Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Patrick "Walks The Walk"

The following Guest Opinion recently appeared in the Bucks County Courier Times...

On the campaign trail, Congressman Patrick Murphy talked about how a good officer always lets his troops eat first. This means a commitment to taking care of the men and women who serve under you. I am proud to say that Congressman Murphy has remained true to his word by becoming one of Congress' most dedicated and effective advocates for our troops and veterans.

A couple months ago, this paper printed a Thumbs Up editorial commending Murphy for his bipartisan work with Bucks County Veterans Affairs Director Dan Fraley. Thanks to the bipartisan efforts of Murphy and Fraley, a new generation of veterans will now be informed of the range of benefits available to them. Murphy showed the bureaucrats at the VA how they could implement a simple, low-cost solution that will have a real-life effect on veterans all across the country. That's exactly the kind of bipartisanship and common-sense thinking we need to fix what's wrong with Washington.

Recently, the Department of Veterans Affairs closed a deal to purchase 200 acres in Upper Makefield to build Southeastern Pennsylvania's National Veterans Cemetery. Again Murphy put partisanship aside and worked with local supervisors and school board members to resolve the issues that stood in the way of hundreds of thousands of veterans getting the appropriate final resting place they have earned.

Murphy also had a central role in getting our troops a pay raise. When President Bush threatened to reject the National Defense Authorization Act because he thought a 3.5 percent pay increase was too generous for our troops, Murphy stood up and passed legislation giving the troops their raise. Thanks to his action, our troops should soon be seeing a bump in their pay checks.

Murphy has also worked hard to honor the sacrifices of our veterans. He arranged a beautiful Veterans Day ceremony at Washington Crossing and he passed a bill to name the Morrisville Post Office after Guardsman Nate DeTample, one of Bucks County's fallen sons. Murphy also passed legislation to improve the care for homeless veterans. He's introduced a bill to improve housing, small business, and educational opportunities for veterans, another bill to protect the rights of deployed troops, and a third to help veterans find jobs. In fact, he recently sponsored a Veterans Jobs and Small Business forum right here in Bristol to connect veterans looking for jobs with small businesses looking for employees.

In terms of helping our veterans and our troops, Murphy has accomplished more in his first year in office than many members of Congress do in their entire careers. So when the partisan attacks start flying later this year, as they surely will, remember that when it comes to supporting the troops, Murphy walks the walk. When he was in the military, he always made sure his men and women ate before he did, and his record shows that he has brought that same attitude to his job as our representative. Even if you're not a veteran, you can appreciate that.

Anthony DiNardi is a proud veteran of 8 years and has lived in Levittown, PA for 32 years.
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