ICYMI: Senator Carper Commemorates National Veterans and Military Families Month

In Case You Missed It, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), a 23-year U.S. Navy veteran, commemorated National Veterans and Military Families Month by listening and learning from veterans across Delaware and sharing his own story of service. Ahead of Veterans Day, Senator Carper hosted his annual Veterans Summit in Delaware, and also spoke with National Journal’s Savannah Behrmann and Military.com’s Richard Sisk about his experience serving as the last Vietnam veteran in the United States Senate. He then wrapped up the month by visiting Dover Air Force Base, where the Delaware delegation secured funding for a new hangar and dormitory.

Read more in the National Journal, Military.com, WMDT (broadcast), WDEL (radio), WMDT, and the Delaware News Journal, or see more below:

Q+A with Tom Carper

By: Savannah Behrmann

November 8, 2023

Democratic Sen. Tom Carper, 76, is the last Vietnam War veteran serving in the U.S. Senate. Carper, who is retiring next year after four terms in the Senate, completed five years of service as a naval flight officer and served three tours of duty in Southeast Asia. The former Delaware governor, who has spent more than three decades in Congress, sat down with Savannah Behrmann ahead of Veterans Day to talk about how his military service made him an advocate on Capitol Hill for veterans’ health. He has been crucial in passing key pieces of veterans legislation—including the PACT Act that President Biden signed into law last year—and prides himself on being a voice for service members and their families on Capitol Hill. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. […]

What does it mean to you to be the last Vietnam War veteran in the Senate ahead of Veterans Day?

It’s interesting because when most of us came back from Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War or after the war, we did not get a warm welcome in most quarters. Today, wherever I go, I get introduced as the last Vietnam War veteran serving [in the Senate] and I get standing ovations. It’s amazing. Amazing. And it’s not because of me personally, but I think people in the country know that as a nation we made a big mistake in the way we welcomed Vietnam veterans. And there’s an effort now to compensate for that, to make amends for that, and it’s very endearing and meaningful, and other Vietnam veterans feel it too. […]

Last Vietnam Vet in Senate, Set to Retire, Reflects on Efforts to Reconcile with Former Enemies in Hanoi

By: Richard Sisk

November 10, 2023

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., the last Vietnam veteran in the Senate, recalled this week joining with other Vietnam veterans in Congress back in the 1990s to press for normalizing relations with their former enemies in Hanoi.

During his time in the House of Representatives prior to his election to the Senate, Carper led a congressional delegation with the endorsement of then-President George H.W. Bush on a 1991 mission to Vietnam to explore whether the Vietnamese would share more information on Americans missing in action in exchange for opening a path to restoring relations. […]

Vietnam veterans in Congress brought a different perspective to military and veterans issues than their predecessors from World War II and Korea as a result of how they were treated when they came home, Carper said.

“Coming back from Vietnam, we didn’t get a warm welcome,” Carper said

He and other Vietnam veterans pushed to help Americans distinguish between how they may feel about U.S. engagement in a war and the troops sent to fight it. “So, there’s been a big change from how it was during Vietnam and now,” Carper said, and the change has been for the better. […]


November 21, 2023

“Members of Delaware’s congressional delegation today [were] at Dover Air Force Base for the ‘State of the Base.’ They say it’s an investment that’s crucial for the community, and one they are happy to fight for year after year. […]

“Senator Tom Carper says he’s been pushing for funds for the Base since he started his Senate term, and that investing in things like education is just as important as any military hardware. [Senator Carper said]: “We want to make sure that the schools that we have here are just excellent schools that are well built and well-staffed, and that the kids who go to school here have a chance to grow up and be anything they want to be.” […]

WDEL 101.7 FM

November 24, 2023

“Members of the local community gathered for the 2023 ‘State of the Base’ update. Air Force personnel have supported 447 security assistance missions and have moved 172 million pounds of cargo bound for Ukraine. Senator Tom Carper tells WBOC TV, ‘Without Dover Air Force Base, the chances for the Ukrainians to actually continue to be a free country – a Democratic country – are very small.’” […]

Dover State of the Base highlights new construction, re-supply missions for USAF

By: Rob Flaks

November 20, 2023

[…] Senator Tom Carper tells 47 ABC WMDT he has been working to get the base resources since he started in the Senate. He says the men and women who protect us deserve the best resources.

“We want to make sure that the schools that we have here are just excellent schools that are well-built and well-staffed, and the kids who go to school here have a chance to grow up and be anything they want to be,” Senator Carper said. […]

New hangar, dormitory among plans detailed at Dover Air Force Base community meeting

By: Ben Mace

November 21, 2023

[…] Delaware’s Congressional delegation, Sen. Tom Carper, Sen. Chris Coons and Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, spoke of the base’s impact.

Carper received a standing ovation from the audience after Coons highlighted Carper’s service in the Navy in Vietnam along with about 40 years in Delaware government. Carper has announced he’s not running for reelection.

Carper said he’s proud of the air base projects for which the Congressional delegation has helped organize funding through the years including the new hangar and dormitory.

He thanked the Air Force personnel and said, “The Constitution is words on a piece of paper made real by service men and woman who risk their lives. I hope your service brings the same joy that my service has brought me.” […]