.  Except for 2 years of training, he served in Japan from 1982-92, and then deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Desert Storm.  He worked as a DoD civilian Naval Intelligence Officer in Japan and with the Ready Reserve Component of the USAF from 1992-1995.  He enlisted with the 157th Air Refueling Wing in the New Hampshire Air National Guard in 1996 and became a member of the active Guard and Reserve in 1997.  He is a veteran of Operation Noble Eagle and Operation Enduring Freedom.  He retired with 20 years of USAF/NHANG active duty and four years of assorted military/DoD Civilian service in 2006.  Wayne is currently an Airport Operations Agent at the Airport Management Office, Portsmouth International Airport since 2007.

Lew Henry, a Vietnam War veteran who appeared in Carol’s ad, made the following statement.   

Carol Shea-Porter is my hero. She always stands up for regular folks. I will be proudly voting for Carol in November. As a veteran I have watched Carol protect soldiers, veterans, and their families from the politicians, usually non-veterans, who sent them to war and then ignored them after their service. Carol ended the noxious practice of military burn pits, saving a generation of soldiers from breathing poisonous air, and she got quicker medical help to those already exposed. She ended the collection of debts against families of soldiers killed in action. She was instrumental in supporting and upgrading the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. She voted to increase funding for veteran's health care, to stabilize VA funding, to provide soldiers and veterans with help for PTSD, to get an in-state hospital for acute care along with continuing the fight for in-state full medical care for veterans. Her support of the New GI Bill gives veterans a shot at a quality college education. Carol's boundless accomplishments make her the veteran's best friend in Congress.”

Lew Henry served in the US Army from October 1965 until August 1968. He was a Combat Engineer with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam from April 1967 until March 1968.

Nathan Webster, a Gulf War I veteran who appeared in Carol's ad, stated:

"I'llbe voting for Carol Shea-Porter because, during her years serving us on the House Armed Services Committee, she committed herself to oversight of the Defense Department and reckless contractors.  Her work to end the practice of using burn pits for waste disposal was particularly important to our soldiers' health.  I saw these burn pits in real life, and they are toxic, horrid nightmares that require strong congressional oversight by leaders like Carol Shea-Porter to protect our soldiers."

Nathan Webster, who now teaches English at the University of New Hampshire, served in the Army from 1987-1992, and was stationed in South Korea, Guantanamo Bay, and Iraq during Operation Desert Storm in 1991.  He also traveled to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom as an embedded freelance photojournalist, and his stories and photography were published in newspapers across the country.

Jim Webber, a Korean War veteran who appeared in Carol’s ad, made the following statement.

“I will vote for Carol Shea-Porter this election because of what she stands for in campaign financing, strengthening the economy, and improving educational opportunities for children. When in congress, she cosponsored the Fair Elections Now Act, which would implement public financing of elections. I hardily support her efforts to strengthen American manufacturing and promote the Innovation Agenda legislation and thus create good jobs. We need to educate the future generation for these job opportunities. Carol believes that education is the key to prosperity in this country as demonstrated by her work on the Head Start program, Upward Bound and college student aid.”

Jim Webber is an engineer with an MBA from the Harvard Business School where he majored in manufacturing. His career in manufacturing included assignments in research, technical service and manufacturing management, the latter in Silicon Valley. More recently, Jim has been a management consultant specializing in strategic planning, innovation, and helping managers deal with uncertainty through the understanding of complexity theory. He recently completed a PhD in Human and Organization Development.  He is a veteran of the Korean War serving in ballistics research.

Congressional Candidate Carol Shea-Porter also released the following statement:

“The support from so many veterans like Josh, Wayne, Lew, Nathan, and Jim, is truly humbling and inspiring.  Their courage and sacrifice are why I am passionate about public service.  Our nation is truly indebted to our troops and our veterans, and in Congress, I will continue to be an advocate for them and their families.”

BACKGROUND:

Carol Shea-Porter—SUPPORTING OUR MILITARY MEMBERS AND OUR NATIONAL SECURITY—enacted measures or appropriations:

o   Carol voted to EXPAND TRICARE military health coverage for reserve component members and their families for 180 days prior to mobilization and to prohibit fee increases on TRICARE inpatient care for 2011; and amended the FY11 Defense bill to prohibit TRICARE increases for 2012.

o   TOXIC BURN PITS PROHIBITION:  Carol amended the FY10 Defense Authorization to prohibit the use of open-air “burn pits” for solid waste disposal in war zones. There is evidence that some who were exposed to the dangerous toxins released have become ill or have died.

o   ACCOUNTABILITY FOR RECKLESS DEFENSE CONTRACTORS:  Carol amended the FY10 Defense Authorization to hold reckless defense contractors accountable if they endanger our troops through gross negligence.

o   Carol authored a bill, now law, to prevent the government from collecting debts against the families of soldiers killed in combat or who died from combat injuries.

o   Carol supported the WOUNDED WARRIOR ASSISTANCE ACT, which provides our returning soldiers with better access to services, counselors, and patient advocates.  She also supported legislation to better address traumatic brain injury (TBI), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicide prevention, as well as to extend eligibility for health and rehabilitation benefits.

o   NH NATIONAL GUARD:  In addition to obtaining needed equipment and facilities, Carol secured funding for NH’s Full Cycle Deployment Support Program, a Yellow Ribbon program for military members and their families that supports them before, during, and after deployment.  Our National Guard families do not live on bases where support is provided.

o   PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD:  One of Carol’s top priorities was to ensure that our Shipyard, which is doing stellar work for our nation’s defense, remains on the cutting edge and to protect the jobs of the nearly 5,000 people who work there. She was very successful in securing funds for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard – over $35 million dollars during her time in Congress.  This funding has helped ensure the long-term viability of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and the continued growth of our Seacoast communities.

o   Carol is an original cosponsor of the updated GI BILL OF RIGHTS, which fully restores education benefits to veterans and ensures that today’s Iraq and Afghanistan veterans will have the same opportunity to attend college as their grandparents.

o    Carol voted for the VETERANS HEALTH CARE BUDGET REFORM & TRANSPARENCY ACT, a top priority of veterans’ groups, which authorized Congress to approve VA medical care appropriations one year in advance to ensure reliable and timely funding and prevent politics from ever delaying VA health care funding.

o   Carol voted for the CAREGIVERS AND VETERANS OMNIBUS HEALTH SERVICES ACT, landmark legislation that provided help to caregivers of disabled, ill or injured veterans, and improved VA health services for women veterans.

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