Congress will have fewer military veterans overall next year because of a series of retirements and losses by incumbents, but it will have more veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The influx of men and women who recently served in uniform should provide an additional push to ensure that the Obama administration is properly addressing the concerns of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As The Washington Post’s Steve Vogel reported Sunday, the administration can tout significant progress in combating several high-profile veterans problems, including reducing unemployment and homelessness, but still faces significant challenges in reducing the backlog of disability claims — a chronic concern of veterans of all wars. So who are the new and returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan serving in Congress? Here’s a tally compiled by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America:
Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who were reelected:
— Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.), Army and Marine reserves, Iraq
— Rep. Christopher P. Gibson (R-N.Y.), Army, Iraq
— Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), Army Reserve, Iraq
— Rep. Joseph J. Heck (R-Nev.), Army Reserve, Iraq
— Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Marine Corps and Reserves, Iraq and Afghanistan
— Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.), Air Force and Air National Guard, Iraq and Afghanistan
— Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio), National Guard, Iraq
Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who are newly elected to Congress:
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