Congressman Garamendi meets with his Veterans Advisory Committee.
MARYSVILLE, CA – Today Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, spoke at the Yuba-Sutter Stand Down for homeless and struggling veterans. Yesterday he met with his Veterans Advisory Committee to discuss issues of importance to veterans and military personnel in the region.
At both events, veterans emphasized the need for greater communication from government agencies about services available to help them. Garamendi asked veterans at both events to get out to their networks two programs available right now to help veterans: the Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which entitles many businesses to a $2,400 and $9,600 tax credit to hire veterans, and the Veterans Retraining and Assistance Program, which entitles qualified veterans to receive up to 12 months of education assistance. The veterans in turn asked the Congressman to continue focusing like a laser on services to help veterans find jobs, which he promised to do.
"It’s good to hear straight from the veterans what’s on their mind," Congressman Garamendi said. "No one knows better than veterans what veterans need. I’ll take the ideas and feedback I heard at the Stand Down and at my Veterans Advisory Committee back to Washington and make sure my Congressional colleagues know what concerns veterans in our region."
Garamendi updated the veterans on the progress of his two bills to help veterans get jobs and avoid predatory debt practices. H.R. 6293, the Servicemembers Rights Enforcement Improvement Act of 2012, and H.R. 3860, the Help Veterans Return to Work Act. He encouraged the veterans to watch his recent presentation at the Commonwealth Club which addressed these bills and other issues of concern to veterans. Congressman Garamendi also gave an update on his work to bring the KC-46 program to Travis Air Force Base and alerted the veterans to his three upcoming Academy Nights for prospective National Academy nominees.
"The meeting was productive – a good exchange of information," Ted Puntillo, Solano County’s Veterans Service Officer, said about the Advisory Committee meeting.
Garamendi asked the veterans what was the best way to get information out to their communities, and reflecting changing times, the general consensus was that e-mail gets to the most number of veterans most efficiently. Garamendi pledged to escalate his outreach to veterans in the region via e-mail.