Tom Carper, U.S. Senator for Delaware

Making Veterans Employment a Top Priority

As a veteran, I know firsthand the sacrifices members of our military make by defending our nation. We have a responsibility to ensure that our returning heroes have resources and opportunities when they arrive home. That’s why, in 2012, I joined the new, bipartisan Senate Veterans Jobs Caucus, chaired by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). We formed this caucus to focus on ways to decrease the unemployment rate of our nation’s 857,000 unemployed veterans, and we have committed to:

  • Develop an “I Hire Veterans” Program that encourages veteran hiring within U.S. Senate offices.
  • Hold monthly Member or staff-level events to share information on veterans employment initiatives.
  • Monitor veterans employment issues by working with constituents, government and service organizations.
  • Work with state, local and national employers on programs to hire veterans. 

I joined this caucus because I am committed to ensuring our nation’s service members are able to return to the civilian workforce and lead successful lives.

As part of my goal to help our veterans find jobs, I have joined with Senator Coons and Representative Carney to host multiple jobs fairs throughout Delaware just for our veterans.

Strengthening Veterans Education Benefits

We have a moral imperative to ensure that those who have sacrificed for our country obtain the best education possible, one that will equip them with the skills they need to find a good job, repay their college loans, and go on to live productive lives. When I returned from Southeast Asia, the G.I. Bill made it possible for me to go to business school at the University of Delaware. Our vets returning home from across the world today deserve the same – if not better – opportunities I received almost 40 years ago. That’s why I introduced the Military and Veterans Education Protection Act. This legislation encourages all schools to provide high-quality educational opportunities to our service members and veterans, while ensuring that we get better results from taxpayer funded programs like the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill.

Ensuring our Veterans Receive the Aid They Need

In March 2013, I joined a group of Senators in sending a letter to President Obama urging him to take direct action to end the VA disability claims backlog that currently leaves more than 600,000 veterans without assistance. In this letter, we highlighted serious concerns with the amount of time the VA is currently taking to issue decisions for pending claims, which has kept veterans waiting more than 327 days on average – and more than 1,000 days in the worst cases – before receiving notification of a decision regarding their disability claim. This is unacceptable and clearly something that we can and should be doing better. I continue to work with my colleagues to help reduce the backlog of VA claims to ensure that our veterans receive the aid they need in a timely manner.

Sen. Carper with Delaware's Heroes

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