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Our military veterans have served selflessly and sacrificed so much for our freedom and protection. Our veterans have conquered totalitarianism, stared down communism and taken the fight to extremists. All because our country needed them, they readily put on the uniform without being asked.

Since I’ve been in Congress, I’ve worked closely with Nebraska’s veterans. After listening to our local VFW #2503, I have introduced the Veterans Equality to Salute (VETS) Act that allows veterans and military personnel not in uniform to salute the U.S. Flag during the Pledge of Allegiance. Previous legislation allowed veterans and active military personnel not in uniform to salute the flag during the raising, lowering and passing of the flag and during the National Anthem but not during the Pledge of Allegiance. After all of the sacrifices made by our military, they have earned the right to honor the flag they protected with a military salute.

I believe it is our duty to provide quality medical care and facilities to our veterans. As a part of theMilitary Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, I authored an amendment that addresses the cost budget over runs and delays in building of major construction projects that includes military hospitals. This amendment prohibits federal funds from being used to increase funding of current VA construction projects. It is important that the VA controls its contract and bidding system and gets an accurate estimate so hospitals can be completed in a timely manner and we can move on to future projects.

I’ve also championed a new national veterans cemetery in Sarpy County. In 2009, I led the effort in the House to change the Veteran Population Threshold, which is a determining factor in the location of all new national cemeteries. As a result, a provision in the MilCon/VA FY 2010 budget established a national cemetery in Sarpy County. In the Veterans Affairs and Military Construction spending bill in the first session of the 113thCongress

The new national cemetery in Sarpy County will provide an honorable resting place closer to home for over 112,000 Veterans in the Omaha area.

I am continually humbled by the honorable service of our military personnel. I am proud of the service of our veterans and am grateful they bravely served and sacrificed for our freedoms.

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