"It’s our duty as citizens and grateful Americans to make sure that we keep and strengthen the promises we have made to all of those who have worn our country’s uniform. -- Rep. Becerra, Veterans Day, November 11, 2012.
Watch Rep. Becerra's video message to veterans here:
Historic Progress in Paying Our Veterans Back
Rep. Becerra (far right) attends enrollment ceremony for the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act, December 17, 2010.
From 2007 to 2010 our government made more progress than in the previous three decades in paying our veterans back for their service and sacrifice. Below are some of the major accomplishments for veterans of the Democratic-led Congress that Rep. Becerra supported:
G.I. Bill of Rights for the 21st Century In 2008 the Democratic-led Congress passed a G.I. Bill of Rights for the 21st Century. The law restored the promise of a full, four-year college education for about 2 million Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, making them part of the economic recovery. The law also allows veterans up to 15 years after they leave active duty to use their education benefits (up from 10).
American Recovery & Reinvestment Act The Recovery Act (2009) and subsequent Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act built on the G.I. Bill to provide incentives for businesses to hire recently discharged veterans, make it easier for veterans to refinance into more affordable mortgages, and create a one-stop-shop for veterans who wish to start their own business.
Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund In 2009, after nearly 60 years of struggle on the part of Filipino veterans of World War II, Congress established the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund to award these veterans the compensation they were promised. The Fund provides a one-time payment to these veterans who fought in the United States Armed Forces in the Pacific--many of whom now live in and around California's 31st Congressional District. Rep. Becerra worked for many years to ensure that these veterans received the long overdue benefits and recognition they were promised.
In 2010, Rep. Becerra was awarded the Order of the Golden Heart by the former President of the Phillippines, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. In this photo Rep. Becerra meets with Filipino Veterans of World War II and the General Consul of the Phillippines in Los Angeles, August 26, 2010.
Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations of 2007 To meet the growing needs of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Democratic-led Congress passed the largest increase in funding for the VA and veterans services in 77 years. This appropriations bill has led to a steady decrease in the backlog of veterans waiting for disability and other benefits by adding over a thousand new claims processors. It also dramatically increased resources for the VA to treat Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome and Traumatic Brain Injury.
Rep. Becerra participates in the 2011 Northeast Los Angeles Veterans Parade.