Military service teaches us to “have each others’ backs.” This is a sacred duty that continues into civilian life, especially for injured veterans. Tester’s leadership and support for veteran’s issues is outstanding. I’m stressing leadership here. It’s easy for politicians to rattle sabers and mouth platitudes about how much they value service. It’s another to actually pass bills that improve wounded veterans’ lives.
Since his election, Jon has listened to and respected veterans’ suggestions, and then shepherded them into law. He’s made significant differences, especially in rural states like Montana. Thanks to him, we now have health clinics in Lewiston, Cutbank, Havre, Libby and the Bitterroot. We also have him to thank for increasing the mileage rate so veterans can afford to drive the long distances sometimes needed to obtain care. Why didn’t Rehberg, who was in Congress for 6 years before Jon’s election, get this done?
Rehberg actually voted more than once against important legislation. As an example, I refer you to a June guest column in Montana papers by Republican Lt. Governor Bohlinger’s wife. She wrote, “Just this month the House of Representatives (including Rep. Denny Rehberg) voted against a proposal to increase funding for research on PTSD, traumatic brain injury and prosthetic limbs. Freedom isn’t free. I find it unconscionable to make a decision that affects soldiers and veterans, like my son, who defended our country and whose lives are now forever changed. This type of research has allowed my son, along with thousands of veterans, to continue their progress and live more meaningful lives.”
Montanans who truly value and understand the sacrifice made by veterans (there’s more to it than sporting a bumper sticker) are voting Jon Tester for Senate.