SEN. JIM WEBB AND VIRGINIA VETERANS LAUNCH VETERANS FOR KAINE

Richmond, VA - Today, Kaine for Virginia launched Veterans for Kaine, a dynamic group of more than 100 Virginia veterans and military family members who will help share Governor Tim Kaine’s commitment to our military families and veterans with voters across Virginia. The group includes representatives of all branches of the military, Guard, and Reserves, with service during peacetime and in various foreign conflicts.

“Our nation has a responsibility to honor the service and sacrifice of our military men and women, veterans, and their families. As a Senator, I will never take lightly the decision to send our best and brightest into harm’s way, but if deployment is required, I will work to ensure they are well equipped to be successful and protect themselves in battle. And if chosen to serve in the U.S. Senate, I promise that my commitment to our veterans and their families will not end once our men and women return home,” said Gov. Kaine. “I had the high honor of commanding the Virginia National Guard as governor, and I would again consider it an honor to work in the U.S. Senate on behalf of our veterans and military families as we seek improved economic and educational opportunities.”

“I am proud to join veterans from across Virginia in support of Governor Tim Kaine for the U.S. Senate,” said Senator Jim Webb. “Tim is committed to maintaining the respect for the service that America's veterans have given to our country, often at great risk and personal cost. As Governor, Tim championed Virginia's Wounded Warrior Initiative and signed it into law as well as secured funding for in-state tuition. As Senator, he will work hard to protect the compensation and benefits for our active-duty service members, as well as benefits for those veterans who served our country so bravely and so well in the past. I could not be more proud than to have Tim Kaine succeed me in the Senate and continue the good work that Virginia's families deserve.”

Governor Kaine is committed to continuing the Virginia tradition of strong advocacy for military families and veterans in the Senate, including more than 30 years of exceptional bipartisan leadership on military and veterans issues from Senators John Warner and Jim Webb. He understands that unemployment is an especially acute problem among our returning veterans, which is why he has been a vocal supporter of federal efforts to improve the educational and job opportunities available to veterans, including Senator Webb’s post-9/11 GI Bill and the recently signed bipartisan “VOW to Hire Heroes Act,” which will encourage the hiring of unemployed veterans. He strongly believes that the unique discipline and leadership skills possessed by our veterans make them ideal job candidates and is committed to promoting veteran hiring and increasing accessibility to veterans services if elected to the U.S. Senate.

To better understand the challenges veterans face in returning to civilian life, accessing services, and finding employment, Governor Kaine has held roundtable discussions across the state with veterans, military families, and advocates. These meetings have helped focus his priorities and provided insight into the needs of our returning heroes and their families. The latest roundtable with veterans will be held tomorrow near Quantico.

As our nation wrestles with how best to reduce the federal budget deficit, Governor Kaine will prioritize the needs of current enlistees and honor the promises made to our veterans. He has advocated a balanced approach of cuts and revenues to address our deficit, rather than the “all cuts” approach favored by others running for U. S Senate. The “all cuts” approach could force deep cuts to veterans health care services, retirement plans, and other important benefits and programs. He has also spoken out against recently reported changes being considered to veterans retirement packages.

As Governor, Tim Kaine committed at the state level to supporting our military men and women, including Reservists and members of the National Guard, and easing the burden on our military families at home. He made the children of troops stationed in Virginia eligible for in-state tuition and took proactive steps at the state level to streamline and improve veterans services and connect more men and women with available resources. In 2008, he supported and signed legislation establishing the Virginia Wounded Warrior Initiative to expand treatment for mental health disorders and other challenges that confront returning veterans. He also signed legislation to help protect the jobs of deployed Guard personnel, make it easier for families to stay together through military transfers, and improve ballot access and voting procedures for deployed troops.

For more information on Veterans for Kaine, including a list of current members and the group’s mission statement, please visit http://www.kaineforva.com/veterans.

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