Georgia State Representative Scott Holcomb: Serving Those Who Serve Us
Truman Fellow Scott Holcomb featured in the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs:
Last week, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visited Fort Stewart in Georgia where the President signed an Executive Order to help ensure all of America’s service members, veterans, spouses, and other family members have the information they need to make informed educational decisions and are protected from aggressive and deceptive targeting by educational institutions.
Georgia State Representative Scott Holcomb, who served at Fort Stewart, reflects on the President’s commitment to veterans:
Just before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, I received an email from my father. A combat veteran from Vietnam, my father was a quiet man who did not write much, but what he did write was important. It was, “Look after your fellow soldiers and you’ll be ok.”
Looking out for each other is a core value for those who serve, and the President and First Lady understand this. I had the honor of meeting with the President and First Lady during their visit with the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart and time and time again they said to the soldiers, veterans, and their families: “we’ve got your backs.”
The First Lady deserves much credit for her work looking after military families. She understands the sacrifices that families must endure, particularly when service members are deployed. Consequently, she is a staunch advocate for military families and Joining Forces, which is an initiative that she and Dr. Jill Biden are championing to help soldiers and their families.
The President has rightly made looking after soldiers and veterans a key focus of his administration. He brought the war in Iraq to a responsible end. He has boosted resources to the Veterans Administration. He has urged employment opportunities for veterans in the private sector and increased federal government hiring of veterans. And he has promoted educational opportunities, particularly through the Post 9-11 GI Bill. He believes, as I do, that education is the pathway to the middle class and that the Post 9-11 GI Bill can have as strong of an impact on our nation as the original GI Bill did. Along the way, he wants to make sure that veterans get a fair deal, and that’s why he signed an Executive Order at Fort Stewart to protect veterans by stopping misleading and deceptive practices by educational institutions that target soldiers, veterans and their families.
Soldiers, veterans and their families have each other’s backs. It’s great to know that the President and First Lady have them as well.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Truman National Security Project or Educational Institute.