tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN November 12, 2015 12:00am-7:01am EST
after i received the letter. i called back in 10 days, and explain to them what my situation was -- explained to them what my situation was, and they give me a number. they gave me a toll-free number to kansas. they said that we can't find you all on file. well, where did i get the card to start with? host: robert, i will have dr. kudler jump in. guest: i will share your frustration, robert. giant bureaucracies can be maddening, and when you're in pain, when you're entitled to care, and we can't -- when you answer, of straight course you are frustrated. i do want to say that a veteran should never be afraid if they are not getting the answers they need from the person they are speaking to to go a rank higher. but also speak to your state
veterans service officer, who can help you negotiate with this. call rate to the director's office and ask for attention to your situation -- right to the director's office and ask for attention to your situation. i apologize. that is not the way people are supposed to get care. guest: i have also heard secretary donald say to call me directly -- secretary mcdonald say to call me directly or e-mail me directly. i have been impressed by people who really want to help. and our orientation, they said if somebody asks for directions, don't just point them there, take them there. i have seen people go way out of their way to do everything they can, but, yes, robert, i share your frustration. host: paula here in washington dc. caller: thank you. the question i would like addressed has to do with why
perhaps there aren't enough physicians, including mental health decisions, in the v.a. system. in my day, and i had exposure to this in the 1970's and the 1980's, there was something called fte where there was enough trouble recruiting physicians that doctors came in for less than full-time but were considered full-time. and i'm wondering if that is still going on it guest: all, -- still going on. guest: oh, no, that is not going on. if you are less than full-time, we are going to be sure when you are with us and when you are not with us. but speaking to the issue about the shortage of physicians, it is not just the v.a. there is a national shortage. especially in mental health, we are looking at a shortage for a long time. the v.a. has significantly
raised the salaries for psychiatrists and a putting in all sorts of benefits. we are also using tele health so i can hire a psychiatrist in wisconsin and have them working in texas. not everything has to go through the heads of a psychiatrist. if i can get a license professional mental health counselor, and therefore spread my resources around, but the bottom line is there are not enough psychiatrist. we are working on training our own. host: what about news practitioners? writing in today's "washington times," saying honoring the veterans by improving the health care, she says let nurse practitioners do some of the work. in particular, nurse prepared at aare
masters and often doctoral level. guest: well, both the v.a. and the military use nurse practitioners. i cannot speak the how many there are in the system, but they are a valued part of the team. guest: they have been with us for a very long team -- time. they have their own patient panels, and we weill -- we value them very highly. host: jerry, go ahead. ninth in served in the 1965. i had an incident two years ago when i went online, and it seems like i was accused of killing one of my fellows, which is not true. so i kind of -- [indiscernible] -- out. i needed some help. i called the crisis line.
the cops showed up at my house twice. i know i needed some help, so i went to the v.a. i had an appointment for an hour. i am on oxygen, and there was a guard, and i got disqualified for that even though i paid for it. be that as it may, i made a timely appointment could then they canceled it and i said, look, i am on oxygen, can i please go see a? yes. went in and talked to the main psychologist. -- [indiscernible] me and said,d at well, you appointment is only 15 minutes. how much do you drink? i said, what? he said, oh, you are now go, you take jocks -- you are an
alcoholic, you take drugs, you just a want to communicate. -- don't want to communicate. he said, by the way, i don't fill out any paperwork, i don't do anything for you. i don't take drugs. be that as it may, i got so depressed the only thing i had in my name was my car. i went to the bank, took a loan at my bank, $350. she used to work for the v.a. she put the paperwork in for me. and i went to this whole system blindfolded because i didn't have a representative to but i want to see what the normal veteran went through, and the reason why i did that because my next-door neighbor went to the same thing with the v.a. he killed himself. so i am just saying that -- and i want to get the impression
that the veterans are putting their hands out to get something. i took 14 credits. that is 12 credits full-time. i only got $50 because some of them were not credits. so all -- so i only got $50 from the g.i. bill. i worked three jobs and went to three junior colleges. i got three degrees. medicalmendatory -- laboratory technologist and a of medicine nuclear technologist. i invented a platform for breast-cancer that works at dupont. they didn't pay me a penny. i developed a system to do that on my own dime. i went to a big meeting with --
industry. the owners there -- how much money do think you are going to get? i said i probably want to make a nickel. i help these ladies who come in for breast-cancer and there is no platform because there is a new study. host: that is jerry in florida with his story. guest: that was tragic. and just to think about being in 1965 and coming back and not having your service honored and being given 15 minutes, that is not the v.a. i want to work in. i would like to recommend to him and others worried about something happening to them, the vet center would be a very good first stop. we have a computer located. google that center locator -- vet center locator, and map.
will on your -- and upwil come a map. click on your state, and the phone number and location will appear. they are not medical, but the point is they would help. whether or not he could prove he was working on operation ranch likelye is more than presumptively service-connected for any condition that might be related to agent orange. there are a lot of benefits he is not getting. host: can i ask you -- he seems to imply that he didn't seek help rate when he got back, but there was some incident that sort of sparked this trauma for him, and that he is seeking help years and years later. how often does that happen? guest: what we have seen with the vietnam veterans is that many of them didn't seek help when they came back. and now they are.
and that is for a few reasons. one is they may be getting older, they may be retired, perhaps they lost a spouse. and also the wars in iraq and afghanistan have triggered a lot of emotions. one of the characteristics about ptsd is that it is triggered by, say, the sound of a helicopter or the smell of diesel fuel. and some of these triggers take you back free powerfully to the war. so he didn't say that, but i suspect some of those issues happened to him. and certainly to other vietnam vets out there. don't think you are going crazy if you have been doing well for 40 years and all of a sudden you are getting flashbacks. host: we will go to sam, who is retired military, and austin, -- in austin, arkansas. caller: yes, thank you for taking my call. i am a 30 year plus veteran of the air force.
i was a dog kennel back in the 1970's in the vietnam era. i had an eight year break in service and i went back in, and i retired in 2007. i have a lot of medical issues. i had cancer in 2004 and a lot of skin problems and things like that. but what i find with the v.a. is most of the dock is they have down there -- doctors they have down there are not american-born doctors. a lot of them come from india, from china, from wherever they come from. and you are going in there for treatment. some of them can't even speak english. i have used the v.a. here in and i haved in texas used it in pennsylvania because i travel quite a bit visiting my grandkids, but all the v.a.'s that i have dealt with seem to think that we are there for
them. they are trying to get you in and out as quick as they can. you have very, very limited time with the doctor. they are in such a rush because there are so, so many veterans lined up at the doors. cars almost like cattle watching people come in and out of the v.a. host: sam, let's take those points. the types of doctors and also the amount of time they are getting with the doctor. guest: one of the things is people coming in from other countries. these people are trained in american programs. they have the skills, but i agree, communication is an issue. we can actually provide help with language skills for clinicians who are not good at this. we have the same in our residency programs. but also the idea of being in a rush, i guess we are. we have a lot of people that we are seeing, and there have than
more -- there have been more appointments. this is partly because we are screening people and getting them into treatment. .e are rapidly expanding the choice act will give us more expansion. i am also very glad that people like sam are coming in for help in putting up with right now the crush -- rush to meet that need. we will all get there together. and i want to thank sam for his service. host: one of our callers mentioned armistice day. guest: you know, i headed on the jacket anyway. the red poppy actually comes from a poem, which was a world war i poem written by a man who died before it ended. guest: which i might say you have memorized. copies used to spring up
-- poppies used to spring up wherever graves were. the poppy is to remember world war i, which ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. the v.a. was born out of world war i. there were soldiers coming out of the civil war, but they were places for people to live. they were not hospitals. at the end of world war i, there were over 4000 american veterans with so-called euro psychiatric ropsychiatric-neu casualties. they didn't have the skills to treat veterans or understand the combat issues that had brought them there. the v.a. was created by congress and by mental health professionals and the public to create a home for those folks. we are still growing. and we have a ways to go. guest: and to add to that just
briefly, this longest war that we are in, iraq-afghanistan, that has been about 2.4 million service members who have deployed. and then the aging vietnam population and from korea, there is still people. so the need has gone up so much. that is part of the reason i keep emphasizing the importance of the zillion -- civilian providers. there has to be enough of them who are willing to see that. host: we are talking with two doctors this morning and fault in veterans health and mental health -- involved in veterans health and mental health. veterans and0 for retired. caller: good morning. host: good morning. welcome. caller: i was calling in reference to a family member
that -- i have a sibling that didn't serve in the army, but he got honorable discharge. so i was checked to see what type of service the v.a. offers for family members that have members of the family that received honorable discharge from basic training where it could affect their mental health. we have been to numerous v.a.'s, we have been to psychiatrists, and our main issue is getting them long-term treatment, which i know that this person needs. i have seen them bounce back from having treatment for a week or so, but that treatment is not -- it needs to be more long-term. i am in the field of public health and i see the need and have done my research and mental illness, so if there is evidence chance through the v.a. for
members of public health to better assist the population, maybe through adding behavioral health analysis to your facilities. guest: thank you. first of all, i worked in north coletta for the past 30 years. so i want to mention to you that to the v.a. has a call line for family members called "coaching into care." i don't remember the phone number right off hand, but if you google it, it will pop up. and you can call this and speak to a health coach who will use public health principles to help you and -- help you help your veteran connect with the right information. and say your veteran would rather get care in the community, connect to to community care. system get you into a pa where ever you are eligible.
i want to mention that right off the bat. and i have known each other for several years. our departments cochaired the first v.a.-dod conference under mental health. coming out of that conference, i know i worked at that idea that if i thought i was a good psychiatrist, i would do a great job. i came to realize it was a public health issue. going to work required the department of defense, veterans affairs, and every civilian provided to ask the question: have you or someone close to you served in the military? and be able to talk to each other. this is a public health question. nationil the entire shoulders that burden, we will not have the responses we need. host: can i ask you, it might be a good idea to take a step back here. what is post-traumatic stress
disorder? and what the summit have to do to prove that they have this? guest: posttraumatic stress a term that was first used in 1980; however, we know that all wars have caused psychological reactions. there are different words for it. of ptsdmain attribute is a heavy traumatic event, and it has to be pretty bad -- the death of somebody or being in a disaster or being in combat -- and then you have a series of symptoms, reexperiencing, flashbacks, numbing and avoidance, hypervigilance, which is a fancy word for looking around all the time. and hypervigilance is good to have in a war zone, but if these symptoms persist when you come back, they can cause problems. and recently, there has been an update two years ago where they added sleep problems, physical problems like a nausea, and also
your debility and anger. anger. irritability and so, these are the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder, and they often come with depression as well. does that answer your question? host: it does. we will move on to charlie. charlie is in milwaukee, retired military. caller: good morning. i was in the united states air force and i was stationed over in turkey in the 1970's. and the -- [indiscernible] -- the base on a regular basis. werewas a time where they in conflict with greece over cyprus. stop things from coming into the country.
i was -- i had so much chemicals on my body that you can take a knife and go down your arm and it would come all off to and then when i -- off. and then when i left turkey, i went to a different air force base. and come to find out that the air force base was one of the anducers of agent orange, that they also had a lot of agent orange on the site. but when i went to the veterans administration, they were not give me -- what's not give me any -- would not give me any benefits for it. and the question i want to ask was, you know, the animated to having agent orange -- it admitted to having agent orange, but they didn't say anything about the civilian population
that were farmers and grew crops -- i used to go down the site and there was a farmer that had vegetables and i would get the vegetables and i would eat the vegetables at least two times a month. was at i got out, i home, i had blisters. and the milwaukee v.a. didn't have a dermatology clinic. host: charlie, i hate to jump in, but we are running out of time. dr. kudler, what do you say to him? guest: it is a complex toxicology question, but frankly the v.a. is one of the few institutions would be able to assess his problem. he has trouble connecting, i thinking is to keep going back through the v.a., the on spokesman. veteransthe disabled may be a great way to find him
somehow. guest: wars are environmentally dirty. and we have heard about agent orange, you remember the first gulf war where there was the culture and -- where there was the question of what causes gulf war virus. whether that causes problems, and over and over again through therey we have seen that are physical reactions to the toxins are present. certainly when i was over in iraq, we could smell the chemicals in the air. so it is a very important question. and again, the v.a. is a leader in this area, but it also -- civilian psychiatrist out there, make sure you ask about toxin exposures. host: let's get in alfred, retired military. could you make it quick, sir? caller: yes, ma'am, good morning. my claim has been on appeal since february 15.
february 15, 1974. manner i used to get my claim recalled -- [indiscernible] -- have locked my every appeal -- blocked my every appeal. and i'm not the only one. we need someone to get in touch with us so we can get our claims resolved. i have contacted the senators. all i'm getting from them is negativity. there are a lot of veterans here in the state of north carolina. we need a hotline that we can go to to help get our claims resolved and get through the red tape. could someone provide me with the number where i can get through and get some help with my claim of 42 years? guest: i want to say, in north carolina, the commission -- commissioner for veterans affairs is quite an activist and a marine.
and he will get on your case. the secretary of veterans affairs has given out his phone number. i don't have it personally, but you can call the v.a. at any level. winston-salem at the headquarters. i do appreciate your service. i hope you get a resolution they quickly. guest: you bring up another thing that i would like to mention. harold has been a leader in north carolina and aligning the civilian world with the v.a. and what we have seen based on that experience -- and with the substance abuse mental health is aices administration -- state-by-state look at what is going on. this involves not just the health care system, but involves colleges and universities. my last job, i was a cochair of the washington, d.c. effort. we worked a lot with police officers on how to work with veterans.
my last word about advocacy today is look at what is going on in your state. before you develop a new program, map out what is there. and then there is probably a lot that you can do in your state to help veterans. , thank you.dler colonel ritchie, thank you. next washington journal, the appeals court that blocked president obama plus injunction. and then tom ridge looks at new threats to the u.s. including threats to cyber where and the electrical grid. after that, the centers for disease control and prevention
an increase in foodborne outbreaks in the past few years. plus, your phone calls and tweets. live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> now a look at issues facing active and retired servicemembers. our guest on washington journal. this is 25 minutes. joining us from new york is bill rausch, political director for the iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. let's begin with what the white house plans to announce today. they want congress to pass the measure -- measures that would eat -- ease access to health care for veterans. fails want to take some action on education.
and then you have several states announcing that they have resolved homelessness for veterans. what do you make of all of this? guest: it is an interesting week for us. it is veterans week and it is a special time for the veteran community. state, local,s even the federal government stepping up and putting forth initiatives. is not onlyuse pushing for legislation as you mentioned. they have gathered veterans and family members of the white house this morning. the mayor of new york city announced a new department of veterans affairs. are is a week where there all kinds of exciting conversations about how to serve those who serve us, how to give back to the men and women who fought for this country. these are all great exciting things. from our perspective is what happens next week, next month, next year when not everyone is .aying attention
it is not just this week when everyone is paying attention. what is the state of veterans affairs at the department, in your opinion? guest: the department of , ourans affairs right now third policy priority this year is to reform government for today's veterans. we like to say that secretary bob mcdonald probably has the most difficult job in washington dc. i know your guests later today are going to talk about some of the ba medical clinic work, but v.a. has the completely lost the trust of the veteran population. one of them reach out to us is
that i feel uncomfortable going to the clinic where he lives. he reached out to us and we encouraged him to go back. had apecific individual good experience for the first time in a long time. , that is what we achieved from a membership perspective. and simultaneous to that we are pushing for new policy to modify the v.a.. the clay had asked at the beginning of this year, helping the v.a. recruit more mental health professionals where there is a significant shortage, helping the ba to conduct a survey. those are the kind of activities we can continue to build on and restore trust to veterans, because at the end of the day the v.a. exist to serve those who have won the battle. host: so we are taking your
questions and your comments on this veterans day. we have a special line for active and retired military, please call in at (202) 748-8003 bill rausch. bill rausch, let's talk about action in the senate yesterday. they approved and $80 billion spending bill for veterans programs and military construction projects. what can you highlight from this legislation that serve veterans? guest: yesterday was a busy day on the hill. there are a few things that we want to highlight. we are talking a lot about veterans issues, but a lot of these issues also apply to the men and women in uniform. one of the things that we are very pleased to see some of congress was -- and the budget deal, specifically -- some relief from sequestration. we think that is significant because what we have seen on the dod side, because of these , individuals are
being forced out. they have people saying, thanks service, it is time -- [indiscernible] he is been championing these issues for the community, he is continuing to work for military basis, and a daily he also has a package that he will be putting forward in the near future that we think is encouraging. host: let's go to mike in white plains, pennsylvania, a democrat. you are on the air. caller: let me put it this way. war theevolutionary veterans gotland -- got land.
bought it upeople and then they had to borrow. the only veterans that have ever gotten paid out were world war ii veterans. they should learn to take care of america first. we should never have been in iraq or afghanistan. host: bill rausch? guest: i will speak on the house of iraq and afghanistan veterans , our members, but i will also speak up on a personal perspective. i spent 17 months in iraq. i feel very fortunate and blessed that i have been welcome to thiswelcomes back country in a way i know many of my predecessors have not. just yesterday we noted veteran -- we met a veteran who talked about the challenges he had when he came back from vietnam. he came back to ohio, a small town where members of the local
, other vietnam aterans talked about other -- very different experience to what i had. i feel like the post-9/11 generation has benefited from the vietnam veterans, especially their work and the trailblazing they did which i believe created this sea of goodwill we benefit from today. there are certainly challenges in congress. we talked about funding packages just a moment ago. fully funding the v.a. has been a challenge. havey and large most folks been very supportive of the post-9/11 veterans. from my perspective i feel we have been very fortunate and blessed by a country that truly has been able to separate the war from the warrior. host: and in our last hour of today's washington journal, the ,ast half of our our -- hour
we'll be talking with veterans only and asking them about the transition to civilian life. veterans only as we continue to mark veterans day 2015. bill rausch, what about unemployment among veterans? here the headline. jobs are now in reach for these reasons veterans. the rate is almost identical to civilians. what is going on? guest: what is going on with veteran employment is that many years ago the veterans community administration business leaders the a commitment to address challenges of unemployment within the veteran community. like most things in america when we make a call to action we can get the job done and so we have seen those unemployment rates go down. it is a really remarkable story. one of the things we're starting
to challenge ourselves with now is, rather than just focusing on getting that veteran a job, making sure they get the right career. when we go out and we talked our members and we look at our annual survey what we find are a lot of veterans, after they transition, and of changing jobs multiple times within the first three to five years of separation. we are looking at veteran entrepreneurship. just on staff we have a woman iraq war vet who just opened up a crossfit gym with her husband in northern virginia. we have a member who is a successful small business owner who set up an incubator in northern virginia. it allows veterans to come in and get assistance and mentorship from other business leaders. we have tackled a lot of the unemployment challenge. what we're doing now is starting
to refine that approach to support veterans in an even greater way. we think it is a good news story. we the other piece of it is have to defend the educational benefits that have facilitated and allowed a lot of veterans to join the workforce. there are a lot of folks that want to do different things with the new g.i. bill, which has been one of the most sweeping pieces of legislation that is impacted the post on 11 veterans community. we need to make sure we protect that so we can continue to set veterans up for success. steve in tennessee, a republican, also on outline for active or retired military. go ahead. caller: i am a vietnam era marine. i just want to say something. there is nothing of a change of the v.a.. i couldn't take it anymore. now i pay for my own medicine.
it is not your v.a.. nothing will change until you get the crooked dirty stinking unions out of it. it is the veterans v.a., do understand? host: bill rausch? guest: two things. you are a marine and i know yesterday was the marine birthday, so happy birthday. i did the same thing. i have private health insurance. i agree completely that it is the veterans v.a. and we are constantly reminding them of that. organizationrofit and we work with other partners to make sure that veterans are receiving the care they deserve. highlight, the more veterans we can get into the i think would help us transformant. i don't know your personal experience but i do share
similar challenges with the v.a. from my own personal experience. i will say this and it is not just because i am an optimist. i member when i got back from iraq, we were losing many folks a month. there was a civil war. when i left in september 2007 american deaths were below 100 per month. things have gotten better is my point. regardless of what you thought of the situation i know my experience led me to believe that no matter how dire situation, when we come together and we put the mission first we can fix it. from my perspective, we do not think the v.a. is a lost cause. we have seen improvements. line is one crisis of the most remarkable good news stories of the v.a.. we have a case worker program
and they work with the veterans crisis line when an individual is in crisis and faces very challenging mental health issues. we give them a hand off over the veteran handling -- hotline. the challenge is there are inconsistencies across the board. i will give you an example. the medical center in washington dc, when i move from ohio to northern virginia i went into the medical center and i had my appointment. i missed my first appointment -- and this may sound silly -- because there was not a parking lot available. i did not even get to experience whether the care was good or not because the barrier to entry was so high. a have a parking garage now and have addressed that issue but that is just one example. it is not just about the care, it is about all the other barriers that exist. one of our jobs is to hold the v.a. accountable. if our members come to us with an experience that is not
acceptable, we raised bed. i will say this about secretary bob mcdonnell. hadof the reasons we have faith in him is because he has been responsive. i can't tell you how many members we have sent directly to him and he fixes the problem. that should not have to happen, and that is not scalable, that shows us in our members that he not only cares but that it is the veterans v.a.. now is where we are right and we are going to continue to push hard to make sure the v.a. continues to reform. reforming government for today's military. host: let's get to travis in dayton, ohio, active military. caller: my point has to do with the fact that the whole system is very redundant. we have a health care network, we have a dod health care network, we have v.a. health we have obamacare,
we have medicaid, medicare. governmente or six health care organizations with billions and billions and billions and billions of overhead costs. is the v.a. health care system even necessary? if you want to provide health care to veterans you can give them an insurance policy to allow them access to a health care network. the system appears to be redundant in my opinion. any comments? guest: yeah. first of all, i am from ohio, so good to hear a buzz from dating. in terms of v.a. versus private care, as is a really important conversation especially in the context of the previous segment when we talked about the presidential debate last night. from our perspective there is this false choice of you either need a v.a. because the government provides the best health care, or you need to privatize it.
the fact of the matter is that the v.a. already facilitates care in the community. it is already happening. i think this year there are about or .5 million more million more-- 4.5 appointments with private physicians then there were last year. it is an interesting challenge to integrate that. but just so the viewers understand it, it is not as orple as privatizing protects the v.a. because it provides best health care in the world. the bottom line is that veterans, just like every american, want to receive health care based off of their own calculus. whether it is where they live, how far they have to travel, how long they have to wait. areof these things decisions made with her family and her physician. for some folks that does not make sense to go to the v.a.. again, using my own experience, i would go there for some things. i go to private physicians for other things.
but i will say as far as the v.a. being necessary, we see from what our members have done that there is a difference between the culture and the condition. if you look at morbidity rates among veterans, a much higher morbidity rate at a much lower age. the v.a. is accustomed to that. v.a. again, look for the veteran not only from a health care perspective. a disability that you are also receiving from the v.a. your health care conditions and experience informs that disability claim. it is an integrated model, an integrated system. i know from personal experience that the v.a. is not perfect. i don't work for them, but i do know that when i noted town to
talk about serious issues related to, or other experiences that are in unique because i am a veteran, my private physicians typically have no idea what i'm talking about. i take my medical records and they are flabbergasted. they don't understand. they want to talk about it. they want to test me for certain things. it becomes very complicated. so we also have a look at educating the private physicians on, for example, pain thresholds. the scale of one to 10 pain threshold is typically different for someone who has served for various reasons. but we need to educate those private physicians. so when we look to integrate care -- the caller mentioned all of these different programs and systems, and he is right. it is a complete waste. it is inefficient, it is confusing. there are up to one dozen ways to receive care in the
community. it makes no sense. physicians don't understand it and they are just incentivized to use a certain programs because of reimbursement rates. veterans don't understand it, employees don't understand it. we have been calling for a consolidation of care. the choice program that is currently in effect and expires in the near future, we think it is an opportunity for the v.a. to consolidate all of these programs and make it simple and the v.a.,eterans, for for physicians. the fact of the matter is that 70% of veterans using the v.a. have another form of insurance and they are already seeking care in the community. we need to make sure that care is integrated and that we are serving veterans, serving that individual as best we can. that is what we do. we hold folks accountable and we push the ball forward. host: hillary clinton yesterday on the campaign trail said she
would not privatize, accusing republicans of wanting to do that. and then there is this in "the washington post," is statement from senator john mccain who chairs the armed services committee saying, anyone who would accuse me of wanting to privatize the v.a. is inaccurate and offensive. she should know that the overwhelming majority of thisans do not consider privatization. they know that reform is necessary to expand their health care choice. caller: good morning. i just wanted to touch on my experience and transition. i received the g.i. bill and 12 months post-9/11 g.i. bill. i think they need to do a better job at telling us who is hiring and what jobs are going to grow because i'm in training now
doing a post bachelorette program for a job i could of got with an associates degree, but nobody told me. also, i had to deal with out-of-state tuition when i went to georgia for school. i'm glad they are getting rid of that. also with the troops for teachers, they told me that you have to do it within three years, but it takes four years to get your bachelors degree. so it seems they are not doing a good job of informing us who is hiring. mr. rausch. guest: i think he caller brings brings up somer good points. all of the efforts and initiatives that have been put forward to help the community -- and again, i can't say this enough, i mean, the support that i received at a personal level at a professional level in my community is just really really
-- really, really remarkable. unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation to the caller's point. and there is too much information. whether it is trying to get care in the community at the v.a., whether it is understanding your benefits under the new g.i. bill, it is very difficult and it is for a challenging. we recognize that over a year ago -- and when we're working with congress to draft legislation -- we have a provision in their where it requires -- in there where it requires v.a. to bring all the resource together on one website. as simple as that sounds, it hasn't been done. they are in the process of doing that right now. harold kudler, we have been working with him to make sure they have been doing what is put forth in the law. there is a lot of information out there that a lot of --
again, the see of goodwill is out there. -- sea of goodwill is out there. this is the moment to talk about the community component. today here in new york city, we are going to have nearly 700 folks marching in the parade here in new york city. and we are going to be giving each other high fives, giving each other harks. some of us may or may not cry after we see some friends that we may not have seen for a while. i met to veterans last night from reno, nevada. we were in baghdad together for a little while. i mention all of this in the context of the community component to transition, whether it is getting a job, doing back to school, dealing with trauma, posttraumatic stress, receiving care. these are very localized issues. and we can't emphasize enough the power and the importance of
community, especially when it comes to combating suicide amongst troops and veterans. many of us when we left uniform felt very alone. we felt disconnected. i ran from the military community. i didn't want folks to know that i was a veteran. for me, one of the most remarkable things that happened was i had a community, a small town in ohio, where very few people had served, frankly, but i had a few community leaders reach out to me. he would take me out to breakfast. i mean, he would check on me. that may be sound silly, but it is powerful. one of the interesting things that we can talk about and should talk about today and every day, not only when the president is making a proclamation or congress is saying they support veterans, all things are true, but as a community and a country, i think
we have an obligation to just get to know our neighbors. say hello, introduce yourself. ask them how they are doing. ask them how their family is doing. get to know us because the bottom line is that as a veteran, i am not only proud of my service, but i have a unique skill set to offer my community. the opportunity exists to reach out to the -- like the caller, who maybe didn't realize that the three years to eligibility maybe wasn't quite that correct. so i think as a nation, we need to focus as much on the policy as we do the community and the culture component to make sure we are supporting men and women in uniform. at the end of the day, we are just like everybody else in the country. i wasn't born a veteran. i was born a kid in small-town ohio who decided to serve my country and was very privileged and honored to be able to do
that. now i'm just like everybody else with a unique and special skill set that i think has a lot to offer. the community component, i don't think we can emphasize it enough. 150, igoing to have over think maybe nearly 200 that's together across the country -- vets together across the country where folks come together. that is where we really start to move the ball forward and we really start to change the conversation and the culture in this country. it is the best thing maybe about veterans day. host: and we are going to be talking that -- to veterans only in our last half hour of today's program, and asked them what it is like when they come back. , the website is iava .org if you are interested in money
>> on the next washington journal, executive action preventing the deep portion illegal immigrants. and then tom ridge looks at threats to the u.s. including threats to cyber where and the electrical grid. the guest discusses the reported 25% increase in foodborne outbreaks. plus, phone calls, facebook comments, and tweets. live at 7:00urnal, a.m. eastern. coming up on c-span, president obama lays a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier. veteransuse of the
issues.r and then, profiles of freshman representatives who served in the military. massachusetts. thursday, a look at the supreme court 10 years after john roberts became chief justice. at 12:15 p.m. eastern on c-span two. c-span's road to the white , livecoverage continues from orlando at the republican party sunshine summit. it rings together presidential candidates along with state and elected officials. 10:30 eastern,at the lineup includes marco rubio, texas senator ted cruz, south
carolina senator lindsey graham, arkansas governor mike huckabee, former florida governor jeb bush, and donald trump and ben carson. with rick santorum, bobby jindal, kentucky senator rand paul, new jersey governor chris christie, ohio governor john kasich, and currently fiorina -- carly fiorina. >> present -- president obama took part in a wreath laying ceremony. during him were vice president and defense secretary ashton carter. afterwards, he made remarks paying tribute to veterans and urging businesses to hire former service members.
chaplain: let us pray. almighty god of veterans and nations, you are so awesome in all your ways. we give you thanks on this veterans day for the devotion and courage of all those who have worn our nation's uniform s and offered military service for this country that we could now enjoy such freedoms. we thank you for our veterans service organizations, who make every day of the year veterans day. today as a nation, oh god, we honor veterans who have answered the call to serve, to protect our american way of life. we honor veterans who suffer from the visible and invisible wounds of war. we honor veterans who have laid down their lives for others. and we honor their surviving
families and the sacrifices they have made. god, we thank you for our nation's veterans willingness to serve on our behalf, and borne hardship in war and in peacetime. oh god, we ask that on this veterans day you would encourage and heal those in hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, or mending their wounds at home. help us, o god, to never forget our comrades who enlisted and are missing in action. help us to bring them and be the returning warriors to a joyful reunion and peaceful life at home. give to us your people of this nation grateful hearts and a united will to honor these men and women, and hold them always in your love and our prayers until your will is perfected in
peace and all wars cease. and god, give us all a sense of humor and find something to make us smile. as we remember the good times and celebrate our nation's veterans. amen. >> amen. >> now, i would like to invite mr. norbert ryan, jr., national president, military officer association of america, to lead us in the pledge of allegiance. >> [all together] i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america. and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> please, be seated. it is now my distinct privilege to introduce the members of the
veterans day national committee. the committee was formed by presidential order in 1954 to hold this annual observance in honor of our american veterans and to support veterans day observances throughout the nation. please hold your applause until i have introduced the special guests. if able, please stand when your name is called. nationalyan, jr., president, military officers association of america. gene, national president, polish legion of american veterans. larry kinnard, national president, korean war veterans association. angel zuniga, national g.i. forum commander. amanda crawford, catholic war veterans of the usa. edward demint, sr., national
commander, american ex-prisoners of war. al kovac, national president, paralyzed veterans of america. jerome bloom, national commander, jewish war veterans of the usa. john rowan, president, vietnam veterans of america. john commander in chief, , veterans of foreign wars of the united states. james pidgeon, national commander, amvets. dale sanford, national president, blinded veterans association. carl good, jr., national commander, army and navy union of the usa. h. gene overstreet, commander, noncommissioned officers administration. david goff, national vice commander, the american legion. robert husker, national commander, military order of the purple heart. virgil cormier, national
president, fleet reserve association. richard gore, sr., national commandant, marine corps league. lyman smith, executive director, military chaplain association. william mullen, national commander, legion of valor of the usa. mike plummer, deputy legislative director, national association of uniformed services. ruth hamilton, commander-in-chief, military order of the world wars. lawrence hyland, national president, the retired enlisted association. thomas kelly, congressional medal of honor society. and moses mccants, jr., national commander, disabled american veterans. the associate members of the committee are located in the boxes to my left. i would like to ask the
president and national commander that comprise our associate membership to stand and be recognized. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in recognizing our veterans national leadership with your applause. >> it is now my pleasure to introduce our veteran organization host for 2015. military officer association of america. moa is the1929, nations largest and most influential association of military officers. with more than 390,000 members, it is the leading voice -- representing active-duty, guard, and reserve as well as retired and former officers in all seven
services. moa offers a powerful force, speaking for a strong national defense and equitable treatment for all who serve and have served their country in uniform. moa's network of affiliate chapters across the u.s. actively promotes the concept of lifetime service at the national, state and community , levels. as you can see, they live their motto. at moa, we never stop serving. they are represented today by their national president. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome mr. norbert ryan, jr. [applause] norbert: mr. president, mr. vice president. secretary and mrs. mcdonald. secretary and mrs. carter. members of congress. members of the joint chiefs of staff and spouses.
medal of honor recipients. fellow veterans. members of the armed forces. gold star families and other distinguished guests. ladies and gentlemen good , morning and welcome. to all in attendance here and across the country on this most important day, veterans day. it is an honor for the military officers association of america to cohost this year's ceremony, a first in our 86-year history of providing leadership on behalf of the entire military family. today, we join all americans to honor the inspiring shared sacrifice and commitment of past and present members of the armed forces.
thankfully, honor, valor, and love of country have always been the defining characteristics of america's military from bunker hill to the mountains of campus in afghanistan. but the battlefield is not the exclusive birthplace of heroism. our nation's heroes are also here at home in the form of the families and loved ones of our returning warriors who provide the care and understanding that enable them to regain a life of normalcy. the individuals who have dedicated their lives to improving the quality of life of veterans in ways big and small. veterans day reminds us that this nation's greatest asset is not our leading-edge technology, rich farmland, or material wealth. no, our nation's greatest treasure is our sons and daughters who served and sacrificed in their nation's uniform. that is why we never stop
serving. those who serve or have served. for if we do, we risk breaking the faith that will inspire future generations to serve. thank you for joining us this morning and giving thanks to all those who served. may god bless all veterans and may god always bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] >> please welcome the honorable robert mcdonnell, secretary of veterans affairs. [applause] mr. mcdonald: mr. president and vice president biden, thank you both for your leadership and your steady, strong advocate for our nation's veterans, service members their families, and , survivors.
you have shown respect for our veterans abiding commitment. every day of the year for those , live have served not just on a single day of the year thank , you. medal of honor recipients thomas kelly and brian thacker were honored by your courage and your heroism in battle. secretary carter and your wife, white house chief of staff, administrator mccarthy, united representatives, senators collins, franken, cotton, tell illis, sullivan, your spouses and guests. ambassador rice, chairman dunford, general silva, general grass, general welsh, general miley, admiral richardson, general mellor, all your spouses
and guests. other distinguished leaders of the department of defense and military services, former v.a. administrator harry walters, vice admiral norm ryan. military officers association of america, our cohost are this year's celebration and all the representatives of our veterans service organizations. fellow veterans, members of our armed forces, ladies and gentlemen. as many of you know, president obama is scheduled to present the medal of honor to an american soldier tomorrow. captain retired florence gruenberg. tomorrow's ceremony will mark only the 10th time in living service member has received our nation's highest valor award for actions in afghanistan or iraq. seven more were posthumously awarded the medal.
at tomorrow's ceremony, president obama will address the specifics of captain grover 's heroism. but let me say that in the worst of circumstances and without hesitation, the captain acted in a manner that saved the lives of many of his comrades. tragically, he could not save them all. when he was informed last month that he would receive the medal of honor, he said, "this metal dal belongs to them. it's my mission to tell everyone . thank you for recognizing me but this does not belong to me. it belongs to them. that's how i'm coping with them mentally. it gives you the opportunity to represent them have their families." he is in dramatic of the service and sacrifices of young men and women from every generation of american veterans. for almost two and a half centuries now they have , selflessly answered the call to arms to preserve and defend the ideas behind the words that
are both vision and conscious of our democracy. "we hold these truths to be self-evident. that all men are created equal. that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." each generation has done its part to deliver a strong and free america to the next generation. they have done so with great determination, personal toughness, and willingness to risk it all for others. this veterans day, we want to especially acknowledge those who served in two difficult conflicts. this year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of world war ii. and the beginning of our 50th commemoration of the decade-long war in vietnam. to those who fought in both wars, thank you for your selfless service. americans are ever grateful for your sacrifices.
the president and vice president understand and value the service and sacrifice of veterans. that is why they have provided strong resources for care and benefits. support of the new g.i. bill to educate the next generation of american leaders. tremendous support to help v.a. drive down the backlog in claims by almost 90% and improve access to quality health care for all veterans. as the president said in his state of the union address this year, as a new generation of veterans come home, we go them -- we owe them every opportunity to live the american dream they help defend. the first lady and dr. jill biden are also unwavering supporters in their own right. they have joined forces to bring the public and private sectors together in support of employment of service members, veterans, and their family members, among many other initiatives. veterans could not ask for stronger advocates and our
president, vice president, and their wives. ladies and gentlemen, it is a great personal and professional honor to present to you our commander-in-chief. please join me in welcoming the president of the united states, barack obama. [applause] president obama thank you. : thank you so much. please be seated. thank you. thank you, bob, for your service to our nation. as an army airborne ranger. and your tireless work on behalf of your fellow veterans. to vice president joe biden, general dunford, major general becker, distinguished guests.
to our outstanding veterans service organizations and their leadership. to our men and women in uniform. and most of all, to our proud veterans and your families. it is a great privilege to be with you once again. and to captain laurent gruenberg, tomorrow will be my honor to present you with the medal of honor, our nation's highest military decoration. to all of our veterans here today, to veterans across america, whether you served on the beaches of europe, the jungles of asia, the deserts of the middle east. whether you served here at home or overseas, in wartime or in peace. whether you served proudly in the army, navy, air force, marines, or coast guard, you are
part of an unbroken chain of patriots who have served this country with honor through the life of our nation. wherese sacred grounds, generations of heroes have come to rest, we remember all those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our nation. and today, we gather once more to salute every patriot who was ever proudly wore the uniform of the united states of america. this year as we mark 70 years since our victory in the second world war, we pay special tribute to a generation that literally saved the world. we are joined by several of those heroes, including our oldest known female world war two vet, army lieutenant colonel luda c. mcgrath, who this year
today, in big cities and small towns across our country, there will be ceremonies around flagpoles and parades down main street to properly express our gratitude and show our appreciation to men and women who serve so that we might live free. it is right that we do so. but our tributes will ring hollow if we stop there. if tomorrow after the parades and ceremonies we roll up the banners and sweep the veterans halls and go back to our daily lives, forgetting the bond between the service of our veterans and our obligations as citizens, we will be doing a profound disservice to our veterans and the very cause for which they serve. this day is not only about gratitude for what they have done for us. it is also a reminder of all that they still have to give to our nation and our duty to them. that's what i want to talk about
briefly today. we're in the midst of a new wave of american veterans. in recent years, more than one million of our minute women in uniform, many of them veterans of afghanistan and iraq, have completed their military service and return to civilian life. each year, at least another 200,000 do the same. our 9/11 generation of veterans are joining the ranks of those who have come before, including many of you are veterans of korea and vietnam. our tributes today will ring hollow if we do not ensure that our veterans receive the care that you have earned and that you deserve. the good news is that in recent years, we have made historic investments to boost the v.a. budget, expand benefits, offer more mental health care and improved care for our wounded warriors, especially those with
post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. theave now slashed disability claims backlog by nearly 90%. we are reducing the outrage of veterans homelessness and have helped tens of thousands of our veterans get off the streets. still, the unacceptable problems that we've seen like long wait times and some veterans not getting the timely care that they need is a challenge for all of us. if we are to match our words with these. and my message to every single veteran, to veterans all across this country is that i am still not satisfied and bob mcdonnell is still not satisfied and we are going to keep investing in the facilities and the physicians and staff to make sure that our veterans get the care that you need when you need it. that is our obligation and we're not going to let up. [applause]
our tributes today will also ring hollow if we don't provide our veterans with the jobs and opportunities that you need when you come home. that's why we've helped more than 1.5 million veterans and their families pursue an education under the post-9/11 g.i. bill. that's why we work to make sure that every state now provides veterans and their families with in-state tuition. that's why we are fighting to make it easier for our veterans to get the licenses and certifications to transition the outstanding skills they gained in the armed services to civilian jobs. it's why we are helping more veterans and military spouses find jobs. and today, the veterans unemployment rate is down to 3.9%, even lower than the national average. [applause]
but this can't just be a job for government. we all have a role to play. i realize that with less than 1% of americans serving in uniform, the other 99% of folks don't always see and appreciate the incredible skills and assets that our veterans can offer. on this veterans day, here's what i want every american to know. our veterans are some of the most talented, driven, capable people on earth. think about the leadership that they've learned, twentysomethings leading platoons in life or death situations. the cutting-edge technology that they've mastered. their ability to adapt to changing and unpredictable situations. they can perform under pressure. they've helped reconstruct town's and mediate disputes. they've managed large-scale projects, learned how to work on
teams, stay committed to a mission, solve seemingly intractable problems, they get stuff done and they are selfless and they are brave and they are qualified and america needs folks who know how to get stuff done. [applause] if you can save a life on the battlefield, you can save a life in an ambulance. if you can oversee a convoy or millions of dollars of assets in a conflict zone, you sure can help manage a company supply chain. if you can maintain the most advanced weapons in the world, surely you can manufacture the next generation of advanced tech here at home. they may have put away their uniforms but they are not finish ed serving their country. that includes wounded warriors who tell me they want to keep , serving again.
they are exactly the kind of people we need to keep america competitive in the 21st century. and that's why more companies are hiring veterans. not out of charity. not out of patriotism or some moral obligation, although they do have those obligations. but because they know it's good for their bottom line. every day our veterans help keep america strong. every day. responding to natural disasters here at home and around the world, working to end homelessness and get more of their brothers and sisters in arms the resources they need to transition into civilian life. they are starting their own businesses. like the veterans who started a coffee shop that's so good my own staff voted to have it served in the white house. [applause] we consume a lot of coffee in the white house.
to my staff, those guys are pretty heroic. our veterans are moms and dads. teachers and doctors, engineers, entrepreneurs, social workers and community leaders. they are serving in statehouses across the country, serving in congress. we have a proud veteran, retired navy captain scott kelly, commander of the international space station up there right now. just became the american astronaut to serve the longest consecutive flight in space. [applause] our veterans are already making america great every single day. so my message today is simple. if you want to get the job done, hire a vet. if your business needs team players, who knows how to execute an idea, hire a veteran.
if your school system needs dedicated passionate teachers, hiring veteran. if you are a nonprofit who need leaders i can follow through on a vision, hire a veteran. every sector, every industry, every community can benefit from the incredible talents of our veterans. they are ready to serve and they will make you proud. [applause] i want to just give you one example. a young woman named jennifer madden. jen joined the army at 17 years old. she wanted to be just like her grandpa, a korean war veteran. her very first day of basic training was september 11 2001. she deployed to afghanistan, where she pulled security details during attacks. she lost one of her close friends in combat. when she came home, she tried to get back into her old life, but
she found she simply couldn't stay focused in school or at work. she was struggling to relate to her family and friends. soon, she was self-medicating and became homeless. jen felt like she had lost her mission. her sense of purpose. but then, thanks to an organization that connects veterans with therapists who donate their time, jen was able to get counseling at no charge. she started dealing with her ptsd. with a lot of hard work, she started pulling her life back together. and today, jen and the love of her life josh are raising two beautiful children. she is a licensed nurse. she works at a rehab facility helping folks who are just like , her. including veterans get back on their feet. and to michelle and jill biden's joining forces initiative, she
is an advocate for her fellow veterans. jen is here today and i want jen to stand if she can because i want everybody to thank her for her current, for example, her telling her story. we are extraordinarily grateful. thank you, jen. [applause] and i tell jen's story because like all our brave women in , uniform, jen represents the best of who we are as a nation. she has sacrificed for us and sometimes has the scars seen and unseen that are part of that sacrifice. and she is an example of what's possible when we express our gratitude not just in words, not
just on one day, but through deeds every day. when we open our hearts and give hope to our returning heroes. and we harness your talents and your drive and when we honor your inherent sense of purpose and empower you to continue you love.e country what has always made america great, what has always made us exceptional, are the patriots , who generation after generation dedicate themselves to building a nation that is stronger, freer, a little more perfect. on this day and every day. we thank you. god bless our veterans and your families and god bless the united states of america. [applause]
deportation of immigrants in the u.s.. and former homeland security director tom ridge looks at new threats to the u.s.. and after that, dr. thomas frieden from the cdc talks breaks.oodborne outbnr live at 7 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> thank you for your support. and for the kids for just saying no. is that the women of the future will feel truly free to follow whatever path.
i think they thought the white house was so glamorous. what you did was so glamorous. and all they saw with the parties, meeting people,, you know, and i have to tell you i have never worked harder in my life. >> nancy reagan served as a longtime political partner, ferocious protector, and ultimately as caretaker for ronald reagan. she was active with key staff decision, policymaking, and campaign. her signatureuse issue with just say no. nancy reagan, this sunday night at 8 p.m. eastern on c-span's original programming, first ladies. and their influence on the presidency from marshall washington to michelle obama.
on american history tv on c-span3. announcer: next, the third annual veterans treatment court looks at the use of the court as an alternative to incarceration for treating veterans with addiction and mental health issues. this is about two hours. [applause] the third annual vet con. this is the largest corps con ever. it is a privilege to stand in the presence of so many dedicated criminal justice professionals, veterans, service members and supporters of veterans treatment courts. it's inspiring to witness what a talented, committed group of people can accomplish. and most of all, it is an honor
to be in the presence of so much passion, so much commitment, and so much heart. it is all of these qualities , remarkable and all of you, that is making justice for america's veterans a reality. i'm excited about the next four days of education, advocacy, and innovation we will all share together. i would like to welcome our friends here today representing the nation's leading veterans organizations. thank you for your support here today.
>> i want to offer a special welcome to the volunteer veteran mentors in the audience who will be attending the seventh mentor corps boot camp. our largest boot camp class ever. thank you for continuing your service to this nation as a mentor to your fellow veterans. thank you. [applause] >> we are excited to share the stage with you on thursday when you will be sworn in as the justice for vets national veteran mentor corps. bae systems me thank for their generous support. stems.you, bae sy [applause] >> i would like to take a moment to acknowledge all the active-duty and reserve and national guard service members, veterans, and their families who are with us today. we also want to keep close in our hearts and minds all the members of the armed forces on whose shoulders the security of
our nation rests. whether it is here at home or abroad. justice for vets leads the national effort to champion veterans treatment courts. it is our honor to serve you nationally and locally. there is strength in numbers and this year, we come together as a field stronger than we have ever been. last year, i stood before you and said that we collectively are helping over 7000 veterans. today, i'm proud to stand before you and report that we are helping more than 11,000 veterans. [applause] >> 11,000 veterans who would otherwise be incarcerated are receiving life-saving treatment in veterans treatment courts all across this country thanks to
you and the work being done every single day. nearly 20 states have passed legislation relating to veterans treatment courts and governors from texas to missouri, north carolina to oklahoma have made veterans treatment a vital part of their legislative agenda. on capitol hill, veteran treatments court has garnered massive bipartisan support which has led to record funding. but what is perhaps the most exciting is the fact that veteran treatments courts have permeated the public consciousness. the impact you have far extends beyond the courtroom. it can be found around the dinner tables, where our graduates and their families gather. in the hallways and universities and colleges where our graduates are working towards their futures. at local businesses where
veterans treatment court graduates are among the most trusted and valued employees. it is present every time and veteran mentor finds a sense of belonging by being of service to a fellow veteran. with our success comes tremendous responsibility. we must double down our efforts to expand veterans treatment courts. together we must put a veterans , treatment court within reach of every veteran in need. and that means expanding capacity of existing programs , implementing a new veterans treatment courts and committing to evidence-based practices and seeking new opportunities for collaboration. that is what we are doing here this week. i'm excited about the credible agenda we have put together for you. over the next four days, the
sessions will cover key issues facing veterans treatment courts and justice involved veterans. this week is not just about the sessions. throughout the conference, there will be discipline specific breakouts. so you will have the opportunity to learn from one another. tomorrow, we will have two general sessions to choose from. the amazing brian meyer is back to present on the complex interaction of ptsd, pain and substance abuse. and we will screen the critically acclaimed documentary "that which i love destroys me." which will be followed by an engaging panel discussion. on wednesday morning, we will gather right here in this room at 8:00 a.m. to kick off capitol hill day. this is our greatest opportunity to tell our members of congress to support increased funding for veterans treatment courts. so i hope you will all be there because we all know how critical
this is to the success of these programs. if you're able to on wednesday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., come by the building on capitol hill and sit in on a briefing i will be hosting on veterans and substance abuse. you will not want to miss the kickoff here 8:00 because it will feature the hilarious alonzo. thursday, we will close with an inspiring ceremony. i know that some of the most important moments of this conference will take place in the hallways over dinner and between sessions. you all represent the very best of our criminal justice system. the very best of treatment and the very best of veterans affairs. you are transforming the courtroom. you are transforming our
communities and transforming this great nation. the most exciting part of this conference will be seeing all of you share your ideas and make lasting connections. valor is not limited to the battlefield. valor means it showing courage in the face of adversity. veterans treatment courts are defined by valor. it takes valor to fight to implement a veterans treatment court. to transform the way veterans in the justice system are handled in this country. it takes valor to continue to serve your nation by volunteering as a mentor to your brothers and sisters who are struggling at home. and of course, the incredible graduates show valor every day. by accepting the help being offered in doing the difficult work of facing their demons
head-on with strength and dignity. they are heroes in every sense of the word. and so are all of you. veterans fought for our freedom. thank you all for fighting for thiers. on may 13, many of us awoke to the news that an amtrak train had derailed outside of philadelphia. as the news broke, it became clear that the disaster would happen far worse had it not been for the heroic actions of many of the passengers who helped pull people from the wreck.
it should come as no surprise that at least one of these heroes was a veteran. my friend and veterans treatment court champion patrick murphy. you have done more to bridge the civilian military divide than patrick murphy. patrick became the first iraq war veteran to serve in congress where he represented pennsylvania's eighth district. during his two terms in congress, patrick thought for the largest increase in veterans benefits in american history. led the charge to repeal don't ask don't tell and championed the passage of the post-9/11 g.i. bill which has already helped over one million veterans. [applause] >> i think that deserves an applause, too. [applause] >> patrick is now a partner at the national law firm and the host of the only national news
show dedicated to veterans issues, msnbc's taking the hill. patrick is also a dedicated husband and father to his wife, jenny, and his two beautiful children, jack and maggie. patrick is with us today because of his unyielding support for justice for vets and veterans treatment courts. whether it's hosting a roundtable discussion, promoting veteran treatment court on msnbc or offering his expertise and guidance on key issues, patrick has been among our most ardent supporters. i have known patrick for 10 years now. i am proud and honored to call him my friend. i have never met anyone with
more energy than patrick murphy. he is a go go guy fueled by a passion for and commitment to serving others. he is a man of incredible integrity and humility. he has the courage of his convictions. i have always seen him do what he believes is right. even when the cost to him will be very high. patrick is an aspirational figure not only to me, but to countless others. i'm thrilled that we have the opportunity to honor him here today. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in presenting the justice for vets ambassador award to patrick murphy. [applause] >> i can hold it for you, if you
want. patrick: thank you. of course i trustee. thank you so much. what a way to start the week. it is good to be with everybody. thank you so much. we have been friends for over a decade. she is one of my closest friends the world. it is an honor to be here and i do want to say thank you to the interim ceo. thank you for your leadership. the board chair, thank you both for your leadership.
and for everybody here. [applause] patrick: we like to speak sometimes too much, so i will keep it short and sweet. i want to say three things. the first is thank you, thank you, thank you for what you do for our veterans. many of you in this room are veterans and many of you are not. there is a civilian military divide right now in our nation. especially when you look at we are in iraq and afghanistan, the longest wars in american history. less than 1% have gone to fight these wars. when they come home, most of them are doing great things. most of them are incredible civic assets, like in generations past. they are more likely to vote, more likely to lead organizations, more likely to run successful small businesses. as you know, many of them do
fall through the cracks. we have an ethic that we leave no one behind. because of efforts like yours, thousands are not being left behind. if you heard me talk about this, talk about justice for vets. it is a life or death movement for so many. it is because of you in this room and your counterparts back home that are making a real difference, literally saving lives of folks who have been forgotten. from the bottom of my heart, thank you so much for this award and more importantly for what you do for veterans. the second thing i want to mention is there are other heroes in this room, people like barbara. when you look at our generation of veterans, the over 500,000 not suffer from genetic brain
injury or ptsd disorder. you see them in your courtrooms. you see them in a mentorship program. all of a sudden this room have the opportunity to be part of the solution. all of us cannot thank you enough. i was lucky -- i was thinking about it yesterday. 22 years ago, i got my commission 19 years ago. i was lucky to go through basic and advanced training and jump out of airplanes. two tours overseas. it was not until the amtrak train crash that i got a traumatic brain injury. i was knocked unconscious and i was lucky to be ok. there are frustrating parts about that. not remembering things, etc.
everyone has their different struggles and mine is -- mine pales in comparison. these veterans and their families have given so much. for you to be so selfless and helping them and guiding them to get back on track, there is no amount of words i could say to articulate our nation's gratitude. a lot of folks talk a big game. you are the ones at family events, you are the ones paying extra hours, you are the ones going above and beyond your jobs and your professions to do what is right. thank you so much. the third and last thing i want to mention, i try to make sure i say this -- i had two grandfathers who served in world war ii. we need to recognize the vietnam generation. to me, the vietnam generation are such incredible heroes because they never had a victory day. much like we won't in iraq or
afghanistan. it was the vietnam generation that made sure that whether people were for the war or against the war, we learned because of the vietnam generation that when these men and women come home, we treat them with dignity and respect. we separate the war from the warrior. it is not the military that has to go -- it is the political class of this country. they just execute what they were told to do. the vietnam generation who were not treated the right way when they came home, they were the ones -- when you talk about buffalo, new york, i would like to give a shout out to the judge, the 82nd airborne guy behind the scenes, it was that tag team there that made it
right. you are the ones that made it right for our generation. there are still too many of us veterans who have fallen through the cracks. 22 veterans per day. they commit suicide. it is a national tragedy. there will be a lot more if you did not welcome us with open arms and make sure you knew how grateful we were for your service. thanks so much. it really takes not just military veterans, civilians dividing our nation. when most of this was thinking about the military role, arab or
talking to her and saying, you're exactly the right person to be the director. we need someone like you. she is philly. an ivy league school, she was in hollywood. she is as fairly as you can get. that is why we all love her in this room. all of you out there really deserve a round of applause. you are the ambassador of the award today and forever. god bless all of you. thank you very much. [applause]
cliques that you know recognizes the gentleman from new hampshire. >> -- now recognizes the gentleman from new hampshire. >> i rise to stand with veterans throughout the country to offer an amendment to seek funds for the veterans initiative. >> the other thing i think is so important are the drug courts. >> this would increase funding by $1 million. >> i led the effort in my home state. >> increase federal resources to this program nationwide. >> they worked out spectacularly well in many places throughout the country. >> drug courts are transforming the criminal justice system throughout our nation.
>> i have seen firsthand the difference the courts can make. >> fortunately, specialized treatment courts are being developed across the country. >> it really has been the states who have been showing us by example how effective they can be. >> more than 11,000 that's -- that's -- vets enrolled in veterans treatment courts. >> they are doing an amazing job with a team of professionals, truly saving one life at a time and providing a last chance for our veterans. >> that would increase by $3 million the amount appropriated for fiscal year 2015 for the drug courts program. we do not have to waste taxpayer dollars in jail. and restorecrime families. quite simply, drug courts work. >> we do not have to be content with a system not effectively serving the people it is supposed to. the drug court approach reduces crime by as much as 45% and we have programs to help and save money. for every dollar invested jug
courts, taxpayers save as much as $27 when compared to the historic approach. >> that makes a very powerful case. >> that is the beauty of the drug court. >> i think it makes a lot of sense. >> i just think this is something that deserves the support. >> i accept the amendment and i yield back. >> don't miss the capital held a cash held a -- the capitol hill day kickoff right here wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m. >> hello, everybody. my name is timothy. i'm a graduate of the philadelphia veterans court. [applause] for those of you who do not know, philadelphia is the earth -- birth place of the greatest fighting force this world has ever known. the united states marine corps. i am proud to be from philadelphia. i'm proud to be a marine.
i am proud to be a graduate of the veterans court. when i returned from iraq, i was lost. i had nowhere to turn. four days after being home from iraq, i got arrested for aggravated assault and i found myself in a jail cell all by myself. it did not end there. there was no veterans court when i returned. seven arrests later and almost a year of my life in jail, you know, that lost feeling. i wish i would have had a veterans court from the beginning. i would not have gone through everything. i was addicted to drugs and alcohol. i did it to cope with ptsd. i lost my daughter.
i lost my family. i lost a lot. someone said to me, ptsd and i said no way. not me. i am a big bad marine. i don't get anything like that. eventually, my family was able to get me in to the veterans hospital where i received treatment for the drugs and alcohol. january 4, i had for years clean and sober from drugs and alcohol. [applause] even though i put the drugs down, there were still issues i had to address. the monster on my back known as ptsd. i had an episode while driving my car.
i got my final arrest and i ended up in philadelphia veterans court. the first day i got there, i thought i would be treated like i would in any other court room. i had my first court date. i left there and i went to the korean war memorial on veterans day where i have seen judge dugan. patrick murphy was down there as well. i have seen both of them speak. i said, these guys they care and they get it and they do not talk it, they walk it as well. my next court date when i got into court, i walked in and everybody knew my name and it blew me away. finally, i was not just another number. i found a home there. when i got into veterans court, i found here to peer support.
i was around other veterans like me. they knew what i was going through in what i needed. it did wonders for me and i finally found a home. like i said, that was my last arrest. i have not been arrested since and i'm living proof steny hoyer -- standing here today that veterans courts work. [applause] i now have my daughter back in my life. [applause] i married her mother, my beautiful wife. we now have another daughter named fiona who i love to death. it is all because of veterans court.
it is crazy. i see rich bauer, the prosecutor in our court. to have the prosecutor of a court here supporting me, if that is not living proof, i do not know what is. [applause] my mother, i put her through hell and she smiles now every time she sees me. that is because of people like mike brown, judge patrick dugan, rich bauer, and a host of other people who lead the way every day. i'm grateful to be here today. i will close with, we are going to capitol hill on wednesday. i will lead the way if everybody follows me so i expect to see everybody over there. thank you. [applause]
>> from one marine to another, semper fi. thank you for sharing your inspiring story with us and for being a shining example of strength, honor, and resilience that embodies our veterans. thank you for continuing to serve our country as a mentor in veterans court. i am proud to serve as a project manager for justice for vets veteran mentor core. all across the country, my fellow veterans stand ready to be of service. thanks to veteran treatment courts, thousands are volunteer mentors to veterans in crisis.
there is no bond as strong as one that exists between those who served our country. i am proud to report that over the next 2.5 days, nearly 100 veterans from across the country will be attending the veteran mentor boot camp, where they will learn how to transfer the bond into healing and empowerment. i would like to ask all the mentors in the room to stand and big knowledge. -- be it knowledged. acknowledged. [applause] thank you, ladies and gentlemen. i will be seeing you soon. don't be late. in the early years of the war in iraq and afghanistan barbara
and a group concerned about the mental health implications on our troops, they licensed clinical psychologist practicing in the washington dc area for over 20 years. she was determined to take action. in 2005, she found a national network of mental health professionals who provide free services to u.s. troops, veterans, loved ones, and their communities. today, the network has over 7000 providers who have collectively given over $16 million worth of services. barbara's work has made the mental health of our veterans a national issue. she is an expert on the psychological impact of war on troops and families. and she mobilizes communities in support of active duty service
members, veterans, and families. she carries her message throughout the media and is regularly featured on outlets such as the ap, york times, wall street journal, washington post, good morning america. such military media outlets as stars and stripes and usa magazine and the pentagon channel. barbara is the recipient of too many awards to list. to give you an idea of her impact, in 2012, time magazine named her one of the world. -- one of the most influential people in the world. leadership, her given our is now leading the campaign to change direction. a collective impact effort to change the culture of mental health in america. justice for vets and the any bcp are honored to partner with given hour on this effort and i am thrilled to welcome miss barbara to tell you all about it but first, take a look. >> today, nearly one in five
americans are living with a mental health condition, from our children and grandparents to our veterans and neighbors. for all of us, our mental well-being is just as important as our physical health. unfortunately, most of us do not know how to recognize the signs that someone is in emotional distress. many of those who are having difficulty cannot get the help they need. together, we can change it. we can start by visiting change direction.org, and learning five science that may mean someone is -- five signs that may mean someone is struggling and they need help. it is then up to us to show compassion and reach out, connect, help folks find the hope and support they need. together, we can change the story about mental health in america and together, we can change direction. [applause] >> ms. barbara.
[applause] thank you. barbara: good morning. i am going to walk and talk. it helps me think. i want to thank melissa and caroline for inviting me to come be with you this morning. justice for vets and what you all do is incredibly important for me for a number of reasons. i will talk in a few minutes about stories because we all have them. i will tell you mine. you heard a little bit about my story, and i will tell you more. that will hopefully put me in the context of how i came to be here this morning. my father was a veteran of world war ii who served in the pacific. he like many young men, he lied about his age to join the navy p he was old enough.
he was a first-generation american who loved his country. when the call came for young men to join, he cheated and got in early. he served his country in the pacific. he saw combat and many things he never talked about to his kids. he came home and i grew up in california and when he came back, he decided he wanted to move his young family to the country. he moved to the san joaquin valley and i have three older brothers. all looked like the american dream. well, my dad, like many of our veterans, combat affects you and he came back with what we now would say was posttraumatic stress. we did not have words for it back then.
we do not have labels for it back then. patrick mentioned the important , legacy of the vietnam veterans also helped mental health professionals understand posttraumatic stress, what it is, and to begin to learn how to respond to it. my dad came back in i was not -- and i wasn't born yet. he decided he wanted to move our family to california. unfortunately, that move precipitated a psychotic break in my mom and she was diagnosed later diagnosed as schizophrenic. my dad was very traditional, a veteran, tattoos on his arm, and he had to now be the dad and the mom and he stepped up like many of our veterans did and he took care of us and he helped my mom as much as he could. back then, in the early 1960's,
there was not much treatment. there certainly wasn't in rural california. time went on and my mom and dad stay together until i was about eight. and then they split up. my mom, like so many of the mentally ill in my country, she fell through the cracks. we lost track of her. i did not see her for 43 years. i have seen her recently and that is another part of the story i will not talk about today, but it is a -- we are proud and happy we were able to find her after all these years. so. i grew up and became a clinical psychologist, moved east to go to graduate school. i was standing in bethesda, maryland, holding my story i will not talk about one-year-old daughter on 9/11 and i thought, i want to do something. but there was not anything a clinical psychologist could do to really help. time passed and one day i was joining a few years later with
-- driving a few years later with my nine-year-old and four-year-old daughters in the car. we saw homeless veterans and my daughter, who was nine at the time and is now 19, erupted with an outrage and she said mom, how could we let this happen to the men and women who served our country? she knew my dad had served as she never got to know my dad because he passed away laos 27. -- when i was 27. it was that moment that i decided, i can do something. i can harness people like me, mental health professionals. that is what i did. i read nonprofits for dummies because i knew nothing about creating a nonprofit. but that is a great book if you ever want to start one. it kind of goes step-by-step. and i found a given hour. time passed and we started providing free services. we have now given over 160,000 hours of free care to those who
served and their families. along the way, eyeing encountered justice for vets. i knew that we had to form a relationship. what we do fits together. more time passed and we had another national tragedy. it was this time the sandy hook shootings in connecticut. it was at that time the white house reached out to me and it was a huge honor that i was asked to take a look at what we need to do in our country to change what is happening in mental health. why are people falling through the cracks? while most people who experience mental health disorders and have a mental illness are the recipients of crime, when someone does react as a result of delusions or hallucinations or severe trauma or any other number of combination of factors, sometimes, it can be horrifically tragic and we need
to do better at identifying people early. that led me to gather this -- gather a bunch of folks together who i know and respect, and together, we came up with a simple concept. we need to change the culture of mental health in america. to do that, we are starting with something simple. just like we know the signs of a heart attack, we can learn the sign for someone is suffering emotionally and needs our help. we all know the signs of a heart attack or defend one in this -- of a heart attack. if anyone in this audience right now started to experience check -- chest pain, sweat profusely, shortness of breath, the people around you would say, oh my gosh, this could be a heart attack and you take action. we do not do that for people suffering emotionally. sometimes, we do not even know what we are seeing. sometimes we know something is wrong, but we do not step in to
help. these five signs that everyone can recognize, personality change, withdrawal, agitation, lack of personal care and homelessness. -- hopelessness. patrick mentioned 22 veterans per day commit suicide in this country per day. 42,000 americans commit suicide this past year. more than die in car accidents. we can change that by beginning to reach out in connecticut -- reach out, connect, offer help, like you saw the first lady say. we are very proud of the partnership we have with justice for vets. and the national association of drug professionals. we are proud to work with all of you. what will happen because of the partnership is the mentors is -- will learn these five signs. they will be working with veterans and identifying recognizing when someone is in need. courtroom professionals will learn the signs. counselors and folks all throughout the justice system, because of our partnership, will recognize when someone is in need of mental health care and
support. i talked about stories. we all have stories, you all have stories that brought you here. you heard mine. you each have one and i guarantee, because we know one in five of us are dealing with a diagnosable mental health condition at any point in time, but that means look around. a lot of us are here and we are productive and we deal and we engage and we do our jobs. all of you understand the impact that unmet mental health needs can have on our veterans. all of our veterans have stories. you heard a few already this morning. amazing stories, inspirational stories. there but for the grace of god go i, right?
all of the veterans who end up in the court system, it was their story. it was a combination of factors. it was what the experience in combat. it was genetics that maybe they came into that experience with a predisposition that set them up to experience the trauma in a certain way. it was life and family circumstances. it was a lack of a job, a lack of education, a long break. we all have stories. there were things that we can all do to ensure that the stories of our veterans are the way we want for them, the stories they want for themselves, the stories their families deserve, the stories that they deserve. thank you, justice, and thank
you, melissa, for everything you are doing. thank you all for the service you are providing. as many vietnam veterans have said to me and have written to us, thank you for our 7000 providers for providing free health care. they say the vietnam generation says if we had had what you are doing, and i would say, if they have had what you are doing, so many fewer people would have suffered unnecessarily. thank you all and i look forward to seeing you throughout the rest of the day. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, barbara. good morning, everyone. my name is manny welch. i am a united states navy veteran. and a proud graduate of buffalo veterans treatment corps. [applause] i am the first graduate of buffalo veterans treatment corps
-- court and also one of the , veteran graduates who came first back to become a mentor also. [applause] but i was not always a proud veteran. my story goes back to oakland, california. i served in the navy from 1975 to 1979. i got out of the navy, i know nothing about the v.a., i knew nothing about anything. i got a job at the united states postal service and my addiction took over. i suffer from the disease of addiction and mental health issues. i knew none of that. all i know is i used to live and lived to use. as my journey from california back to new york state
eventually, i suffered from despair, degradation, jails, institutions, over and over and over again. i lost two families. i have a set of twin daughters, back when i was in the service, that i have no connection with. i must say i leave that in god's hands. it is only because of his mercy that i am here. forgive me, because i must thank god for doing what he has done for me. [applause] my god is in my midst every day. by losing the two families, the first one, my set of twins, and then i was married again for seven years, the disease of addiction, divorced out of that family. i also lost one daughter. to a drunk driver. my oldest daughter of the second marriage is now in new orleans.
i have a slight relationship with her and for that, i am truly grateful. because when i was building back up a relationship with her, she said, dad, i do not know exactly where you will fit into my life, so i will fit you and where i can and i said thank you. because i had left her where -- when she was seven years old and i was truly grateful she would fit me in, and now we do e-mail back and forth. she gets back to me when she can. i want to get right back to veterans treatment court. in 2008, when judge russell, hank, jack o'connor, sat down and put this thing called a veterans treatment court together, it was the best day of my life. my journey from california back to new york, once again, i was jailed in institutions. that is where i met my third wife, and i am glad to say and
proud to say, i am still with her 24 years later. [applause] my oldest son of the family is here with me today. manny the third. [applause] and my wife and my other two are living it up in myrtle beach right now. [laughter] but, veterans treatment court, i was in regular drug court before. it was not working out for me. i was continuously going to jail. i was continuously coming back on warrants. and then when they developed the veterans treatment court in 2008, i was transferred into that court. by being transferred into the court, a spirit came over me i did not truly understand.
when i walked into the court in handcuffs, again, being returned on a warrant again, judge russell said something to me that no one else had ever said. he said, thank you for your service. then he stood up and there were some guys standing over to the side. they happened to be the mentors, which i knew nothing about your jack o'connor is my mentor. they were standing to the side and then based debt up and -- they all stood up, and then everybody in the gallery of the court room stood up and they all started applauding me. i was like, i did not know what to say. i did not know what to do. i am like, what kind of court in -- am i in? where they applaud you for coming out of jail. [laughter] with that court, i reunited with my family. i am also a graduate of the
community college, with an associates degree. i'm a graduate of the university of buffalo with a naturalistic -- with a bachelors degree. veterans treatment court does work and i am proud proof and tim is also. with that being said, i am a proud employee of the veterans of the va hospital buffalo, new york, as a peer support specialist, which god gave me the grace to give back to veterans what was freely given to me and i am truly grateful for that. i work for a wonderful staff at the va hospital at the mental health division, which, they do not know my past. they know my future and my present. they are like, we cannot really understand that is who you were. and i might, yes, but that is -- i am like, yeah, that is who
i was, but that is not who i am today. for that, i would like to thank kristen, who held my hand through the whole thing. i called her and tested her -- texted her constantly and she said no problem. i would like to thank adam, the rest of the staff, dave, and truly i would like to thank judge russell, jack o'connor, and i know she is probably out there, but pam, wherever she is. there she is. all right. those are people who truly had their foot in my behind, literally speaking, that i could make it. thank you for the conference and allowing me to come. it is truly an honor and a privilege and i hope you all enjoy the rest of the conference. thank you. [applause]
>> good morning everyone. i am butch, united states army, retired. 31 years, three months, two days. you laugh but i guarantee you every veteran here can tell you exactly how long he or she served. more importantly, i am the son, united states army, retired infantry, 36 years of service. 10th grade dropout, private e1 to colonel. 100% disabled veteran. i went to see him. dinner with my mom and dad. told him what i was going to do today and i said, do you have any advice, he said after he thought for a minute, he said, don't embarrass your family. [laughter] so, i will do my best. that is our family's legacy of
service. but we are not done, just like you, we know there is work yet to be done. you realize that, otherwise, you would not be here right now. my colleagues and i are new to the conversation. we join a conversation that for years has been led by our nation's veterans service organizations. we are so proud to have in our audience today, so proud to join us over the course of the next few days. we thank you not just for being here today, for all of our leadership and attendees, but we thank you for leading the conversation, we thank you for being our advocates on the hill,
and for driving policy every day, that positively affects our veterans. to all of our leaders and members, thank you for being here and for what you have done for us all. [applause] i am grateful to our next presenter. judge robert russell. judge russell reminded me of three things. he reminded me that the law in the hands of honorable people is the greatest force for good in this country. he reminded me that courts are -- our government and our communities can, if they want, make a difference, and can solve problems. he reminded me why, since the
10th grade, in mr. young's constitutional law classes in kansas, why wanted to be a lawyer. i am grateful to judge russell. but let's have a private moment here because judge russell and his posse from buffalo come with a warning. this is between us. the warning is, if you take one step into his courtroom, you are sucked into a vortex of service you cannot ever get out of. nor do you want to get out of that vortex of service. it was one brief visit up there and i knew, this is where i wanted to be. this is where my wife and i wanted to devote our continued service to the nation. i am grateful.
i fully anticipate that when you make that step and visit, as judge holder and his crew are going to do soon, and you visit buffalo on you meet the judge, and you meet jack, and you meet patrick and everyone else up there, he will be in the vortex of service and just like i am, you will be eternally grateful to judge russell for the single individual who brought all of us here today and who has wrought veteran treatment courts to where they are at this time in our history. please welcome to the stage judge robert russell. [applause] thank you, judge. robert: thank you. thank you major general. i am honored to share the stage with someone of such profound service to this nation.
i appreciate your kind words. to tim and manny, thank you very much for sharing part of you and your story today. to the men and women who have worn the uniform or presently wear the uniform, thank you very much for your service. as i look out at the room and see all of you, i am filled with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for you and all of the work that you are doing to come to the aid of our veterans. i know many of you have implemented veterans treatment courts and because you were told and you did it, not because you were told to, but because you saw it was the right thing to do.
you all helped this nation live up to its ideal of leaving no veteran behind. when there is a veterans treatment court within reach, of every veteran in need, it will be because of you. the pioneers. and the inspired action you took to come to the and of the veteran in crisis. thank you all for the work you do day in and day out on behalf of those who have served. a few weeks ago, i have the honor of meeting with robert mcdonald, secretary of the v.a., secretary mcdonald is a man who has, time and again, answered the call of duty to his and our nation. he graduated from the united states military academy at west point in the top 2% of his
class. in 1975. an army veteran. mr. mcdonald served with it is -- with the 82nd airborne division and completed jungle, arctic, desert warfare training. earned the ranger tab, the expert infantryman badge, senior parachute or swing. -- parachutist wing. upon leaving military service, captain mcdonald was awarded the meritorious service medal. mr. mcdonald's's expertise as a soldier is equaled by his business acumen. he earned an mba from the university of utah in 1978 and he has had a storied career in the private sector.
before joining the v.a., secretary mcdonald was chairman, president, and chief executive officer of procter & gamble. a company where by every measurable metric, he was an astounding success. but throughout his career, mr. mcdonald carried with him the values he learned from his military service and when his nation called once again upon him for service, he accepted without hesitation. secretary mcdonald's devotion to country is equaled by his devotion to those who defend it. he was confirmed by the united states senate as the eighth secretary of veteran affairs on july 29 of 2014. in the years since, secretary mcdonald has set about restoring
the nation's's trust in the v.a., establishing the v.a. has an institution in both that it should be and that it can be. he has established an extraordinary degree. -- degree of transparency at the v.a. so he can bring all state quarters to the table to the stakeholders to the table to contribute to help to make the v.a. better. putting the needs and expectations first. rebranding the v.a. as my v.a.. so the veterans feel a sense of ownership and empowerment in a system that exists solely for them. it is already working.
this year, the v.a. has access to care and completed 7 million more appointments this year than that of last. what does the v.a. look like today? let's take a look. ♪ >> this is air talk. mantle.y mountai the v.a. has agreed to create housing for southern california homeless veterans. here to talk about the deal is the u.s. secretary of veterans affairs, robert mcdonald. is it possible to end homelessness for veterans in southern california by the end of the year? robert: the big idea here, larry is the first step to any -- ending homelessness is for
the community to come together. all of you who have committed yourselves to not just counting a number, but finding each individual story. while this is a city of so much, it is also a place alongside the l.a. river and the freeway offramp and underneath our skidrow andre in throughout our city, there are far too many people are homeless. >> one thing you learn in the army and in the military service of this country, whether the person is alive or dead, we never leave somebody behind. unfortunately, we have left some people behind and they are our homeless veterans. i am here to tell you that we at v.a. are totally committed to helping the city of los angeles, helping the mayor and all of you achieve that goal of ending
veteran homelessness by the end of the year. ♪ [applause] >> along with the delegation for the justice, buffalo and rochester veterans, his -- i was struck by his sincerity and his strong support for veterans treatment courts. i can report to all of you that we have someone committed to ensuring the partnership between the veterans treatment court and the v.a. remain strong.
as we all know, mentors are the foundation of the treatment court's success. it occurs to me that during our meeting with secretary mcdonald, he is also a mentor for all of our veterans. therefore, i think it is only right that we make him an official member of the national volunteer veterans mentor core, what do you think? [applause] and you know, we're having a veteran mentor boot camp at the conclusion of the boot camp, each of the veterans volunteer. mentor participants will receive
and where one of these shirts when they are inducted. when secretary mcdonald, before you leave today, he will also receive his shirt. ladies and gentlemen, it is with great honor to welcome to the stage our leader of the united states department of veteran affairs. please let us welcome secretary robert mcdonald. [applause] stage our leader of the united
>> thank you very much. it's a thrill for me to be here. i cannot think of any better way to keep veterans out of incarceration, stop veteran homelessness, and i'm just so thankful to all of you here today for the work that you do to help us care for veterans. one thing that became very clear to me in los angeles, as you may have seen in that film, is that we in the v.a. cannot do this job by ourselves. we need the help of all layers of government, nine government organizations, businesses, and others, to be able to care in the right way for veterans. it is important to have collaboration and partnerships. i love the picture of judge russell and myself as we are shaking hands across the table at v.a. because that is the kind of partnership we need to have. that is the kind of
collaboration we need to have. [applause] nationally, we have got a monumental task. it has to really be a community effort. we have to work community by community, city by city, state by state. locally, it is a huge undertaking. we know we cannot succeed only from the federal government. we have got to make collaborative connections. 2016 is fast approaching and we in the v.a. have made a number of commitments for the end of 2015. our goal is to end veterans homelessness. we have a huge role to play in doing that and so do you pay or we are incredibly thankful for the partnership. there is a link between justice involvement and homelessness. if i was looking at all the studies i looked at as i came in to the rule, it was very clear.
if incarceration is like a one-way ticket to homelessness, if we could work together to end incarceration, we have a great chance of endless -- of ending homelessness fairly. we need to give veterans and offramp from that inextricable link. two weeks ago, president obama described the united states as a nation of second chances. i deeply believe that. nobody deserves a second chance more than those who have protected our country, the 1% that has protected the 100% of our country. they gave us the opportunity to prosper. they preserved our liberty and our freedom. how many of you are veterans in this room? if you would not mind, please stand up and accept applause of all of us here.
[applause] thank you for your service. how many of you are serving through mentor boot camp? [applause] thanks for your commitment. a commitment to make people's lives even better. i think there is nothing more mobile than to live a life of purpose. wouldn't it be terrible to meander through life without direction? all of you have purpose and that is represented by you being here. let me tell you a quick story, probably a store you are familiar with.
an old man and a young man. the old man is on a beach. the beaches littered with starfish up and down the beach, and the tide has gone out. the starfish were kind of baking in the sun and were vulnerable to lose their lives. feels man would walk the beach and then over and pick up the starfish and throw it back in the seat. the unmanned saw this and as you know, often times when we are young, we become cynical and iconoclastic. the old man says, oh what are you doing, and i say, i am picking up starfish and the young man said, yeah but, look down and you see thousands and thousands of starfish. there is simply no way you are going to be able to pick up all the starfish and throw them back in the seat. so why bother? the old man picked up a starfish and he put it back in the water and he said, it makes a difference to just one.
making a difference to just one is really how to measure our lives. do we make the difference in the life of at least one person every single day? it is certainly the question i asked myself when i leave my office in the evening. have i made a difference in the life of at least one veteran that day? i am here to thank you for the difference you are making in the lives of so many veterans through the work you are doing. we in the v.a. think we have the highest order of calling in the world. that is to care for those who are born in the battle, their survivors, and their families. there is no higher calling. we also think we have the best values in the world, integrity and commitment and advocacy, respect, and excellence. if we live our lives according
to that mission and according to those values, there is no question we could make a difference for all the veterans who served our country. serving justice of all veterans is an important part of that. you are embracing that mission. you have got germs around it and -- you have your arms around it and even as you wrap that around it, we have many veterans who need us and they need you. look at the marines in this formation. which would you imagine are going to become involved in the criminal justice system? which could you imagine would potentially be homeless? too many have and more will. thanks to you, thanks to you, there is an offramp. an offramp to a second chance. for that, we thank you deeply. you have heard the testimonials. veterans treatment court kept me
alive and kept me going. eric said veterans achievements courts offered me the chance of a lifetime. nick said veterans treatment court's save my life. i have heard many of these stories. they start with the criminal justice system and they start with a peer counselor. they start with veterans treatment courts and then the individual goes on and they use the g.i. bill, they get community college training and may be a four-year degree. maybe they even go on to law school and maybe they end up paying it forward like many of you here. working on behalf of other veterans.
no other group or people better personify that mission or these values than you do. i pray that god will continue to bless you all in your work. you are helping with one of our return or integrate. we now have 351 veterans courts nationwide, working every day to increase that number and the number of counselors we have to work with you. while v.a. leads the way in health care, we have done things like the first liver transplant, the first cardiac pacemaker, the
first time a nurse came up with the idea to use a barcode to connect patients with medicine and medical records. we invented the nicotine patch. we also invented the shingles vaccine. a lot of innovations have come from the v.a. and we have three nobel prizes and seven awards. one innovation that did not come from the v.a. is the veterans courts. you taught us how to do this. your partnership model, the model of collaboration of the core concept executed federally and locally, tailored to meet every specific need. you have taught us this. it is a perfect example of how communities can collaborate in holistic ways. there is the judge and the court staff supervisor. there are v.a. and community providers delivering treatment simultaneously.
there are volunteer veteran mentors providing moral support, camaraderie, and training. this is the best in classic kind of collaboration we could possibly have. all of us working together synergistically for the benefit of the veterans. let me remind you we are also working hard in all of this to help families as well. it is part of our homelessness effort, we have vouchers but one of my favorite programs is one that provides support for families. so that we show we are not only caring for the veterans, but we are caring for the family as well. certainly when the veteran joins the service or a servicemember joins the service, the family goes with them. when they deploy, the family goes with them as well. so we have to care for families. we need more of that kind of innovation. we need more creative solutions that we can use.
we in the v.a. are willing to try anything that will work. all we are concerned about is getting the numeric outcome at the end, making sure we get the human outcome of the veteran who is better off. we are working on many technological solutions, things like tele-health and also a regional veterans courts. we are committed to creative approaches to make these crucial partnerships work. you all here in this room are at the nexus of justice involvement and homelessness. we want to share where we are with ending veterans homelessness. as you can see by this chart, veterans homelessness is down 33% from 2010 to 2014. it is down 40% for chronic homelessness. this is because of the
president's strong support and his focus and funding we have received. funding is important for transitional housing, employment and job training. since 2008, funding programs benefiting veterans homelessness have increased 170%, from $2.4 billion in 2008 to $6.5 billion in 2015. but it is about a lot more than just money. we have to know how to spend that money. we have learned what works and very importantly we have learned what does not work. we have settled on evidence-based strategies, they are here on this chart. housing first, what a beautiful strategy. it recognizes the hierarchy of
needs, we need to get the lowest level needs out of the way first so we can work on the other needs of the veterans. we do not get a veteran under a roof there is no way to work on treatment. so temporary housing is the most important thing to do first, then deal with other issues that may have caused homelessness. second, no wrong door. coordinating the assessment and entry systems and providing help, no matter where the veteran turns. i love it when i go into a city like los angeles and i see and access program where every door you go in leads to the same access, to treatment and housing. outreach and engagement, seeking homeless veterans, getting to know them and their needs, sharing with partners. we are doing a good job of trying to hire social workers and counselors, there is no
substitute for the peer counselor, for the veteran who has been there, been through the need. i was recently in tucson. there are a lot of veterans there homeless and i met a young man, doug, who literally goes into the desert and comes back and brings veterans in and puts them under a roof. the fact that he has been to the desert and he has been homeless, it gives him the ability to go into the desert and get them. that engagement is so important. connecting veterans with services, this is critically important. grassroots mobilization, how do we get things mobilized at the local level, get the local government involved, local service providers, local landlords. one of the biggest issues we have with homelessness across the country and housing veterans is finding the landlords willing to rent at the voucher amount.
we go into cities, i get with mayors and we ask landlords to get into the room and we say, we would like you to join the mayor's challenge, that you rent to veterans for the voucher amount, we will provide the cure for the veterans, but we need that roof. and many veterans have stood up. the mayor in san francisco told me that he was so thrilled, because the chinese-american community in san francisco saw it as their patriotic duty to rent their spaces to veterans for the correct amount. i cannot stress enough the importance of the grassroots effort. only so much can be done nationally, and by a federal agency like the v.a. we provide a strategy and support, the funding, but ending homelessness has to happen community by community.
it is so much more the money, it is people like you that are committed to veterans and evidence-based strategies that work. another community strategy which is working is the mayor's challenge. phoenix, salt lake city, new orleans, they have all reached milestones over the past year. in 2014, new orleans was the first major city to declare that they had ended veterans homelessness. houston recently announced that they have created a system that will help end and prevent homelessness going forward. but we expect many more cities to declare results over the coming months. let me to you, nobody has done more to help veterans homelessness than first lady michelle obama and the president. they have been there along the way.
they have provided support, leadership, and the enthusiasm to get this done. partnership is one of our strategies that really works. we use the same principles in these partnerships that are valuable to your efforts, working within the justice system, involving veterans. so far, we have served, you know, we in the v.a. are only allowed to serve those who have honorable discharges, so those with a less than honorable discharges, the 15% of veterans that have that, really rely on community partnerships to get that done. i was in boston not long ago and i visited an organization named homebase. historically, homebase has been competition for the v.a., a competition to provide care for veterans with post-traumatic
stress or with dramatic brain injuries. i do not think that way. we in the v.a. do not think that way, we embrace all organizations trying to help veterans, we want to partner with them, because homebase not only provides great outcomes for veterans, but post-traumatic stress, but they help those 15% that we cannot serve by law. so these strategic partnerships are not only critical, they are not only smart for achieving strategies, but in my mind they are also there with morals, because we need to make sure that no veteran is left behind. we also work with section eight vouchers. i recently went on a multi-city tour with secretary of labor tom perez and others because we wanted to demonstrate that we in the federal government are
working collaboratively across departments and we would like to work collaboratively with the cities and counties that we visited. all of us are adopting a no wrong door philosophy, to ensure that we can get veterans in the care, under roof and in order to do that, we in the v.a. have a strategy called strategic partnerships. we are trying to engage local philanthropy, landlords, business communities, we want to maximize the total number of resources available for all of us to get this done. we also want to leverage your political capital, we will get housing authorities committed to providing units, local veterans service organizations and military bases to donate and volunteer their time. we need to continue to work to build paths to the stronger relationships, bring people to the table, set realistic goals, make plans and execute as one team with one dream.
we in the v.a. are not only trying to improve our numbers as we go, for example, we are working to improve access to medical care. as the judge said, we have more completed appointments over the last year versus the previous year. 20% of those have been same day appointments. the average wait time now nationally is five days for specialty care and four days for primary care and three days for mental health care. 22% of our completed appointments have been in the community. 4.5 million have been in the community, 2.5 million have been in the v.a. we also work to get the backlog claims down. we are now down to about 117,000 from a peak of 611,000 last march.
we are not going to rest until we get that back order claims down to zero. as i have already shown, we are making progress on homelessness. all of that is pgriness in the right direction, but we are not going to get where we need to be until we transform the v.a. for the long-term and we are in the midst of that now. we call this the mighty vh -- the my v.a. transformation, that is the way we want you to think about this. we want you to think about the v.a. as if it were your cell phone, personalized and customized for you, the veteran. to do that, we have five started. number one -- improve the veteran experience. we are working hard to train the organization in what great customer service is. we are working with companies like disney, ritz carlton, starbucks and others to learn the best customer service. strategy 2 -- improve the experience.
we know we have no hope of improving the veteran expense until we improve the employee experiencne. we are working hard to provide the right training, provide the right leadership, and do all of the things we need to do to empower v.a. employees. third -- we need to improve the support services, i.t. systems are often outdated, the scheduling system that got us into trouble in phoenix, that dates to 1985. when i was in phoenix, i sat down and worked on it myself, it was like working on a green screen with ms-dos. and our financial managing system, believe it or not, it is about 20 years old and it is written in cobalt, last programmed in 1973 on the west
point computers. we have work to do to improve the support services. number 4 -- we need to establish a culture of continuous improvement. to do that, we are training be a employees in a way that employees take charge of systems they work on, they are given tools to change the system and i tell them, let's try to be the change we want to see, like gandhi said. and number 5 -- the partnerships. we cannot do this job alone. we need you. we embrace you as partners. remember, your work is purposeful. there is no higher calling than the work you do. it is monumental. you help veterans, families. you make a difference in the lives of others. there is no higher calling than that. and you more than anyone else understand the inextricable link
between what we do in the justice system and ending veterans homelessness. we are committed to assuring you have all the services you need come all the support you need, we are committed to making sure that every veteran has the services they need, including those who are justice-involved. justice-involved veterans are welcome to the v.a. they are the ones we are looking for first, we are seeking them to help them have access to services and we are trying to make sure that the criminal justice system, the criminal history of probation or pending charge does not affect their eligibility. if there is a v.a. practice that is getting in the way, we will find a way to fix it. my e-mail is bo firstname.lastname@example.org, very simple, it is my name, please
let me know if there is something in your way. don't ever settle for the status quo or belieg you cannot create change yourself. you can and you will and you are. i want to close by saying you all inspire me every single day, we will succeed, i know we can and i know we will, but we will because of all of you. so i would like to again thank you for letting me spend some of your time with you, god bless you and what you are doing. thank you very much. [applause] >> mr. secretary, we cannot thank you enough for your leadership and support. good morning, i am carson fox, the chief operating officer of
justice for vets. this morning, we had the honor of giving not one but two awards. to give the first award i would let to invite chris to join me and the secretary on stage. [applause] >> sometime in mid-2008, i am watching mtv, there is a tribute to veterans and they show this story about this young marine in tulsa oklahoma who is making it his mission to start a treatment court, mind you at the time, there are only two in operation. through the force of his personality and his inability to take no for an answer, matt steiner did create that third
veterans treatment corp, and then he established a veteran mentor program, where he cajoled, networked, harassed every agency and department within 100 miles to show their support. the result was that the tulsa veteran treatment core would go on to be named a national model. after that, he came to washington, d.c., where he led the new division, justice for vets. he was exactly the leader we needed. i worked with him for two years as he traveled the country, building the support for veteran treatment corp that would become the foundation of the movement is today. he approached his mission like it was his calling.
i am sure you are familiar with that aspect of his personality. i was grateful to be there to see him, to see his tenacity, to experience his unique use of four-letter words on a daily basis. [laughter] i can tell you from justice for vets we could not be any prouder than on the pathway to working with the secretary. he made us stop and help us raise the bar. >> so, steiner, where are you buddy? thank you for all your done for justice for vets and corps around the country and the veterans you serve, and for your service to your country. [applause] >> i will say a few words. >> go for it. >> thank you very much.
i was not expecting this whatsoever. thank you for what you are doing in the field, like the secretary said, you are the ones making all the magic. you are the ones serving veterans and it is an honor to receive an award named after a great marine who helped start this whole thing. thank you very much. [applause] >> for those of us who knew hank, what we remember first is his infectious laughter. hank lit up the room, he helped people, he was my friend. he was a friend of many of us here, and for those who did not know him, if you knew him, he would be your friend too. hank was a vietnam vet. they created the role of coordinator, bringing together the mentors. nothing was more important to
hank than his family, friends and helping others, especially fellow veterans and those people who receive this award today carry on his memory. i would now like to ask the vets to of justice for join me on stage to present this second award. >> the next recipient is known to most in this room and i guarantee you to every single person working in the great state of texas. mary covington is a force of ature. >> i jokingly told mary this morning when we first met i did not need readers, and now i do.
so i've known her a while. i will tell you a little bit about her and then become a little bit more personal because this is a really emotional award and i'm proud to be a part of boe stowing it upon her. frank covington, the special ograms manager in harris county, houston texas. she manages the harris county adult court success through addiction recovery, star, program, as well as the veterans treatment court programs as coordinator in veterans treatment course she helped turn it into one of the pre-eminent veterans treatment program, even being featured on 60 minutes. in addition to her tireless efforts to ensure each participant receives appropriate treatment, she's been an incredible advocate at the state
and national level. her efforts have help sod spread -- have helped spread veterans treatment court not only throughout the lone star state of texas but she's recently been in washington, d.c. meeting with members of congress to urge their support for veterans' treatment considerate court funding. on a personal note, i will tell you she and i have shared many things as specialty courts have grown in the state of texas. we have a lot of stories that would mean something to us and you guys would just say, ok, get on with it. but i will tell you this. one true legacy for mary covington is that she has helped train more incoming presidents of the texas association including me. mary thank you for your mentoring, thank you for your training, and it is with great honor that i bestow upon you the 2015 hank karofski award.
mary: thank you so much. judge reyes, you have always been my mentor and my friend and i'm so thankful to always have you in my corner. i told judge russell last night that when i first met hank in 2003, i had been on my job at the harris county program manager for drug courts for all of 24 hours and quite frankly, hank terrified me. but i remember thinking at the end of the week if i could ever be half as good as hank i would have accomplished something. so i'm so honored to receive this award today. i couldn't accept this award without thanking judge mark carter for letting me be a small part of his vision to bring veterans' treatment courts to texas. and to my team, thank you for
inspiring and encouraging me every day. i'm only as good as you made me. one team, one fight. thank you. >> march 10, 2002, i entered the united states marine corps. the day i stepped off the plane in afghanistan, people were carrying a.k.'s down the middle of a main street. it was a radically different world. once i realized that, not only my purpose for serving but kind of the purpose of my life changed at that point. it was very hard to reintegrate into the society that i had
left, i had done things that many people would never dream of ever having to do. i was really angry. the sleeplessness, the nightmares, they crippled me. i became addicted to opiates and later heroin. however they became much more of a problem than i had even tarted out with. >> i decided to practice law because the law could be used to promote good things. i always talk with my clients because i really want them to understand that i know them and i care about them. i had a young man and he came into court and i said, what's going on? you don't seem yourself today. he said going to his ptsd group sessions made him feel worse. and the next week, this young man overdosed and died. so i said not on my watch. that's when i began to develop this program that was specifically to save veterans'
lives. >> there was a point in my drug use where i didn't care if i lived or died. my mother had finally gotten to the point where i came home and she met me halfway down the driveway and said that we are always going to love you, but don't come back. i lived like that for about two years. until i was arrested and came in ront of a judge in treatment court. >> the court is a standalone court. i have 23 ancillary services right out my courtroom door. when someone is standing before me i can say, what more can we do for you? >> that day was the last day i used drugs or committed a crime. >> they're volunteering to work really hard to profoundly change their lives.
>> my story is not unique. there's a lot of places in the united states that don't have this opportunity right now, so a veteran that doesn't have this opportunity doesn't have a uture. >> we are here to save lives. we are here to restore veterans to those human beings that they were before they chose to serve. adcp lcome to the stage n interim director carolyn harden. carolyn: good morning. during her years on the bench, combined the best
traits. in 2008, her and her incredible team launched the second veterans' treatment court in the country. immediately after the program started, judge linley's court became a crucial destination for thousands of people interested in better serving veterans. judge linley understands the unique needs of veterans and has done outstanding work at bridging the large divide in our culture between civilians and veterans in the justice system. she saw opportunities where others saw obstacles. she sought not just to solve problems, she sought to transform individuals, their families and communities. and guess what? that is exactly what she did. while she is no longer previding
over veterans' treatment court she will long be remembered for helping to pioneer a program that will also help us with saving the lives of 11,000 veterans this year. i can think of no one more deserving to be elected to the veterans' treatment court hall of fame. it is my pleasure, my honor to introduce to you my friend and one of my mentors, judge wendy linley. [applause] judge linley -- judge lindley: thank you. it is a huge honor to receive
this. it was an honor to be one of you and work with you on behalf of veterans. i'll be brief but starting with long, long ago when i started my first collaborative court, we didn't have evidence-based practices available to us. ewe didn't have research. methamphetamine was the drug of choice at that time. there wasn't much available at all system of what did we do in these isolated pockets where we were creating these collaborative courts? we learned by trial and error. we made lots of mistakes. i made lots of mistakes. until the national association of drug court professionals came along and changed everything. today we are so fortunate to have justice for vets. justice for vets provides us with evidence-based treatment. they provide us with key components. they give us practical advice on creating, implementing, and improving veterans' courts.
and they work tirelessly to do this. i personally had to put on probation several individuals who worked for justice for vets because they take no personal time for themselves. and i hope that my latest individual on probation attended the meditation this morning because she does nothing but tirelessly work for this organization. which truly does create justice for vets. closing, i want to say that our work is so important and each one of you in this room is so important to our work. you come in, day after day, week after week, year after year, in spite of challenges and sometimes disappointments because you know that the work we do saves lives, saves families, as we heard today, and saves money, and make ours community a better place for all of us. as i look out to the more than
1,000 of you who are here today, i have such hope knowing that you are now armed with even more information to go back to your community and to continue to do your good work to bring justice to vets. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, judge lindley. i have to admit i'm the one she put on prodation. thank you everyone for being here this week. i don't know about you but after today's ceremony, i feel pretty energized. do you? ready to go for a great conference. i know that together we are going to have a great conference. his morning we heard a
beautiful version of the national anthem performed by tony-award winning actress katy hudspeth. her credits are too new mexico russ to -- numerous to list here. she's best known for her tony-award-winning turn as oola in the smash mitt "the producers" and remains one of broadway's shining stars. but she is also a passionate advocate for veterans. when i called katy and i asked her to come share her talent with us, here today, and i told her what you all were up to, katy said, and i quote, if my little voice can help in any way, of course i'll be there. well, after having heard her this morning, we all know she doesn't have a little voice. so katy wanted to be here and
comments, and tweets. today, a look at the supreme court 10 years after john roberts became supreme justice. c-span5 p.m. eastern on two. a signature feature of c-span of book tv is our coverage book fairs across the country. tv will be live from the miami book fair. authors include representative john lewis, discussing his book "march." oonan talks about her book, "the time of our
lives." and then ted koppel with his book, "lights out." speak with the authors live on sunday. p.j. o'rourke takes your calls on his book. --n, joy and rea will ta calls on herl take book. c-span ongoing series congressional freshman profiles with members who have served in the u.s. military. democratic congressman society moulton represents the sixth district of massachusetts. he's a former marine who did four tours in the iraq war and worked directly with general david petraeus. the harvard graduate talks about his decision to serb and his goals as a new member of
congress. this is 20 minutes. >> i have gotten to know several veterans across the aisle because we share that experience. we've found ways to work together where we might not have had a way to find a point of commonality. host: did it surprise you to find so many young veterans? representative moulton: as a whole, we have fewer veterans than any point in history. it is encouraging to see the younger members of congress coming out of today's wars. the chairman of the armed
services committee, he reverses seniority because he said some of the veterans down front, the freshmen veterans, ask the best questions. marines isoined the straight out of harvard in 2001. what motivated you to become a marine? representative moulton: i grew up in a middle class family, was able to go to good schools with the help of scholarships. but when i looked back at my life in college, i said, you know, i haven't done anything to give back. i was influenced by some mentors. especially the school minister at harvard, the reverend peter gomes, a larger than life moral figure on campus. he had one of the most popular undergraduate courses. he talked about the importance of service. it's not enough just to believe in service or support those who serve, you ought to find a way yourself to serve and give back. i looked at different options. i looked at the peace corps, i looked at teaching overseas, but at the end of the day i had so much respect for the 18 and
19-year-old kids who serve on the frontlines of our nation's military that i decided that's where i'd do my part. host: this is months before 9/11, how did your parents react? representative moulton: they were not pleased. my parents graduated from brown in 1968 and 1970. they were anti-war and didn't have experience with the military. they didn't really understand my decision to serve in that way. host: tell us about your experience as 9/11 comes along, what was your service like? how many tours did you do? remitive moulton: when i was going through training in 2002, i thought i had just missed a war. this was when we were in afghanistan, it sounded like afghanistan would be quick like the first persian gulf war, so i was training throughout 2002 and then got to my unit just before we deployed for the invasion of
iraq. i ended up in the first company of marines into baghdad. host: what are the moments you're most proud of in your marine service? representative moulton: i'd say some of the worst days of my life were in iraq and some of the best were there too. every single day in the midst of that war, even though i disagreed with it, i was able to have an impact on the lives of other people. on the lives of fellow americans and on the lives of iraqis. i was able to have an influence over the way that war was being fought. frankly more of an influence than if i'd just been back home complaining about it. host: you served from 2001 to when? representative moulton: i started in 2002, just after september 11. that is when my training began. iraq, did three tors in up until 2004.
i worked as a special assistant to general petraeus in 2005. then i got out. i was ready to go to grad school. i'd gotten into harvard business school. but then when general petraeus was asked to go back for the surge he asked me to come with him, so i postponed grad school and put the uniform back on and went over for a fourth tour. host: during your run for the sixth district, "boston globe" said something that during your campaign you never mentioned the commendations, the medals you received. why didn't you do that? and what were those medals? representative moulton: a couple of reasons. first of all, i think there's a healthy disrespect for those of us who served on the frontlines, for people who go around telling war story. there are an awful lot of young marines who have done incredibly heroic things and haven't been recognized properly. so i didn't think it was ever appropriate to talk about my awards or brag about them in any
way. and i think that that's a common view among many veteran who was been on the frontlines. so i don't think it makes me that unusual. maybe it make me unusual in the political world but certainly not among my fellow veterans. host: you mentioned the armed services committee. how does your military experience, in addition to your service on the committee, how does that help or influence what you do on chill? >> there were a few lessons i learned in iraq, in the war. one of which is the value of leadership. it's amazing the impact even some of the youngest people in our country can va on the lives of others if you're willing to stand up and lead. so for example, when i made the difficult determination that the best way to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon was to support the deal, not that it is a great deal, but after a
serious examination of all the alternatives, i thought it was the best position we could be in , a lot of people advised me to step back. this is politically dangerous. it's a very contentious issue, there are a lot of divisions. but i remembered that i wasn't elected to sit back and take the politically easy course. i was elected to lead. so i got out there and explained why i thought it was important. i think i was the only politician in massachusetts to hold open forums in the month of august to talk to my constituents and explain to them, to justify my position. i heard their criticisms and complaints and answered their concerns. there is value in having the courage to come out and say what you believe. i think we would be a stronger congress and better country if we had more people just explain to the truth to the american public, even when they knew it might be unpopular back home. host: do you think the american
public understands, you serve on the armed services committee, understands the needs of veterans? representative moulton: everybody supports veterans today. i have tremendous respect for the vietnam generation who had to come back from a tragic war and then face more tragedy at home on the home front when they got home and were treated poorly just for their service. i feel lucky as a veteran of the iraq war that i've been treated well. but the problem is, there's a real divide between the half of 1% who served in our wars and the other 99.5% who barely realize there's a war going on. it's not that americans don't want to care about veterans but i feel like we need to do a lot of work to restore the understanding between veterans and the rest of our country. host: what was service like under david petraeus in the surge? representative moulton: i think he is widely respected for being
a fantastic military leader and a great academic. he has a phd from princeton. he can talk about strategy and politics. but he's the best boss i've ever had. he was a great leader and an incredible person to work for. i feel honored to have had the opportunity to serve with him. host: now you're not only the congressman, but you're the boss of this office where we're talking today. what's a typical day like for you. this office on capitol hill? representative moulton: i don't know that there's a typical day, i think that's one thing that makes the job interesting. but to succeed in washington today, you've got to pick your battles carefully. you've got to work very, very hard, and we have a team that's smart and hardworking enough to do that. we actually had about 1,000 applicationers in 15 positions in the office between washington and the district. we worked together as a team. we have a video conference every single day so the district and d.c. teams are on the same page.
we have the cream of the crop that came to work for us. we also have an incredible team of interns. we got a tremendous number of intern applicants as well. we pride yourselves on working hard and doing a good job. but fundamentally, on being focused on service. that's an abiding principal of this office. it's fundamentally why i'm here in the first place, to serve the country. so, you know, amidst the meetings and committee hearings and visitors who come into the office, we carve out time to have leadership and values discussions, to remind everybody, to remind ourselves why we're here. at the end of the day we're here to serve the people of our district and the united states of america. host: typically, what time does your day start here and when does it end? representative moulton: i try to get up at 5:30 and come in and do work or go to the gym early on. at the end of the day, last night i had dinner with several colleagues there's always some dinner, fundraising or other
activity in the evening. the average day probably starts around 7:00 and ends around 10:00 or 11:00 at night. host: your district includes your hometown, salem, massachusetts. we're talking to you a couple of days after halloween. what is that day like in salem? representative moulton: it's crazy. salem actually has an amazing maritime history which is overshadowed by the witch trials and halloween season. salem had the highest per capita in america in 1799. it's got an extraordinary history with overseas trade and the relationship with foreign country as well as the water itself that's fascinating. so that's my favorite part of living in salem. host: what are the constituents like? representative moulton: we have an incredibly diverse constituency. one thing that's great about my district, i think it's the way a lot of people wish most of america was like.
we have small towns with real characters. this is not a district of highways and strip malls and chain restaurants, where one exit is no different than the last. this is a district of real character. every different town has a unique identity, unique folks who live there, different business strengths an interests. my number one priority for the district is economic development. in gloucester that's about the fishing industry. in lyn it's about the industrial city and how we can adapt and take the businesses that are growing out of the universitys in boston and cambridge and bring them to the north shore. every town really has a character, a spirit, that makes it unique and special and it's one of the best parts of being from the sixth district of massachusetts. host: clearly you love history, by looking at the books, and your talking about the nautical history of your district. we noticed the book about general john glover, the mar bablehead mariners.
what's so special about that book? representative moulton: it's special one because it was a gift from general dunford. host: the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff? representative moulton: yes. marblehead is important. and i went to the glover school for elementary school growing up. when you're in elementary school, you see this famous portrait of washington crossing the delaware. the teacher said it's not really accurate, because he's standing up. he couldn't be standing up in the row boat because you rock the boat. that's wrong because he could stand. every one of those rowers were from marblehead and they could handle a standing george washington as he crossed the delaware. i'm proud of it, general dunford knew of this book, i did not, it's out of print he found a
copy and he gave it to me and i proudly have it on my bookshelf today. host: tell us about your >> tell us about your election. you took on john taryny. . >> i'm not someone who grew up involved in politics. i had never worked on a campaign or been in a political club at school or been an intern on capitol hill. so i really come at this from my experience in the marines. i saul consequences of failed leadership in washington and i think washington didn't know what they were doing when they got us into iraq and didn't have our back while we were there. so there's a huge number of issues we deal with every day in the office much of which have nothing to do with the war, i would not be here without that experience in the war and the marines.
act a practical matter i was recruited. i was working on a project in texas when i received a call from a new nonprofit trying to recruit veterans to run because we've never had fewer veterans in congress in our nation's history. they said you ought to take on massachusetts in and i said no. but they were obviously persistent and i decided that really two things. one, this is a place i could make a difference. i could find that sense of purpose that i had in the marines and missed since getting out. and second, it was a race i could win. i ended up being the only democrat to defeat an incumbent in the entire house of representatives last year. so it turned out to be a very difficult race. but fundamentally i think that being able to get some new leadership in washington is the kind of change we need. >> that must have felt a bit like a bolt out of the blue. >> it was very strange.
political the system. i did not grow up dreaming of being a congressman. but i did find i missed public service. and i didn't expect that. when i went into the marines i thought i would do my four years and check that box. who questioned whether i served my country i could say i served in the marines. but i found that i missed it. so this is the first time since leaving the marine corps that i have felt a sense of purpose in my job where every single day we can help other people. and that's incredibly rewarding. >> you said you were working for a high speed rail company at that time. >> tru. >> what interested you? >> i think that transportation is the foundation of development. the kind that we have influences the kind of development that we have in this country and then the kind of communities that result from that. we have fallen terribly behind the rest of the world in not ting in transportation
only can we not maintain the that ng roads and bridges we have, most countries are far ahead of us in next generation transportation systems like high speed rail. i have to fly home to boston at the end of every week. it's a 3-1/2 hour trip door to door. it's about 30 minutes i can actually do anything that i'm even allowed to use my laptop the rest is basically a waste of time. any other country in the world able to drive five minutes to union station get on a high speed train, be in boston in three hours and use that entire time. morocco is building high speed rail and here we don't have it. it's not just because it's good for the environment or fast or nice or convenient. it's because fundamentally it's a getter investment of our transportation dollars. that's why you see high speed rails across the globe. we not only need to invest more
but we've got to be smarter. >> you tried to advocate as a congressman for it. >> well, i would like to be on the transportation and infrastructure committee. i am not there now. t i am involved in these conversations as much as i can be. i try to be a thoughtful person representative on these issues. i'm working on some transportation issues back home. and at the end of the day i'm not just an advocate for rail. i'm an advocate for investing our dollars intelligently. there's no one in the united states who really says here's a dollar to solve a transportation problem. let's figure out how best to invest it. we have a highway policy where we take all the money and invest it in highways. we have an air line policy. don't really have a railway
policy. can we ght to say how best invovet in this problem? in that case, all the studies show high speed rail. but because of the momentum the inertia, the existing funding the lobies in our airways and highways, we're not putting can best invovet much money into high speed rail. >> did the piece you were working on ever get built? moving n't but it's forward and it has a lot of private sector investment. you don't see much private sector investment in our a lot private sector investment. you don't see much private sector investment in our highway system despite all the federal subsidies but yet most railways in america are run despite any subsidies by the sector. which points to the inate efficiency of rail. but it's privately backed project. the central railway of japan se which is investing in it. i think it's sad we have to have the japanese invest in our transportation system. it's not a bad thing if it gets built.
it will take five or six hour to drive between dallas and houston, three hours door to door to fly. and you'll be able to go downtown to downtown in 90 minutes. if we do next generation it will be 60 minutes. >> so a year or so since your election in november of 2014. what's different about washington than you expect? >> well, one of the things that has surprised me is the degree to which the partisanship here is just institutional. there's not as much animosity between members or among members as i perhaps expected. but a lot of folks just don't even know people on the other side of the aisle. so that's why i really made an effort to get to know my republican colleagues, to get to know them on a personal level so hopefully we can find ways to cooperate professionally. with fellow veterans or other connection that is we find i've been taking republican ons runs. i like to go on runs in the morning. i've been going out to lunch going out to dinner, having
republicans over for my -- in my office just to grab a quick bite. i think that establishing those personal relationships is the real foundation that you need to be able to work together professionally. i think either side is not going to compromise on our basic principles but there's an awful lot of places we can find common ground to work together. >> what are the to thing that is folks in your district are most concerned about? >> economic development number one. that means different things for different cities and towns. in the west we have a thriving tech business but there are transportation problems especially for millenials who don't want to have a car to go everywhere. on the coast there are different issues. like a city who has so much potential. a 15 minute train ride yet it's got vaken land along the water but doesn't have a fishing
industry. up in gloster it's about the ishing industry. so there's really a unique character in each city and town but economic development getting good jobs good businesses in the district. that's my number one priority. >> as you wrap up your first year what are your future aspirations on capitol hill and beyond? every politician answers this question by saying i don't know where i'm going next. truly, i did not grow up with some vision of a political career. i'm here because i want to serve. as long as i can serve well and keep doing this job. but i'm always looking forward opportunities to have an impact and make a difference. it's a true honor to serve the country again. it was an honor to serve in the marines. it was the best decision i ever made in my life is to join the marines and it's an honor to serve here again in the house of representatives. us.hanks for being with
>> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2015] captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption contents and accuracy. visit ncicap.org >> a few months into the job, is it what you expected? >> i think the legislative pieces are. i served a term in the state
senate in oklahoma. so i kind of got to see how the sausage is made and whether you're playing junior varsity or pro, the rules in the stadiums are about the same. it's just one's bigger. , i erms of the dynamics think the surprising thing has been a lot of the division and gridlock that we often get accused of. it's surprising that it's not necessarily fomented by us. it's outside groups that seemed to profit from that division. and dusted up to raise money. >> how do you fix it? >> i think you fix it by the american public they have such a low opinion of congress and yet most people like their particular congressman or congresswoman. i think just trusting us a little bit that the things that we are trying to communicate back, if they're in
contradiction to the i love america or i hate america pack, maybe r it might be, take the information that we have and realized that there's some truth behind it. >> walk us through your routine. oklahoma is not the easiest place to get to from washington, d.c. how often are you in washington? what's your daily routine here in d.c.? and then when you go back to your district? > well, oklahoma city, it is in the middle of the country and it does take time to get here. i will typically be here not every weekend do i go home. some weekend there's just things to do if there's a particular large bill that's going to be in markup in committee, might be 600, 700 pages long, that takes time to read. so i try to do the diligence. that's what i was elected to do.
other times, i was a national speaker for 8 years and traveled all over the country and i still do some of that although the rules have changed on what that is. but i still get around. i was in missouri this past weekend speaking. and so i won't get home every weekend. but i try to get home about two weekend a month. and then i will be here the remainder of the time or in and out from here. >> let's talk about you. why did you decide to run frorkling, and when did you first think of public office? >> politics has been a surprising path. i retired from the united states army in 2006. i had been deployed three out of five years. so it was pretty hard on my family. my oldest daughter at the time was a senior in high school. so i wanted to settle all of our kids the last chance that we had. so i took it.
did a lot of veterans advocacy work, traveled around the country trying to take my personal story to convince people to back our troops when they were fighting rather than bicker about it. let them get it done. s in in the course of that, that gathered the attention of politicos and others and party officials. before i knew it, i was approached to run for state senate in oklahoma and ran in 2008. did a term there. eft in 2012 under my own volition and did my business. i have a rifle manufacturing business and i wanted to pursue that. and then my book. and my speaking. so coming to congress really was not even on the horizon. was a result when senator tom coburn decided to retire early, james lanchingeford successfully ran for his seat but in doing so it vacated
oklahoma's fifth district. i looked at it. could see a path to get there. and i thought, i don't want to look back on my life thinking that maybe i could have helped my country and didn't try. so i thought win or lose i'm going to try. and people of oklahoma have sent me here. so it's been a real honor. >> you come from a long military tradition, the army in particular. talk a little bit about that and also why you decided to begin your career in the military. >> well, my ancestors go back all the way to the revolution serving in uniform. moy sixth and seventh great grandfathers were captured by the british and were imprisoned in detroit until the treaty of paris. and they were eventually released. and then nearly every major war since that time on one side of the family or the other. i always wanted to be a soldier. most of my family were not
career soldiers but they did serve. my brother served eight years in the navy, my dad served in 53. it was just something that in r family, it was always an interest. it was always a topic of relatives.with so anyone that knew me as a child would not be surprised that i became a soldier. >> where did you grow up? how many in your family? and where did you go to college? >> i grew up in dell city, oklahoma. as far as we can ascertain, i'm the only federally elected congressman ever to come from dell city. t's a small suburb of oklahoma city. and i have an older sister. and then an older brother. he's in the middle of the three of us. and relatives. so anyone that knew me as a i h scholarship, rotc scholarship, in high good marks
school and that allowed me to be able to afford to go to college. got a degree in public speaking. and in high school and that debate. i would ever king use it for a living, i just thought if they will give you a degree for talking sign me up. i was trying to get a commission in the united states army and it was something i enjoyed. i would ever use
it kms across as meandering. so i think the diligence behind it, the study. and then to make it appear natural and connect with stories. people can relate to that. >> how influential were your arents in your life growing up and as you pursued your career? >> very influential. nearly died several times from birth. almost died at that time.
i had the opposite blood type of my mother and the rh factor was different. she had had a couple of miscarriages prior to me. and i nearly died at birth. so she's always i had the opposite told me that was her little fighter. and that does something to a child that you're not going to quit. you're going to persevere and you're going to stay with something until you get it done. and then survived a bout of appendicitis. my append dism actually ruptured and it was about six or seven hours before i had any medical attention to deal with that. didn't know what it was. felt better after it ruptured and then peritonitis set in. was in intensive care for two weeks. my folks thought they were going to lose me. vor you didn't know it had ruptured? >> no. i had a stomach ache. it hurt. and suddenly it felt better. the pressure was relieved. and i went outside and played. it was on a saturday. by that night i was doubled over blind in pain.
i remember asking my mother during that time, i asked her am i going to die? and she was honest with me and she said we don't know. but we're praying. and we believe that you're going to make it. and i appreciated that. so it made me want to fight that much harder. on the heels of that actually prior to that oklahoma no stranger to tornados, i was in a devastating tornado at my grandparents and it killed a neighborhood girl next door to them and just leveled the entire area. we crawled out from under mattresses in a small tin building. because the alternative was to be in trailers not a good idea. we have always felt that are pretty much immortal until is done with us.
then at that point it's time. so i've not really given it a whole lot of thought and i approached it that way in combat. i think that those childhood experiences conveyed that if there is some plan is done with. then at that point that i am meant to fulfill and i'm diligent, then perhaps it can be done. of my efforts are not going to meat matter. that kind of faith when i was in combat. >> so you're not afraid of death. >> no, i'm really not. the act is not too thrilling but as far as what would happen jancheds i'm really not. i know christ is my lord and savior and i take that faith very seriously as most of our framers and founders of this great country have. and it shouldn't be no surprise to millions of americans who hold similar faith. and i take great comfort in that, that were something to happen i believe that i will be eternally secure because he promised it that if i would
those experiences stay with you yur entire life but they are not insurmountable. i try to say if you were in a horrible car wreck or in some devastating storm or something traumatic it would impact your life and largely shape it but it doesn't mean that you don't function. just means you take those experiences and they shape you for your future experiences. faith has the way my process my battle experiences. >> one of those enemies, shaum, the book behind you now in paperback we got him. what happened? >> well, i had the privilege to
command task force 122 in iraq. it was a thousand-soldier task force. we were there and experiences. >> one of those enemies, shaum, the book behind you now we were there in 2003 to 2004. and we got involved largely due to geography. it was not something that -- where we thought that specifically that we would go find saddam. we were in a task force that was occupying his hometown. and it became readily apparent very quickly that saddam was probably being harbored there. we got incredible intelligence and we began to work that and worked that with a number of other teams. two special operations forces teams over a six-month period and worked very, very close with and developed from the ground up our own intelligence. my commander commander jim hickey who works on the senate staff now, he was a marvelous warrior. and general radeno, chief of
staff he was our commander in the fourth infantry division. so these were our two immediate commanders and gave me great latitude and i'm thankful for their bravery and their trust. and we worked together as a team. my unit was not the only one involved but one of a half a dozen. and it was very humbling to participate in that time, to lead the raids. we nearly captured saddam in the summer of 2003. didn't get him. but we got personal effects and papers, $10 million in cash. and $2 million in jewelry. it turns out he was captured six months after that raid across the river. you could see the two places from one another. and you could see his home where i had soldiers using it as an outpost from all three could mutually see one another. so it was -- it was really interesting. and i -- i counted it a great privilege to have participated in that. and i give great credit to all of the units involved, you
know, my book, it has been noted for its vivid detail and a lot of the experiences that we went through. and that was very important to me coming home was to tell our portion of it. it was to make sure it did get told so it wasn't erased from history. host: yet during all of this you and your wife raising five children. rep. russell: yes. host: three adopted from hungary. explain how that came about. rep. russell: well, we had two children at the time. and we wanted more. she was concerned about some flare-ups of some childhood arthritis. with each pregnancy there was a chance that could recur so we began to look at adoption. we were stationed in europe at the time. and i went to a men's conference in germany.
and there was an army doc there and he had adopted two boys from hungary. and worked in an orphanage there. one thing led to another. and we began to explore how he did that process. and then we used a facilitator, a marvelous lady, a maria chenady. she lives in san diego. she and her husband oswald with their two very small children. the oldest was 18 months. and hungarian revolt of 1956, they fled. and they made it over the mountains into austria. vice president nixon on a -- at the refugee camp picked five families to become instant u.s. citizens. and they were one of the families. a miracle story. and she worked for the department of defense for years after that. and when she retired she began to work to place orphan children in hungary with soldiers. because she had such love for the military. having worked around it. and one thing led to another, and we adopted a set of orphan
siblings. they were 5, 6 and 8 and that was in the year 2000. host: and where are they all now? rep. russell: they're all in oklahoma city, the metro area. and my oldest daughter, she has graduated from college. and runs a business in-and-my oldest son he works for hitachi. and they're all doing pretty good. they're trying to find their way. and i got them all to 18 without an incident or crime. so i'm thankful for that and on them to make a good life of their own. i'm very proud of them. host: what about your life here in washington as a member of congress? what do you want to achieve? what's your objective? rep. russell: i think the main thing is we need to get back to the basics of life, liberty and property. the government has a federal role. abraham lincoln put it really well when he said those things that we can do ourselves, the government ought not to interfere. but those things collectively
that we cannot accomplish, the government may have a role. and i think that we ought to keep it in that perspective. it's tempting for the government to want to take over every aspect of our lives. but that's not something that we need to do. the american people are resilient. they largely want to be left alone. they want to have the fruit of their labor. they're willing to pay some taxes for roads and schools and the things that we all collectively need. law enforcement. but they don't want a government that tells them what to eat, what to drink, how to be clothed. how much they can do this, that or the other. the american innovative spirit has always defied that and till does today. and i hope to bring that reminder as we go back and look at our framing documents right here in this town. magnificent to see them. they remind us that we can pursue that happiness. that we do have life, liberty, and property.
and the government has to protect those things. and also promote good policy to protect those things. not take away and encroach upon it. host: can you carry on with those principles and yet also compromise with democrats? rep. russell: sure. i think the framing of the constitution was a giant compromise. you had the states that wanted autonomy. you had the need for a road and ommunication and defense system that they couldn't really provide. and so they were willing to ditch the articles of confederation for the constitution. and they labored over it. john jay and james madison and alexander hamilton and many really provide. and so they were willing to ditch the articles of confederation for the others, they -- they debated. they studied. they looked at past democracies and wondered why they failed. and determined that we needed a republic, a representative republic with checks and alances so that one side could
not usurp the other. and then even divided further among the branches. when you hear complaints you can't get anything done in washington it was designed that not usurp the other. way. designed so there would be competing interests. and i think that when you come to overlapping circles of need, that's where you can find the compromise. that's where you can find the things most americans can get behind. and you can do. and already seeing it. already beginning to do some of it. my dad was a democrat. my mom a republican. i grew up in a house divided. i think it's important to listen to both sides. no person is the font of all knowledge. i learned something from everybody i talked to. and i think it's important that we keep that perspective. at a minimum, we will be more solidified in defending our beliefs that they were correct. but an alternative, we may gain
new information that persuades us to a better view. and you can't do that if you don't build relationships. and you don't reach across and talk to one another and that's a problem. we have to work on that more. host: two final questions. first of all, any thought on how long you intend to serve or have you thought about that? rep. russell: i really haven't. i just find it amazing that i'm here. and i'm very humbled and honored. i think as long as the people of oklahoma feel that i can represent them well, i am enjoying the work. i wouldn't say i like the work. that's a strong word. but enjoying it, i do enjoy the work. i feel equipped for it. i have life experiences as a businessman, as a soldier, as an author, a speaker, i bring a lot to the table. i've worked with teams my entire life. building them. leading them. solving tremendous problems. and so i feel equipped to be here.
and i hope to be useful to the country for as long as that is practical. host: which is my final question. not on the policy side but on the personal side, what's the biggest challenge of being a member of congress? rep. russell: your time is completely consumed by handlers nd others. and i think having time for my faith, for my family. i'm fortunate that cindy and i with our kids being all grown, we travel back and forth together. now, the government doesn't pay for us to keep an apartment here or her travel to come up. there's a cost associated with that. but there's a cost if you don't. and we're still rather fond of each other. after all these years. and so we have determined that we want to do that. and she's been a great support to me. and i think that building those ypes of margins in your life
o that you can take a step back with a fresh look. and then as a warrior i tried to keep fit my whole life and allows me to have a clear head and good energy. so i try to find the time for that. and been a challenge but it's doable. host: congressman steve russell of oklahoma. thank you for your time. rep. russell: thank you.
this country once an experiment unique in the world is now the last best hope for the world. we know this. our military men and women know this. you served for it, sacrificed or it. we all know that america is is a special place. and for that to continue, a strong country needs a strong economy. it needs we all know a strong business community. it message to the milt -- military community is this your service doesn't end when you hang up the uniform it doesn't have to stop when you retire or transition into civilian life. you can continue to serve your country in new vital and valuable ways. america needs you. our economy needs you. our businesses need you. there's been a lot of talk about hiring our heroes and hiring our heroes program to help veterans and military spouses participated in the
workforce. but i would say needs a strong workforce. so my that's just the start. it's really about empowering them to lead in the workforce. to propel innovation to drive our economy and to create opportunities for so many other people. many of the industries that we saw highlighted in this video represent the future. this is where we're headed. and we believe and hope and pray that our military men and women are going to help lead the way. let's match up this great generation of talent with the next great generation of american business. if we do, if we harness our industrial might and unleash there's no lent question that america will remain the greatest country on the earth. the nation with the most resilient economy, the most innovative businesses, and the greatest opportunity for individual advancement and reward. this is a new opportunity for service for america's heroes and there is no one better
suited for the job. let's match generation of talent thank you very much. [applause] >> good afternoon. i'm pete pace. it's my privilege to be part of this today and to introduce these three gentlemen whose organizations and as individuals are doing so much veteran community. next to me, sandy ogg from the blackstone group. next to him ross brown from j.p. morgan chase. and
we've been at it for two years now. we've hired about 28,000 veterans so far. we think that the original commitment we've set that we will meet and exceed. for us, it's been a very practical matter of getting it done starting with leadership and that if we went to our ceo's and we have 80 different companies that are led by excellent management teams and we said hey is there something we can do? and they came back to us and said we think so. and relative to that, so first thing was to ensure that we had leadership from the top. now, i know veteran community. like a cliche but what that has done is it has created, it's given permission for every one of these organizations to run hard at it. it creates that sense of
go. ssion and alignment to once we secured the leadership at the top then the second thing that we asked of those leaders was we need a number and we need a champion. and the number was not something we forced. the number was something that we asked them. it needed to come from them. and it represented ambition because something like this demands requires ambition in order for it to happen and that number was representative of that. and then with that number we needed a champion. and we have a couple of the champions in the room here today. one person who, without his leadership and guidance as our champion at blackstone, michael mcdermott, who is right here in the front. i know there's -- that we have derek blake is here from la keenta, we had rod and melissa and lorna here from hilton.
these are the people who are really making this happen day in and day out. and -- [applause] so a number and a champion. and then once we had a number and a champion we knew we needed to mobilize. and our kind of theme of mobilizing something like this is to think big, that we wanted to have a big bold number. but to start small. and not try to overwhelm the thing. start small meaning let's do something, meaningful things that can build momentum and then move fast. so with that mantra, we've been ble to get this initiative mobilized. i would say, the second thing that -- besides leadership and ambition that has been
extremely important for us is the partnership that has developed with the government. people told us in the beginning that, oh, you know, if you try to partner up with the government people they're going to slow you down. that's been exactly the opposite of our experience. and i know kirk is here from veterans affairs. but the people from -- that have helped us from labor, that have helped us from d.o.d., that have helped us from veterans affairs. we got together the first time. we run a summit once a year. we got together and we said that there was all this talk about having a warm handoff that what -- that our service members needed a warm handoff. we all said warm handoff, bull. what we need to do is build a bridge. and what the people that were to at room have done is build a bridge. and there have been very practical thing that is have been delivered by curt and the
team by carey and the team at the department of labor, by stephanie and the team at d.o.d. to help us to build this i ge and essentially thought it was a cliche but it's real and it's really working and it's helping to accelerate the way we're getting this done. so a big thank you to all those people and even bigger thank you to the champion that is are here that are representative of the group that's making this happen. >> thank you very much to you and to blackstone and to all your portfolio companies. ross. j.p. morgan chase. >> thank you. it's a real privilege to be here today to represent jamie and the rest of the leaders and firm mitment that the has. there are three pillars that comprise the efforts. they are employment, education and training and housing.
ployment alone this year we've hired over 900 veterans. years we've years we've hired over 9,000. but probably what we're most proud of is being the leader of the 100,000 jobs mission. and the jobs mission consists of over 200 fortune 500 companies has hired 242,000 veterans since 2011. 100,000 extremely proud. the second pillar is education and training. we partner with the great work mike does at syracuse university and we focus on program on two things. one is we've committed $1 million recently for a study at seven different universities and colleges to see what can be
done to help facilitate the success of veterans as they pursue their education. i think there's going to be some great lessons learned from this that we can provide back to the v.a. and to other organizations. the other, the programs that mike kind of alluded to initially and i will follow up. the vctp. the veterans transition program. that we helped sponsor that allows service members and their spouses to be certified on different certifications. it is one of them. another is program management. sow we'll look forward to working with them. >> finally in housing j.p. morgan chase alone has provided over 900 homes to deserving service members throughout the country. while we continue to provide these homes as they are available, we're also looking at partnerships with our public partners to help the v.a. and
others fight veteran homelessness as well as consuming -- considering to look for opportunities to provide veterans the opportunity to own homes. so in sum i would also like to thank our public partners and the support we're receiving forward to d look working more with them as we move forward. so thank you very much. >> thank you very much. forward working more with >> we've started our hire our heroes program a little over three years ago actually been four now. for the pretty simple mission. we really wanted to utilize our vast network of state and local chambers to connect them with businesses of all sizes across the country. i think most people thing we do a couple hundred we've now done over 900. but i think that's just one
aspect the hiring events that do. a lot of what we've done, a lot of what we've been guide bid is our hiring 500,000 heroes campaign that i know you all have heard lail bit about today. we partners with capital one on that. that's really about going out in these local communities and getting businesses of all sizes to first and foremost make that commitment to hire veterans. but give them the tools and and ces to help source retain that great talent in their workforce. so we've had the great privilege of working in communities large and small ith businesses large and small all with the signature lar and retain that great transition into the civilian sector and not just find them jobs but find them the right jobs. >> we'll come back this way.
what are the gaps that remain and what are the next steps? >> we'll hear a little more about this today. one of the biggest gaps -- we've heard it from the veterans side. we need to learn how to sell or market their valuable skill sets to american businesses. hey certainly have them. but there's focus of helping veterans and their families make that no cou military -- there's tap. but there's this need to help service members understand that these value skill sets translathe in a very meaningful and impactful way for businesses. that's one aspect of it. but i also would encourage all the industry leaders all the business leaders they have to sell their industries. these young men and women as we've all heard are tremendously talented but they don't ow what they know. and they're looking for real economic opportunities in this country and it's the businesses' responsibility to sell those opportunities to businesses.
let them understand that when they come to work for your business that they're continuing their service. may be slightly different they may wear a slightly different uniform but they're still serving this greapt country. so those are the two gaps that i would really focus on. >> thank you. the one gap that i will talk to is data. being in the financial services industry numbers mean something, as you might imagine. room ile we all in this know that hiring a veteran is not only the right thing to do but it's a beneficial room know that hiring a veteran is not only the right thing to do but it's a beneficial thing to do, we believe there's an opportunity to provide more ata in support of this case. so we'll do a study soon. while we i think we all know that it's absolutely beneficial, we want to demonstrate that to the organization writ large by providing this statea and these numbers to support that. so i think sir in sum i think
that we need to provide more on the business piece for hiring a veteran even though those of us who are veterans and have served in hire veterans know that. i think across our coalition there is an opportunity to do that. >> i see two issues. one is accelerating the hiring. we've hired -- we're off to a good start with a couple years behind us. but with the help of miguel and with the help of eric, the doss ameegost, if you will, we're getting the best practices. what are the thing that is can be done to help us move faster. so accelerating the hiring would be number one for us. and then number two, because we now have 28,000 veterans working in our companies, what are we going to do to retain them and keep them excited and
help them develop a career? because we didn't take this on to hire people. because we have a number of businesses where we have people come and go a lot. for example, we have people who take inventory in the middle of the night at wal-mart. those people come and go. fortunately, the veterans stick around. they stick around at a higher rate than others. but you have to capture them in the right way. and so with our summit this fall, we're going to balance our efforts. in the beginning we said we were going to do one thing which is to hire people and we got busy doing that. and now we need to accelerate at but with the population that we have we've got to dig in on this second issue which is how are we going to transition it from a job into something that is a really meaningful that we have career? because if rod and the team at hilton if they bring someone in
and they get them trained up and they're doing a great job, say running the front desk or running a whole hilton hotel, we want them to stick around and find ways that we can continue to leverage off the investment that is we're making in these people. so those would be the two ings that we're really focused in now. we've got some interesting data that we could potentially -- not potentially. we will share with you. in terms of the business case. because we see each one of these veterans represent a very substantial business case not only the skills that they bring but also they bring a lot of her benefits that bring real tangible things with them. so it in our case we think we have the evidence now to say that it not only is the right thing to do but it's smart. it's smart business.
>> you mentioned and it's absolutely true. there's a huge difference between providing jobs and providing careers. to the extent that we can help folks get on to a career path that is an accelerator in the nintsdz degree. we've got time left for one more question. if you had a transitioning service member sitting in front of you right now, you had about 60 seconds to give them a speech about what they should be doing, what would you tell him or her that you think would transition? in >> the thing that we did at our summit this past fall which short of blew everybody away. now sitting in the room are on -- and it's not literally this way. but on one side of the room you have a group of people representing various aspects of the government and have done great work in helping us to build this bridge. on the other side you have a bunch of people representing
these businesses that are really putting people to work. in front of the room we had five veterans that we had hired collectively that we had hired. and you went down the row of the five veterans and it practically made people jump out of their chairs. they are saying i've got to get me some of that. because these people were amaidsing to a person. i mean, one person was driving a humvee in iraq another person was a fighter pilot in the navy who is now an assistant general manage for us in one of the hotels. the thick that i would say from -- thing that i would say if i were sitting in front of a veteran would be to -- this notion of translation of what it is that you actually bring to the party, i think that sometimes there's a little bit
of shyness about what is it that i'm actually bringing that can be beneficial to this business. and i think it's important to do a little get of homework to ups a little bit deeper into that enterprise what is it that i bring to the party that is going to help to translate the -- why would you hire a sniper? i thought that was a pretty cool thing. there's lots of reasons why you would hire the sniper. but that -- it's almost like we need to find each other. the business really has the need and the veteran really has the skills. and we don't want to see it get lost in translation. >> what i would encourage them to do is harness the energy of their network. they had a network in the military. i would suggest they make contact with those who they respected and served with previously and get the lessons learned. whether it be the communication, how to properly communicate what you've done or -- but equally what you're
interested in doing from the lessons learned from those who have already transitioned. >> you've got the last word. >> thank you. you have to own it. i'm going to tell service members you have to own your transition just like you own your military service, you need to prepare just like you prepare for any mission, and you've got to go out and excute it and you have to do it early on. because if you don't do those things then you're going to come up short and it's no different than any day in the military. own it and then excute it. >> each of you for your own efforts and all your organizations are doing for the veterans. thank you all. [applause]
>> it is the best thing, especially for a military spouse. now that i've been driving i was able to put away enough to justify. >> my big contribution is i'm a dad. i stay at home and i take care of alice. mom goes to work every day and makes the bulk of the money. ut if i can go out maybe every weekend and make a couple hundred dollars, then i can contribute to the family. with uber i'm able to earn income and provide the time with my family that's needed with the military. when i left my job the next week was valentine's day. and it was the first time in five years that i was able to volunteer at my son's school. being an uber partner allows me to be at home in the important
times. >> the biggest thing that uber is giving me is the convenience of my schedule. i turn my phone on and i act vaste myself when i choose to. >> good morning. it's such a privilege to be here with all of you. the chamber, i want to thank them for their tremendous work n hiring our heroes. no more important program in the country. and obviously we're all so appreciative of all the amazing work that president bush and first lady laura bush are doing on this work. all the remarkable leaders in the military and companies who are doing what they can to take care of those who take care of us. when i work at the white house one of the things i loved to do most, i didn't get to do it often, but at night sometimes
very late oba weekend take a run on the mall which is just one of the great runs routes in the world, really. partly because i'm getting older so the gravel is nice on my knees but it was always a great reminder of the people who built in the country. but e in san francisco now part of what i enjoy doing, it is a reminder of those who built this amazing country that we have the privilege to live in. we've won the lottery. but again you see the general who against all odds built this country and the commander in chief who freed the people. but you also see the world war memorial and korean memorial and world war ii memorial. and there are tens of thousands who stood by them. and that continues today and will continue tomorrow. those are the people out there who are lail the true heroes in america. they will never let us down. to all of us who have an opportunity to help them when they are done serving there's
no more important job. so we at uber are so excited to play our part. we have a program called uber military which the video spoke to which was started last september in support of many military leaders including the chairman secretary gates. and our goal back then was to over 18 months bring 50,000 veterans on the platform. i'm exciteded now today we're almost halfway there already just in a few short months. we've already now expanded this to military spouses and military families. and what's exciting about the video spoke to that is the opportunity it provides. first, for those of you who haven't used uber, uber is a technology platform, an ap. button and you summon a ride with an entrepreneur driver who is there within a matter of minutes. it is nout in 311 cities, 58 countries but over 78% people gnat u.s. have access.
one of the reasons that veterans and their families have gravitated first we're about serving cities and you see with our veteran driver partners that's really what draws them is that they're able to deliver somebody home safely after a few drinks at the bar. someone's car breaks down they can take them to work or community college. they're able to take someone to their treatment at the hospital so they get a great nourishment out of that. it's no mistake that our highest rate on the platform are veterans. they provide a terrific service but they are so focused on serving. what we hear from them about why they enjoy uber it's a great way to get reconnected to your community. you get to meet people, you're delivering people all over the city. you get to see new businesses that have propped up. for a lot of people it's a great transition. but we're unique in that we are a technology company but we're not just up in the clouds. we're on the ground we're on the cities. and so veterans really enjoy that opportunity to come home and serve but also it's a great transitional job.
so a lot of people come home. they may go back to school, they may be searching for what their next career is going to be they may be interested in starting a business. and what we allow is they can get on the platform, veterans also love to drive most have vehicles already. and within a few days they can get on the road and make money but completely on their own terms. there's really nothing like it in our economy. there are no hours. you can drive or not at all. you can drive eight hours or one hour three hours. it just doesn't matter. you basically turn that app on, and you turn it off when you want to. so as people are coming home what's o figure out next it's a terrific opportunity. and we're so thrilled to play our part in providing it. a t's interesting is we hope lot of these veterans end up driving for us for a long time full time. but for many it will be a short time. but it is a remarkable bridge that we are so excited to be a part of to allow this opportunity. and we have o already here in
the d.c. 1,000 veterans in the l.a. area over 1,000 veterans. so really making a big difference. they're also helping the local economy. i think to a lot of people uber is still something young people use on the weekend but we've become a very powerful engine. the d.c. area over there's no company in the last few years that's put that many people in an income producing opportunity. we have over 22,000 in los angeles. over 24,000 in san francisco. so these are huge numbers. so veterans are also coming in because all these people are going somewhere. this is one of the things we hear from veterans. veterans have a great affinity for small business owners. they're entrepreneurs working hard. a third of our trips end or begin at a small business. those people who veterans are driving are going to local restaurants, retail establishments, small businesses, spending money and helping that local economy. and you saw some of the stories
there. but it's remarkable. we have a partner in austin named mike who had served in the u.s. army, completed two tours in the middle east and came home and someone he had grown very close to on the tours died in a drunk driving accident. so he came to uber in austin, texas simply because he wanted to drive people home at night and keep them safe rather than endangering themselves and other passengers. we're very proud of the role 're playing in reducing duis for people under 25 there's been a behavioral change in urban areas. they don't even think about drinking and driving any more. why would you? you press a button and get a ride there and back. but someone is making that happen. increasingly in so many cities it's these amazing veterans. you heard from teresa who is a military spouse in seattle who for the first time ever -- she used to be a restaurant manager and had inflexible hours. she was able to do that for the first time because of the opportunity that the platform provides. named bob in er
charlotte who lost both of his legs in vietnam lived in ohio, was a telephone operator, had to move to a warmer climate for health reasons. came to charlotte was having a hard time finding work. a hand controlled ehicle which is allowed. and now he drives. what he said was uber is a way for a lot of vets to get out who are stuck at home trying to find something to do. it's a good way to try to break down the barriers for people with disabilities. so a real powerful opportunity. who are stuck at home trying to find something to do. it's a good way to try to break down the barriers for people with disabilities. so a real powerful opportunity. then we have a veteran who drivers in miami. he served in the marine corps for four years. he has three darets. and the reason he likes uber, he has his prime business, he spins named bob in charlotte disks at night but he three girls. so with the uber platform he can log on for a couple hours, log off, log back on. so it's a very powerful economic engine that really works maybe better than anything for veterans as thigh try to figure out what they're
going to do next. so we're going to continue this. we're thrilled with the progress. we think we can make more. we would like to ask one to help spread the word that this is an opportunity again this ay be something that we have a lot of entrepreneur whose actually built up fleets so maybe it's a small business that somebody wants to start in partnership with us. but a lot of actually built up fleets so maybe it's a small business that somebody wants to start in partnership with us. but a lot of people say i'm just going to do this for a few months for whatever hours make sense around my life as i come home and figure out what's next for me. so there's nothing that our employees are more passionate about than uber military. it's what gets them up in the morning. it's what so many of our very brilliant young engineers and people who run our cities are focused on which is how can we spread the word? how can we build this program something that becomes a guarantee? so that when the veterans who served us so abley come home there's a guarantee that as they're trying to find out what's next they've got this opportunity. and they in the bargain will be doing a great thing for their
city. because they're going to be making sure less people die after drinking, they're going to cut down on distracted driving deaths they're going to help the local economy, small businesses, bring less cars on the road so our cities are less congested. so there's also a big society. so we are eager for your advice. if you've got ideas for us about how to run the program better to spread the word we're all ears. we obviously are hungry for partnerships out there. if you've got ideas in that regard we'd love to sit down and talk to you. if you see anything we can improve obplease don't be shy to let us know. but in terms of uber military nothing is more important to us than making sure we are standing by these veterans, providing opportunity, providing them the kind of service that they and their families need. we appreciate your time and look forward to the road ahead. thank you. [applause]
>> good morning. my mother told me many years ago don't follow pave ratie. i think we're following a bunch this morning. this is an amazing crowd to be -- and an organization to be a part of and the efforts ongoing right now. are commendable and timely. i'm retired >> good morning. u.s. army gene spent my life as a kid in the military then 30 years in uniform and i've been in business for ten years. i've the great honor of serving with military in both uniform
nd my civilian capacity. it is a wonderful wonderful addition to any team. i'm with a great team here. it is a if you all would please take a few minutes and introduce yourself. >> my name is justin. i work for eric here in the our heroes hiring and our team is wounded veteran care giver program so we focus on employment opportunities for our wounded veterans and care givers who have events around the country. we just had a very successful event at fort bragg, heading to fort carson. i also have my own business as a motivational speaker and consultant. > i'm karen. i'm a lieutenant commanderer reserve i work for bp america helping our grass roots efforts and some of our political
action efforts as well. i'm an iraq war veteran. 'm delighted to be here. >> i'm pete and i did not run the army. i want to make that clear. it's happened twice. you don't like to correct the president of the united states but i just want to make that clear. i was former vice chief staff army and i currently run a nonprofit one mind that's trying to get at the biological cause of traumatic army and i c and post traumatic stress in rder to find better digenoss ticks. very much. our objective here today is to talk about finding talent and then retaining talent for business. i would like to start with pete. in your research and efforts ve. our objective here today is to kind of an you dispell some of the myths and the stereo types that are out
there so we can set the record straight in terms of p -- let's focus on pts and what that really means for business. >> i'm very, very proud that this generation of warriors has brought attention to post traumatic stress. those of you who believe that this is an injury of this generation of warriors are absolutely wrong. nothing could be further from the truth. it's been with us since war was fought. and that is a good thing but there's a double edged sword. there's a belief that anyone who has served has post traufmentic stress. i had the opportunity in fact j.p. morgan chase had me speak mid level a group of h.r. people. when you pose the question do you believe anyone who is deployed kind of has post traum tress you start to see the heads yes yes yes. and i look at them and i say well you know, 8% of the population will have post
traumatic stress at some point in their life. %. so the numbers aren't that greater in the armed forces. and if you think that by not hiring vets you can escape having anybody work for you who does not have post traumatic stress you're wrong ufment you have at least 89% or more has it today. and you probably aren't giving them the treatment because your insurance company probably doesn't cover in the same way that the military ensures that theme people those willing to come forward get the treatment they need. so it's a real myth that you can avoid this. it is everywhere. and what we really need to do is to understand it. we need to get better digenost ticks so we can separate it
from the other depressions and ype of invisible wounds. i would say, you know people need to understand that we are so far behind in understanding as we are not so far along as the other diseases. that's what my organization is trying to do is to move from the 1930s and catch up with the rest of medicine in understanding and getting good treatments. >> thanks. in your work do you see employers i would call the mid management level and the h.r. hose folks on board? do you see the discussions coming up as a matter of routine or is the that just not out there as frequently as we might be concerned? >> it comes up in a number of ways so it's particularly important to me as someone with
pts trying to reduce the stigma that we talked about. there are events i mentioned for the wounded care giver programs. we have event where a workshop for veterans and care givers and then informal networking event. we do have one hour long employers. the we're lucky we have marjorie as part of our team. she as clinical psychologist. and she and i get up there and or for an hour about, about invisible wounds of war. we have received great feedback because a lot of times some of the folks in the audience are veterans themselves and have been doing this for a long time so they know what about invisib war. we have received great feedback because a lot of times some of the folks in the audience are veterans themselves and have been doing this for a long time so they know what we're talking
about. a lot of the employers there, the h.r. folks this is the first time they've heard from veterans or wounded warrior or a psychologist or both of us at the same time talking frankly openly about pts and traumatic brain injury and what it means. it's so great to have this quick forum to get some statistics out there like he in america have pts. that's 24 million people. national institute of mental health says that every year 3.5% of folks have pts. that's 8 million people in one year. compare that to whatever the exact status 500,000 in iraq have pts. 0,000 versus over 12 years compared to 8 million in one year. so we're getting a chance and it's enlightening. what i do see is h.r. folks love the opportunity to educated themselves because they realize wow we are mentally treating veterans differently and we should be doing that. >> thanks. doing to bridge this divide that's been described in terms of the understanding and the sympathies or maybe even the
ubsing more importantly? >> from personal experience i can tell you that when i realized i was deploying i had to tell my family and i called my boss immediately. and just by dumb luck he happened to be a retired navy captain in the reserves so he understood the language very well and understand what needed to happen. i was able to tap into our h.r. system quickly who understood the law. but more importantly understood the spirit of the law. and did everything they could to help me and my family transition to the active duty life and then for me to transition over to iraq. again n i came back, they went by the letter and spirit of the law. take as much to time as i needed, as much time as i could. i chose poorly and opted to come back to work within about
four days of coming off active duty orders. but i take as much time as could tap into our resources to both the formal ones and the informal ones. and the informal ones were far more beneficial than calling into our hot line or going through the official h.r. channels. and i think that's because the culture that the company that i work for bp has which is one team. everybody's in it together. and you can turn to anybody for help or turn to anybody to offer help. very, very beneficial knew at every turn t i could do that. i chose not to for quite some time. it took me quite a while to come to turns with my experience on my deployment and i dealt with pi family first buzz f but i took the opportunity when it presented itself to inform my boss, all my bosses and my colleagues that i was actually really struggling and that i was suffering from pts and like most veterans, there's a fear
that to ound admitting others. and to and the support i received from the company was astonishing. i am very fortunate in that regard. my great wish is that every veteran has the same experience i have because i do realize that it's unusual. but i think it goes back to the culture in our company where every employee matters. everybody is part of one team. and it's very similar actually in the military. so i recognize the similar traits and was able to reach out to the right people. >> you're blessed. general dempsey wrote a piece published a piece last fall talked about the stereo types that business and the civilian workforce might hold for the military departing military members. i would like to talk about that or if you could share with us your own personal perspective of some of those stereo types that you've seen and
experienced as service members transition. >> sure. yes, sir. one of the stereo types was that employers out there feel that those of us coming out of the military, we might do good work but wure just got add following orders and doing what we're told. we're very fortunate in our military in particular as everyone here hopefully knows that we train our troops to make it happen. from my experience in iraq, whether it was another officer or talking to one of my noncommissioned officers we could be on a mission say we're on a mission talking to a night mission talking to a principal because we couldn't see them during the day or insurgents would target him. we see fire. what do you think we should do? he knew that i want to have this but our safety was also important he could come up with an exit strategy.
refine one we already had. identify how much longer we should stay there. and we plish the mission. that's invaluable to a company. that's not doing what you're told. that's understanding whether it's from your crmp eo or md line supervisor or whatever and making it happen. so if anyone thinks we just do what we're told, we are good at taking orders but taking initiative is just as important. >> very true. >> i think that one of the great stereo types that i encounter have encountered in this company and out in the general world is that veterans or members of the military are robotic. and that we do just follow orders. that couldn't be further from the truth. we choose to do this because we have a great passion for this country we have a great passion for service we have a great passion for getting things zone in the right way. we do that through remarkable eamwork and remarkable
ingenuity. we are not robotic. we are free thinkers. we are able to think on our feet. i think general eisenhower said something along the lines are plans are useless but planning is essential. we see needs. we're not necessarily always linear. we are ingenuity. we are not able to flex to different situations. sometimes better than i think the average civilian can. but there's this belief for people who have never served or not been around the military roped and ing is robotic. we think the same way we feel the same way. true.at's not i would offer that true. i would offer that even when i have my uniform on those differences are celebrated among our ranks up and down and sideways and that's how you get things done as a team. and when companies embrace that, you really see people flourish and succeed. >> sir. karen stole my stereotype. let me build on it. one of the things that i have
seen in moving into the civil sector is that one of the things that makes people think we're robotic is the fact that we dwell on trying to improve in just about everything we do. i really like going to the national training center and having a good day against the operational force and winning a battle. but we would sit down in an after action review afterwards and we would take five minutes talking about the good things we did and another hour and 55 minutes criticizing and looking at how we could have done it better and won quicker and faster. at's a what i see, th part of our roboticism that i think we ought to try to import into civilian business. more often than not i see a tendency there to spend all the time talking about the great success you've had and very little time tarking the opportunity to say how can we do this bet center what are the
thing that is we can do the changes we can make that make it even better than we are today? >> in my experience in this love-hate relationship that we ve not obble with our h.r. professionals but with our general counsel, is a matter of routine when you're looking at hiring you look at a pd, a position description. we grow up with paragraph and line numbers. and you're look for very specific skill sets. so you want veterans to be job ready upon arrival when real lits it's a combination. but they are 65 to 75% there because of the foundation of their character. that's the stereo type that kind of drives me up the wall. let's hire someone who has some magnificent talents. we can get them job ready. we can spend the money to get them job ready. >> so kind of in conclusion. you all fix moving forward if you were king or queen for the day, ceo,
president of an organization in terms of trying to disspell stereo types? clearly there has to be an element of time. but what would you try to institute to try to fix those things? any immediate thoughts? >> if there were a way for all corporate america to understand -- because i think there is a stereo type that what people do in the military is not necessarily going to benefit in the private sector. they talk about this. but say talk about getting a job. what good is being an infantry man doing at a hotel? you have responsibility you manage a budget you're very proactive with people. you've led a good team building skills. all these are intangibles which is impossible to create anywhere else as robustly as we do. also, we have a lot of education courses going on in the military, a lot of our folks have more in the military percentage wise have started
education. so if people understand how robust we are that would be a great start. > thank you. >> i would ask people not label all veterans as people looking for a handout. people who expect something in return for something that we all did voluntarily. and i think that there's a very broad brush sometimes painted in that way. i would implore people to remember that every veteran is unique. we've all had ubeneek experiences. yes we've been part of something that is part of the greater good and we've done something in the team atmosphere. but we all have unique skill sets, unique personalities and character traits. and to embrace that and run with it. don't see the veteran group as a large block. see us as individual people and hat we can do for you. >> i would love to disspell the myth of everyone who comes out
of the military has post traumatic stress or brain injury because nothing could be further from the truth. e large majority of people get stronger by the experience of what they've gone through in iraq and afghanistan and don't have these problems. that doesn't mean we can't take the focus off of helping those who need our help. that's a for sure. and if everybody in here would go back and ask their h.r. person or senior vp or whoever to put together a little point paper for them or a little briefing that laid out whether or not anyone in their company who had any kind of problem with any of the depressions post traumatic stress, whether or not their insurance covers the treatment for that in the me way that the military takes care of soldiers sailors, airmen marine and coast guardsmen. i think you're going to find
some surprising facts that that is really not the case. that is a really important thing. is that we make sure not just in the military but in the civilian society as a whole that when people have some of these invisible wounds that they can get the help and treatment that they need. >> i would suggest that we all -- and i know we do hire a vet it's good for the bottom line. look at it from your discussion with your board of directors and say i think this makes a lot of sense for us. folks, any final thoughts before we depart? ny comments? wonderful. thanks. [applause] ladies and gentlemen, please welcome shawn minasko.
this conference has been inspiring and encouraging. for some of us who have been a part of this activity for the last four or five years started off very fragmented. and to see the chamber bring companies together let's see he coalitions that are forming i'm encouraged about the uture. i'm a proud army veteran. the last time army won against navy i had a lot more hair. today i have the privilege of being part of a great company that's u.s.a. a. any members out there? great. as you know, usaa was formed by the military for the military.
so hiring veterans for us has been a practice in longstanding. you've all seen the commercials at least i hope you have when we say we know what it means to serve. now, when you make bold statements like that, you actually have to walk the talk. so if you were to take a stroll with me or one of my teammates down the hallways at any of our locations and talk to our employees this is what you would learn about their lives. either in four have worn the uniform or is the spouse of one that has. as someone who has worn the uniform myself i can tell you this subject matter we're talking about is personal for me. and given our commitment to veterans i will tell you that at usaa it's personal for the organization. ow, retention is a tough topic. we talked a lot about it here today. fine want to try to put a
point on at least our point of view. hiring make no mistake. but it's all about connecting and developing. companies that do that right are going to be the ones that succeed view. hiring make no mistake. but it's all about connecting and developing. to take a few do i'm going minutes to talk about one of the thousands of veterans. i want to bring this to a story and talk about my teammate organ. maybe not. it was a great picture of morgan. maybe we'll find it. little bit ou a about morgan. before joining u smb aa morgan was a stabbedout in the united states force. a stand out. go back to 2005 and morgan was a young enlisted airman who had a very bright future little bit about ahead of her. fresh out of intel training, she excelled. and she took on a position at
the national security agency. it over the next few years she did exceedingly well and rose through the ranks. then, 2010 came around and it was her turn to deploy. the destination was bag dad, iraq. so if you remember back at the headlines in 2010, it went something like this. baghdad bombing. american killed in the green zone. car bomb kills 100. it was a tough time to be in iraq. not exactly d.c. in the u.s. and morgan was there and saw it all. gunfire, rocketfire, explosions, ied's. during her seven month stint, morgan witnessed it first-hand. she finished her deployment, she came back and a year later she got out of the air force and it left an indelible mark on her. candidly, if you talk to morgan
she would tell you that she had a really difficult time reintegrating back into the normal world. she moved from job to job. and never really had a place hat she could call home. if you think about it one minute you're deployed forward your purpose is noble your mission is clear and the work that you do is important. you're proud to serve. the next minute your enlistment ends, you take off the uniform, and all those things are somewhat lost. morgan will tell you that when she left the air force she lost confidence. lot of confidence. she didn't feel like she was important any more. i dare say that there are tens that usands of veterans feel exactly the same way that morgan did. the good news here --
we've got morgan's picture up there. is that in 2013 while at a job fair morgan's trajectory took a turn. she met a u.s.a. ait recruiter and at the time usa was looking for a few good men and women to join this new program that had been developed in concert with local colleges and the texas workforce commission. the program was called veterans for it. or vet fit for short. over 200 people applied. for this 22-long week training course that was designed especially for warriors in transition to develop the skills needed for them to be a java software developer. 22 people were selected. they joined as full-time employees and each week during their training was the
equivalent of one semester in college. one semester focused on being a java developer. all 22 people graduated. and they're still employed with usaa today. i'm even more excited to tell you that we have a class that's currently formed, we have 28 participants in that class, they're all doing quite well. and i fully anticipate that they're going to be graduates of that program and then will join fellow developers in our it shop. so at tend of the day when morgan was selected and she joined this program, she started to flourish. because she was learning something new. she was surrounded by people that had similar experiences than she had. she was also working for a company that had a true mission that she could connect
personally with. and a company who she was proud to work for and that was caring. now, morgan, if you talk to her whenever she thinks about it she gets emotional. that sense of confidence that she had lost has come back. this is a picture of the first graduating class of this program. and there's the class leader, dog niko t i love this front and center a's it should be. so she has done exceedingly well. and she's not alone because others are doing exceedingly well in this program. but what worked for morgan was the fact that she was doing something meaningful. she was again surrounded by people that had the same kind of experiences that she did.
and it was just the lift that she needed to get back on track. now, at this point morgan is employed, she has graduated from the program. our work here has done. right? it's really not. remember, we're talking about retention here. so even at usaa when i step back and look at the numbers, veterans still turn over more than any other population. and here is what we've learned. we've learned that again not only do you have to make the right hiring decisions but you have to connect them to each other. now, this vet fit program is just one of the ways in which employees at usaa and veterans in particular can connect with one another. our most popular is a network called vet net. now, vetnet is designed specifically to connect eterans and spouses.
if you're part of that you get access to team building activities and learning events and it's really quite impactful. recent conversation i had with morgan because i met her on the very first day. she is a very different woman right now. she said she is enjoying her job. she feels like the work that she's doing is meaningful. and she's looking for other jobs at with morgan because usaa. and i'm fine with that. this is where most companies just get it wrong. they're focused just on the hiring but they're not focused on retaining. so if morgan who has been a successful software developer can take other roles and other veterans can do what she has, our organizations are going to be far better off.
now, this is a difficult challenge. not all companies today are equipped to be up for it. but what i would argue is ompanies that are successful can team together. that's what this conference is all about. that successful transition again is about retention. because the more people retain, the less candidly we have to hire. and we've proven that we can hire them. so let's focus on retaining them. so i would argue that it's not just about the job. it's about veterans finding the right place for them. so not just about the job but finding the right fit. i always ask myself the question could we do more? and the answer is yes. and the question is, can you all do more? same answer the
is true. you know, general mccartsdzyur once said that no good plan ever survived vives? first contact with the enemy. and there's a lot of great planning going on. there's a lot of data that we can analyze. and that's important work that should continue. make no mistake. but i fundamentally believe and we believe that it's the companies that allow their employees and their veterans in particular to learn about their organizations and then follow their own interest in aptitudes and give them the flexibility to go and explore new things. that is going to be the key for success. at least i would tell you it's one of the keys for success at usaa. so here's what i challenge you to do. motivate your recruiters to go find the morgans out there. who are seeking their place in the quote/unquote normal world. hire them. connect them not only to each other but connect them to the
>> i hope that's not me. welcome back, everybody. we're talking mission transition hiring our heroes and magnifying your impact. i want to introduce you to our panelists. barbara is the acting associate administer for the office of business development al the u.s. small business administration. nice to have you. she was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the united states air force. on her graduation day, and she served as an intercontinental ballistic missile crew member and achieved the position of senior member evaluator or the peace keeper icbm force while she served on active duty she arned her master's degree in management. she left active duty joined the reserve and earned a second specialty code public affairs
officer and is currently a colonel. he is at the ussba where she business office of development to support veterans small businesses. nice to have you with us. thank you very much. dr. green tree is next to her. she joined first data as a senior vice president and head of military and veteran ooch fares in february of 2014. and in this role she created first data salutes which is a companywide military engagement strategy to provide the military community with access to career opportunities and best in class education resources while offering premier business solution to veteran-owned businesses. before she joined first data she helped found blue star families the largest chapter based military support organization in the country. ice to have you with us.
>> just say my name. >> i want to give everybody a good sense of the context of who is on our panel before we start our conversation. craig is the svp global service delivery and chief procurement officer at usaa where he and his team are responsible for sourcing strategy governance consulting procurement global delivery enabling all internal business customers to better develop assess implement and manage all of their third party relationships. he enlisted in the coast guard in 1984 and was able to have a wide variety of roles and experiences in his four year career there. in august of a. a 1997 bringing with him ten years of information and experience. so you know who is on our panel. walk us through specifics. >> i heard people say
entrepreneur and entrepreneurial. i know i heard it. i am very grateful that small business administration is partnered with department of defense labor and v.a. and education in the transition assistance program because there are options as you leave the service both for military members and their spouses. you can get a job, you can go to school, or you can make your own job. and that has been the choice for 27,000 people who have gone through what we offer boots to business at transition. there was something small that i hope i would like to amplify that transition assistance when we use the terminology, what does it mean? it means the minute somebody walks through the door they and their spouse are eligible to learn about transition and what it means. i think it would be the best decision to start thinking about what is next when you're at the beginning of a military career. it takes a long time to plan, to do well, so quickly tell you what we do. capacity building. teaching a spouse in the military member. training them on what it takes
to be a business owner and helping them make a choice to do that and learning what they must have in place before they do that. second, is access to capital. getting money. i have partners in this room in financial a institutions. sba also guarantees loanings so the bank will take a bigger risk. we have some deals for you i can tell you about later. and finally we find opportunities for you. whether that's federal procurement where it's been supply chain from corporate partners or going back to main street and rejoining your community in a farm, family owned business, a franchise. so those are the things that we're engaged in right now >> what asaa doing? that transition and i know we focused briefly. it's hard. it's a completely different mindset to be an entrepreneur. what does usaa do for those interested in making that shift? >> we clearly want to do more. i think shawn gave you a great example what we do from the hiring side. from the procurement side i'm
looking for either small business that is have services that can align and a lot of what we talked about here today small business owners that have that same character and willingness to serve continue to serve through usaa because of our membership as well. so finding the right people to connect my procurement organization to like the small business administration and that finds us those sources, is very hard to do. but that's where we're actively working with the rosie network some of that is going on and the coalition for veteran owned businesses that is trying to that where folks live. we want to help build entrepreneurs as well. so i'm live. we want to help build entrepreneurs as well. so i'm actually -- i work -- somebody mentioned the american corporate partners earlier. i'm on my third mentorship right now and the gentleman i'm
working with is a young enlisted guy who is 18 months out but for the deployment roadmap he's thinking ahead. this is awesome. but everything we're talking about in the mentorship is not about going to find a job. it's about starting his own business. i'm at a loss almost to do that so i need to connect him to the right places where he can take his passion and skills and go develop it. so whether that's a concept like the bunker we've been talking to the bunker other accelerators that can help those strive and then as a private orgization can come ack and actually procure and source with them afterwards. >> what's -- >> i was going to say craig i've got some resources. in every community sba is is there. everything from marketing to how you differentiate yourself and legal advice. so that's where you send them to. >> what are you doing? >> first data has been leading the charge for coalition for veterans own business. first of its kind national platform that supports the
success of veterans and military spouse small businesses by connecting them to entrepreneurial education and training. smail business resources and products and opportunities for commerce and supply chain. and it was built upon much like the 100,000 jobs mission was bringing companies together who wanted to hire veterans and military spouses is bringing companies together who want to support veteran owned partsure np. in who are represented in this room. we would like many more in this room to be represented. currently represented very well on the stage as hiring our heroes usaa and s combnch a are founding members which allows us to say that we will provide unparalleled and unprecedented access to education resources and training to veteran and military spouse owned businesses. >> so where are the challenges? because there's lots of ways to provide and interest in providing training and the education. where have you seen the hurdles and what are you doing to get over those hurdles? >> well, i'm way out of my
league on this comment but the whole transition process, which i think someone mentioned earlier today as well as being revamped. but when someone self-declares they want to be a small business owner or an entrepreneur even they don't even know they want to be a small business owner yet they have an idea. so where can i start to think about where can i do that access to capital, accelerator, or am i just willing to sell my idea to a private company and say look, i'm not just coming for my job i'm coming for an idea and this is how you can use it for your customers. so we're trying to create those opportunities. it's now into innovation. and if we can't use them ourselves at usa we have a supplier network and how do we offer them up to our suppliers as well. >> what kind of pressure can all of you put on suppliers? and is it a challenging conversation? is it an easy conversation? >> i had a great conversation
just today about this. we think that -- we've seen a today honor recipient as entrepreneur. these are great people companies want to bring in. so we're asking corporate america to be a good citizen like those you're about to hire and make a commitment to them. so when i had a call to action and i said what can you do? i'll tell you what you can do. you can pay your vendors within 15 days of getting a valid invoice. shaled show your commitment back. he accept that. we need path finders like this in corporate america. so that is one of the conversations we've had. and i'm already seeing results and i'm grateful for that. >> is there an argument beyond, you can citizen that point out your supply chain and say this is a really brilliant business decision that's going to help you make a lot of money? >> first data as a supplier to
usaa actually. when general robe less declared we're going to hired of all new hires would be spouses, i turned that to our supply chain and said not only do i want you to do it i'm not writing it in the contract but i would like you to do that as well not because you're a supplier of usa but it makes good business. you've heard that business caze from everything people here today. i've found overwhelmingly almost every supplier we've worked with said we want to do that as well because we see the value of doing it. but then the question was how do i do it. so so much over the last coup of years has been about helping team peach how to hire veterans and spouses. now we need to focus on how to retain them in their careers. now we're moving into this other part how do we bring innovation into it as well. >> we have on any given day we have 6 million clients in 70 countries who use our products and services to securely transact 2,000 transactions per
second. so that's, leveraging that and act vathing that network leveraging the resources, to access the capital from our supply partners, the chain opportunities like with usaa, with wal-mart, we know that entry into supply chain, the supply chains across the country is something that veteran entrepreneurs and military spouse sprurens are willing to explore. they just don't know where how or when to go about it. so bringing everyone to the table, the veteran entrepreneurs that need access to capital and resources in training and network and mentoring, with the companies nonprofits and federal agencies want to. it's like if next wave of now the hiring thing where we're doing the retaining thing. t we know from sba's statistics that 25% of servicemen and women and women want to pursue. so we definitely want to do everything we can to engage them wherever that is they want to be when they're transitioning out. >> it sounds like navigation is
a challenge. sba as well. there's sort of the knowing and then the actual doing. what are you doing on that front to help people who are also transitioning is a big ife change anyway and then trying to transition into something that's another big life change. what does the sba offer? >> a lot of things. so for veterans and military families is our largest partner. i'm grateful to that are. thank you. getting the word out is the biggest thing we need to do. military owned spouse businesses and military members don't know we save $8.6 million in fees on loans to veterans and that military spouses are eligible for those too. they don't know it. so i'm counting on and partnering with folks who know that. so if you don't think you care about entrepreneurship i guarantee you're going to run into a brother or sister in arms who does and you will have heard this and you'll be able to connect them. so that is what i need from you. >> what are you finding is the
best strategy in terms of public and private partnership to make this happen? like if you could completely write the book on where to do it where do you see the gap and what would you recommend is changed? >> you know, i hate to say the mission of the coalition for veteran owned business. but access to entrepreneurial training and education small business resources and solutions. and opportunities and commerce and supply chain both from the business to business and the models. to consumer reaching that critical mass will be the next great thing that we do for this next greatest generation of veterans and their families. >> add to models. that i think role models. not the folks like us who join organizations like advisory groups. that's important but we
need role models of young enlisted folks men and women who have failed out of college gone into the military gotten their life squared away and gone on to do something for other people, can say wow they've done it i can do it too. and i don't think we communicate that enough around our industry that you're not going to be a senior vice president tomorrow. right? you're not going to leave the military and go to this title that's out there. touf work for it. i know they want to work for it but they're looking for role models to say who has gone before me who can mentor me, connect me to resources and prove to me it will work. i may fail along the way. that's ok. that's part of innovation. but there's some other enlisted person who got out of the military and did this and i can do it too. maybe that's part of our challenge to tell their stories. >> what's the platform for telling those stories as you well know and a member -- >> much may lined media at times. >> let's be honest.
honestly, happy stories where achieve great thing that is are role models. i could not sell that to anybody and get it on tv from. really. if you told me something that was gloom and doom and ended badly i probably could lead the newscast with achieve great thi is that. so how do you tell those stories? role model type stories is what can motivate people but they're also hard to get out on the platform. is there a strategy you have for that? i would love to show you in a national veterans small business we meet the first week of november this year. and we're partnering with public broadcasting and with others to gets out some stories. whether you're a patron of the business or you own the business i need you to know where that veteran business is so that we can become aware of it, and open up doors. and also many of you in the military have served and seen the hometown greetings. hi from wherever i am in the world. e're going to try to do that
with small businesses and little snapshot so it will at least get people curious about what they can learn about. and then build into the peer to peer which you just mentioned with small is an incredibly powerful mentoring, preferred over commander type above the lower entrepreneurship. we want to see somebody just like us who has gone ahead and done it already. >> what are you seeing in retention? what are the challenges there and what's working? >> not everybody at once. >> i mean, i think that's the next level of conversation. it's not enough to say here we're going to have you have the opportunity. it's seing that all the way through. >> also inside the corporate world it's really hard to take someone who has entered usaa at a lower manager level job because they wanted to work for usaa it was part of their transition and then assume they're going to be able to run through the chain. and then two years in they say, you know, it's not working out.
or you haven't developed the way we expect youd to develop. that's on us as leaders inside to take these high talented people and use their skills appropriately. but it's also an indication of the poor h.r. function we have a lot of times that we don't do that for all employees. so i don't want it to be special for only veteran spouses. we should be able to do that with any person in our organization but we have to be more proactive. >> have you seen a similar thing? >> yes. and we know too for small owner, on the hiring side no one wants to hire military spouses more than i do. no one wants to hire veterans more than i do because i'm a veteran. that's how our team feels. our team. it's the same with small eteran owned businesses. if they hire 50,000 but one hires one, it's the same. it's still 50,000 veterans
being hired and military spouses. again no one is more committed to that cause than a fellow veteran or military spouse. o -- >> i'm as president bush said to create this opportunity for themselves. >> imagine how much more successful they will be will he bring to rather -- the education resources from the leading companies in the country targeted toward them. they're that much more likely to
raise that percentage and continue to start and own their small piece of the american dream. >> and even that statistic, it goes back to your idea of role models. i did not know that, that is fantastic. i agree she did very much. a big thank you to our panel. [applause] >> you got a copy on me? >> 10-4. flight town, come on. looks like we have got us a convoy.
[applause] >> a special around of applause for the wonderful team and this incredible event. [applause] i see my clock is ticking and i know everybody is probably hungry for lunch. i thought for fun when we all leave, everybody request your uber at the same time to see if they can keep up. .y name is jim ray for those of you who don't know who we are, we have a technology platform that matches veterans and civilians to great jobs in the trucking industry. we also have the great honor of providing the technology and the hire heroesor the trucking.
now, from a reliable source, this is the first time the convoy has been played here. presented the idea of what he would like to talk about this conference, the idea of selling or industry to veterans we said, yeah. he said, your industry has done a great job and i think would be great for you to end the conference and tired thing together and help everybody go out into the world and sell your industry. i want you to start with "convoy " and we can even talk about -- that is the rubber duck, if you don't know. everybody knows bo bandit. i was like, i'm not sure i want to do that. i have my biggest partners in the room list up going to kill me. that is not the way we want trucking displayed to the world. if you think about it, it is genius. and the whole way hiring our
heroes is smart because they take industry approach. think about it. you're a veteran. what is the very first thing you ask? you don't even know what industry to go into, so the idea of taking an industry approach and selling your industry is huge. it is hilarious to think trucking is the only industry that has an image problem. look at the biggest industries and our country. think about manufacturing. do all of our workers stand in an simile line? or are we dealing with lasers and computer designs and robots? you think about american agriculture. are we all sitting on tractors or are we blending science and efficiency to feed the entire world? i met the starbucks guy yesterday, so after bring them up. they have similar problems. are the only hiring baristas or are you going to be part of one
of the most extreme very companies in the world that have supply chains that reaches the farthest corners of our earth? so let me talk a little bit about how trucking is misunderstood. thingstry to some of the we have talked about. veteran homelessness. a our business, this is bizarre concept. this goes to the opportunity in our industry and how you should feel about selling yours. today, in the trucking industry, we have 30,000 positions open. oury year just to replace truck drivers and other positions that are retiring, we need 100,000 positions for the next 10 years just to keep up. that is one million positions. we have starting salaries that go from $40,000 to $60,000. we have jobs from trucks to mechanics to executives to salespeople to safety personnel. there is nothing that our veterans -- nothing like what
they imagined. actually, president bush, he said when we came back from vietnam, we treated our visit -- veterans shabbily. i thought that was perfect. we not only treated them bad -- some to treat them bad and some just did not do a good job treating them. but a trucking industry, when i was a little boy and a was in my dad and grandfather's terminal, those people in those terminals came from the vietnam war. the truckingin industry in they went on to own their own trucks and really, a lot of them are still trucking today because with some pretty old truck drivers. we have a long, long history of employing veterans. i'm not even sure i want to try to talk about it, but the idea of how many veterans commit suicide because they don't have a good connection to their community. the general population in the united states, about 1% military
veterans stop in the trucking industry, it is north of 20% and nearing 30%. our entire staff are filled with the community already ready to accept them in. model when youat think about selling our industry in how we're going to do it. last year i think we have done great. we have been team, selling it, changing perceptions and having more veterans adding into the trucking industry than ever before. i will come up with some specific tips. is time tip is when it to sell your industry, you're going to need some buddies. they're going to need to circle the wagon. you're going to need to take that industry approach. our concept was, let's get 12 of the coolest companies we can think of and the trucking industry that have great jobs, usovative, that really show to the world. here are the folks that stood up within a month. these companies stood up almost
immediately to do this job. there is a practical reason this is important. we also get about 80 great minds from these companies that we work with every day to do this effort. so even if your industry doesn't have a huge number of players, to your players together and work together. the next tip, salt for the whole industry -- solve for the whole industry. true teamwork. when i was growing up in trucking, i've seen these copies can compete like you've never believed -- companies compete like you've never believed. my father would roll over in his grave when you see how well these work together. we go to these hiring events and walkcompany a in and over to another. might walk it over to
transport america. i've never seen anything like it. we compete like you would not believe in the trucking industry, and it is that concept that if you work together like this, a rising tide will lift all of our boats. key. i think it was sandy who talked about -- well sandy who was talking about the public/private partnerships. it sounds like washington mumbo-jumbo. we found it really is the real thing. terry gerton with the department of labor and the vas help us a lot in the department of defense has helped us a lot. i want to call out a special group that is been incredible. colonel rock and a soldier for life team -- fantastic. as you sell your industry and want to work with these people, they are incredible. they have traveled with us to events to talk to veterans and employers. they have counseled us on her own software saying, hey, you know what? if you do this, the veterans would get a better. our helped is design
mentoring program from the ground up. these companies provide 30 mentors for free around-the-clock for these veterans to talk to. that was the soldier for life influence. we talked about pts a lot today. we had some carriers that say, we have some guys having trouble, what do we do? soldiers for life connected us to the right people in the come to put together a program internally to say, hey, if you guys are having trouble, this is not going to hurt your employment. they even put on some on-site counselors. incredible stuff. incredible stuff. the next thing is, demand courageous readership from your industry associations. there are two industry -- probably the biggest associations in the trucking gimmick in trucking association and carrier association. the american trucking association committed to hiring 1000 veterans on behalf of their membership. the tca, which doesn't have quite as a bit of membership
because they're different segment, committed to hire another 50,000 veterans. that is 100 50,000 veterans commitments. the is courageous about leadership is not just that they made this public statement, it is that they have dug in and created big efforts to get the word out, to educate our employers on how to do it, to promote the programs. they even go down on the veteran by veteran level and sometimes pass people directly into the program. it is extraordinary step. in closing, my last recommendation. "convoy." we have a media problem. we can all see it. some of you do, too. we have talked about that. i want to tell a little trucking story that demonstrates how we really look at it as an industry. maybe you can come up with similar stories in your industry. 70ember 12 of every year,
trucks show up in a small town in maine. each one of those trucks are filled completely with christmas wreaths. they traveled on the east coast of the united states. and as they travel, this convoy of trucks, there are people lining the roadways waving flags and holding back tears. and they show up at arlington national cemetery and deliver the hands of into 20,000 volunteers that place these wreaths on every single grave in the cemetery -- 400 ,000 graves. i asked how many other cemeteries recover and there are about 189 trucks in total, 1039 cemeteries. [applause]
so, folks, that is our convoy. i want to leave you with a short video. i had a hard time picking because with a lot of cool video's and our business. i like this one because it shows how important we are within the industry, what happens when there are national disasters and what we do, what happens when our towers fall and we need to halloween the wreckage and then build as backup -- he to haul away the wreckage and build as backup. thank you.
>> thank you, everybody. we want to close by thanking you for your leadership. over the last five years, our government leaders, nonprofits in the business leaders represented in this room and beyond have had an impact, have moved the needle. dramatic effect in terms of addressing a crisis in veteran employment. now is that the time to take our foot off the accelerator. now is the time to institutionalize these great public/private partnerships and to leverage the lessons learned in the best practices and apply them to the gaps that are remaining. so we thank you for your continued leadership to this effort and we ask you to help us
empower an arm the men and women that need to map out a better navigate through that process to meet your requirements in your business is through the vet roadmap. thank you. . >> we really appreciate your support and really look for to continue the collaboration in the years to come. thank you. [applause] >> today, a look at the supreme court 10 years after john roberts became chief justice. at 12:15 p.m. eastern on c-span2.
c-span's wrote to the white house coverage continues friday live from orlando at the republican party of florida's sunshine summit, the two-day event brings together president of candidates along with florida's state and federal elected officials. friday morning at 10:30 eastern, the lineup includes -- and live on saturday morning starting at 10:00 eastern, more from the republican sunshine summit with -- stay with c-span for campaign 2016, taking you on the road to the white house on tv, on the radio, and c-span.org.
>> republican presidential candidate ben carson spoke to students and to questions at liberty university's weekly convocation. topics included his support of legislation defining and protecting religious freedom for those opposed to same-sex marriage and his plan for a flat tax. this is about 40 minutes. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you. thank you. well, candy and i are absolutely delighted to be here with you today. that is can he ride over there. can you stand up so they can see you?
[applause] it has been a few years since i have been at liberty, but we talk about liberty all the time because that is what it represents -- liberty. freedom from the snares of the world and the right kind of teaching and the right kind of values for the young people who will become the leaders of our nation. and you are such a vital part of the future of this nation. but you know, i do want to acknowledge today as veterans thatecause i really feel we don't do enough for our veterans. when you consider what they did for us. you know, i think about world war ii and i think about those
soldiers invading the beach at normandy, being mowed down by machine gun fire. 100 bodies lying in the sand. 1000 bodies laying in the sand. but did our soldiers turned back? no. were they frightened? yes. but do they turned back? no, they stepped over the dead bodies of their colleagues, knowing in many cases they would never see their loved ones or their homeland again. and why would they do such a thing? not for themselves, but for you ,nd me so that we could be free so we could have a land of austerity. and now the question is, what are we willing to do for those who come behind us?
and i just want to thank everybody who is a veteran. do we have any veterans? can they stand up, please? [applause] thank you. thank you. thank you. such a sacrifice and something that we all must begin to think because thereives is nothing that is really free, particularly, the concept of freedom. but, you know, we should be so delighted that we live in america. is there a better place to live than america?
i don't think so. , ande been to 57 countries some of them are beautiful places, but i'm always delighted to get back your because there is something special about the nation that we live in. have you ever noticed that there is an american way? there is an american dream. there is no french dream. [laughter] there is no canadian dream. [laughter] only an american dream. and what that means is there is something special and something extremely unique about the nation that we live in. in the values that went into making the station what it is. some people say, there is nothing exceptional about america met we're just the same
as everybody else. it is not true. for hundreds of years, even thousands of years before america came on the scene, people did things the same way. within 200 years of the advent of america, men were walking on the moon. it is the most exceptional nation the world has ever known, and we are delighted to be here. [applause] having said that, you know, it is the land of dreams. ofthe dream for me, and some you with the white coats on, was to be a doctor. i wanted to be a doctor. i love anything that had to do with medicine. i even like going to the doctor's office. i would gladly sacrifice a shot just so i could smell those our whole swabs, you know? -- alcohol swabs, you know?
thatroblem was, i wasn't great of student. in fact, i was a horrible student. me dummy.called that was my nickname. and i believed it, too. i did not believe i was very smart will stop and i remember once we were having an argument in the schoolyard about who was the dumbest get in the class. it wasn't a big argument because they all agreed it was me. but then someone had to extend the argument to who was the dumbest person in the world. and i said, wait a minute, there are billions of people in the world. and they said, yep, and you're the dumbest one. [laughter] i did admire the smart kids. i could not even imagine how they could know so much. but there is one person who did not think i was down, and that was my mother. she always thought that there was something there.
she would only say, benjamin, you're much too smart to bring home gray's like this. i brought them home anyway, but she was always saying that. and she just did not know what to do. and she prayed and she asked god for wisdom to know what to do to get her sons to understand the importance of intellectual development will stop and you know what? god gave her the wisdom. at least, in her opinion. i brother and i did not think it was wise at all. i mean, turning off the tv, what kind of wisdom is that? making us read two books of piece and cement to her book reports, and she could not read. we did not know that. she would put check marks in highlights and underlines. we would think she was reading them, but she wasn't. people were always saying to me, why did you do it? your mother was always looking. she would never have known
whether you read the books or not. yes, she would have post up back in those days, you had to do what your parents told you. there was no social psychologist saying, let the kid express themselves. [applause] and as i read those books, incredible things began to happen. realize, particularly as i read about people of accomplishment in all kinds of fields, that the person who has the most to do with what happens to you in life is you. it is not some alleles. it is not the environment. that was incredibly empowering to me. stop listening to all the people around me from all the naysayers. who talked about what couldn't be done and i started thinking about what could be done. and what a difference it made in my life.
fast-forward to medical school. i said, wow, i made it. i finally got there. my only dream was to be a doctor. i skipped right over firemen and policemen and went right to doctor. i was finally in middle school -- medical school. it was going to be great except the first set of conference of exams, and i did terribly. and i was sent to see my counselor and he looked at my records and he said, you seem like a very intelligent young man. i bet there are a lot of things you could do -- outside of medicine. he said i should drop out of medical school. he said, you were not cut out to be a doctor. i was devastated. i went back to my apartment and i said, lord, i always thought you want me to be a doctor, but it is not looking very good
here. praying for wisdom , and i started thinking about what was happening with me. i was going to a lot of classes that it wasn't really learning anything in the classes. academically,that and the thing that really teaches you a lot is reading. so i made an executive decision, and i'm not recommending this to anybody, but i made an executive decision to skip the boring lectures and spend that time reading. and the rest of medical school was a snap after that. [laughter] being,w, the point there
everybody learns in a different way. i, personally, don't learn anything from boring lectures. but i learned a lot from reading. [applause] now, there are other people who learn a great deal from boring lectures. [laughter] and that is how they learn. other people, they learned from discussions, some people learn from repetition, some people are very visual. one of the other things i discovered is that i was very foral, so i made flashcards everything that i needed to know. i literally had thousands of flashcards. i always had a bunch in my pocket. i remember my second year in medical school, i was living with my brother who was in the school of engineering. he even knew all of the bacteria . i always had these cards out talking about it. so, you know, you find out what
works for you, and that is an incredibly important part of what you do and what we do as a society, because god has endowed us with these amazing brains. and we are made in the image of god. and, you know, i get a lot of grief out there. people say, how can you be a scientist and believe that god created the earth, you know? obviously, you know, we developed from a puddle of biochemicals. and if you believe anything other than that, you are a more on. criticize them't . i say, can you tell me how something came from nothing? and of course, they can't.
they say, well, we don't understand everything full stop i say, ok, no problem. i'm just going to give you that there is something. now you're going to tell me there's a big bang and it comes into perfect order so that we hence when 70 years a comment is coming, that kind of precision. yeah.ey say, well, and i say, but do you also believe that things move toward a state of disorganization? well, yeah. so how does that work? they say, well, we don't understand everything. i said, i'm not sure you understand anything but -- [laughter] but i say i'm not going to be critical of you. not a problem. because you are entitled to believe what you believe, even know it requires a lot more faith than what i believe.
but everybody, believe what you want to believe. isn't that part of the problem with our society today? people what to force their beliefs on everybody else. i believe that the constitution keeps everybody -- gives everybody the same rights, but it doesn't give anybody extra rights. and that is where the problem comes in. [applause] and if we can begin to understand that, and we can begin to listen to that, then i believe we can make real progress because that would mean that people, whether they believe the same or not, could actually sit down and engage in an intelligent conversation and put the reasons that they
believe what they believe on the table. because when you live in a pluralistic society, it is absolutely crucial that we learn how to do that. vital that wey begin to think about each other, we begin to think about those who come behind us. you know, when i look out there and i see all of these young people, i think back to thomas jefferson who said that it is immoral to pass that on to the on toeneration -- debt the next generation. when i think about what my generation is passing on to you guys, i mean, if we could bring thomas jefferson here today and let him see what is going on, he would immediately stroke out. he would not be able to believe the kind of debt we are leaving. $18 trillion plus of national debt?
think about that. if you tried to pay that off at a rate of $10 million a day, it would take you over 5000 years. and we are putting that on your backs. but that is the good news, because it is actually much worse than that. -- the fiscal gap, which is the amount of money the government owes going forward -- medicare, medicaid, social security all that, government agencies and programs, what we owe for that versus what we expect to bring in from taxes and other revenue we were responsible, of course, those donors would be a most identical. if you're not responsible, a gap develops. bring it up to today's dollars, it is called the fiscal gap. it's it said over $200 trillion. responsible to be
for that. the only reason we can sustain that level of debt is because we can print money, because we're the reserve currency of the world. a position that generally goes with the number one economy in the world, which we have been since the 1870's, down in competition with china for it. that we still have the title. would china like to be the reserve currency? would they like to be able to print money? you bet they would. -- ire working very hard don't know how many years will be, we have a little reprieve, we have a little time to get our house in order, but not a lot of time because the financial situation is very precarious. if we don't do something about whaton and it collapses -- happened in 1929 on wall street will be a walk in the park compared to what will happen. fiscal responsibility.
it is our duty. and we can fix these kinds of things. it is possible to get our economy rolling again. we have the most powerful economic engine the world has ever known in this country. nothing anywhere close to it. we declared our independence and 78 76 in less than 100 years where the number one economic power -- in 1776 and less than 100 years of a we're the number one economic power. riskve the entrepreneurial taking and capital investment and all the things that fuel our rapid rise posted guess what? those are exactly the same things that will fuel a rapid recovery if we are willing to look at them and stop doing silly stuff. silly things like putting a gazi llion regulations so it is
difficult for people to start a business. things like, you know, you think of -- [applause] you think of things like employer mandates. here you have a situation where people used to be so proud when they started a business, and they were called her mother and it would say, mom, i started a business. i've got 10 employees. the next year they had 20 and then 30 and then 40 and now you ,ould to 40 and say, oops better stop, don't want to hit 50 in have that employer mandate kick in. that was the very backbone of america, the growth of small business. and we put something in there to stop small business from growing, and then we wonder why jobs aren't coming. and that is why it is so important for people to actually understand what is going on in this country. to the news last
week, we saw a lot of people rejoicing that the unemployment rate is down to 5%. that is essentially full employment. but if you know anything at all about economics, you know you can make that number anything you wanted to be based on who you include and who you exclude and the real number is the labor force participation rate which is at its lowest level in 38 years. and that is why the founders of this nation said our freedom and our system is based upon the well-informed and educated populous. and if they ever become anything other than that, the nature of the country will change. [applause] because the people are not well-informed, all it takes is andrupulous politicians
gos media and off the people in completely wrong direction, listening to all kinds of institution -- method of thinking. it becomes easy for them to swallow things. if they don't really understand the financial situation of the country and somebody comes along and has, free college for everybody! aey will say, oh, what wonderful person. and them no idea all you're talking about is hastening the destruction of the nation. [applause] well, i could talk about the .conomy for a long time
let me say before we start the q&a, this nation is an incredibly special place because when you look at our founding document, the declaration of independence, it talks about certain in a loadable -- inalienable rights given to us by our creator, also known as god. [applause] and we have so many people now who are trying to push god out they take thend word of god and they try to negate it and make it seem like if you believe in anything that is there, that you're some kind of an idiot. well, let me tell you, our
as thes survival pinnacle nation in the world, i believe is rooted in our value system, values and principles that made us into a great nation. and the real question is, are we willing to stand up for those values and principles or will we allow ourselves to be intimidated by the secular progressives? the secular progressives don't care whether you agree with them or not, as long as you sit down and keep your mouth shut. and i think that the secret to the prosperity in this nation is we must be willing to stand up for what we believe in. thank you. [applause]
>> these questions come from our body, our student government. if they would just submit a few questions and just grateful for you giving us the time to do this q&a. weston number one -- question number one, the moral ground in this country has been shifting to medically in the last few years, no more obvious than on issues like marriage. as a man of faith yourself, how would you govern in a society where traditional values, like marriage, seem to be the minority view? >> well, i think you can use the bullypulpit and very effective ways to once again level the
playing field. you know, the first amendment is an incredibly important. it talks about freedom of religion. not freedom from religion, but freedom of religion. and we have to encourage all the branches of the government to work effectively with checks and balances. what we have seen recently is the legislative branch, which is the branch the represents we, the people, has more or less been acting like the peanut gallery. which means that the executive branch and the judicial branch are overstepping their boundaries. and we're going to have to have a president who is willing to work with the legislative branch to put things back in order again, specifically, we need legislation to protect the
religious freedoms of people who believed that marriage is between one man and one woman. [applause] >> thank you for that, dr. carson. one of our students once to know, you propose the idea of a flat tax even likening it to tithing is a refers to proportional giving. to do a leverage a little bit more about the flat tax -- could you elaborate a little bit more about the flat tax? >> the reason i liken it to tithing is because i believe god is the fairest individual that there is. and if he thought it was fair, i think it must be pretty fair. basically, you make $10 billion, you pay $1 billion. you make $10, you pay one dollar. you get the same rights and privileges. pretty hard to be more fair than that. and you're going to get rid of all of the deductions and all the loopholes.
and everybody has been proportional. my proposal takes into consideration poverty and at the poverty level you get a rebate. but we don't change the system because the minute you change the system and allow just one crack in it, everybody starts moving toward that crack and producing you have another and you wind up with a $75,000 page tax code -- 75,000 page tax code. we don't want that. some say, it is not fair because, you know, the guy who put in $1 billion, he still has $90 left. we need to take more of his money. that is called socialism. that just doesn't work. [applause] and the guy who put in one dollar, he'll he had $10, some say, well, that is not fair
because he can't afford to put in one dollar. of course he can. he can afford to drive on public roads and send his kids to public school. and i can tell you, having come from the bottom percentile, i can to you that people down there also have pride. and they want to carry their own weight. they don't was somebody patting them on the head -- [applause] and in the people say, well, the mortgage deduction, i'll lose my house. no, they won't, because they will have so much more money in their pocket that will easily be able to pay their mortgage. some say, more charitable deductions come all the churches will dry up. they don't realize they're lots of churches in america before 1930 when the federal income tax would in place. and as people have more money in their pocket, they will actually put more money in the plate when the plate comes by, not less. not going to be a problem. [applause] >> fantastic.
this is one of the main reason our students wanted to know, it is interesting you asked the lord for wisdom. you are saying that in your time with as we were speaking a few minutes ago. a lot of our students believe you have a lot of wisdom to dispense. students want to know if you could give a college student one piece of advice and if you could go back to when you are in college and you could go back and say, i wish somebody had come in front of me and had addressed me or had said this one piece of wisdom to me, what advice would you give? proverbsice would be 3:5 and 6. it says trust in the lord with all your heart, lean not enter your own understanding. and all his ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path. [applause]
you know, i have clung to that through all kinds of adversity in my life. i cling to it now, you know, when so many in the media, you know, want to bring me down because i represent something that they can't stand. but the fact of the matter is, 8, it says, if god be for you, who can be against you? [applause] >> the one question we asked, whether it is a business tycoon or whether it is a nobel peace prize winner or a politician that comes our way in our q&a, as i was the same question -- >> i'm not a politician.
>> that's right. [applause] how can we specifically be praying for you? i want you to know, that is not a cliché special thing we say out loud. our students really do commit to pray for you and your family. we know this is an incredibly busy time. how can we be specifically praying for you? we see you on tv only thing, there is the carson family, there is the team there. >> well, you know, why did i worldet involved with the of politics? people say, you had a successful career in medicine, why would you get into the slimy world of politics? and i asked myself that frugally, too. but, you know, when i got the speakerbe the keynote
at the national prayer breakfast for 2013, i said, lord, what are you up to? in 1997i had done it and a wasn't aware anyone ever did it twice. and then i found that one person a done it twice, and that was billy graham. then i really knew he was up to something. and i said, what does the lord what me to say? and i kept writing things down. and i said, no them a that's not it. right up until the night before the prayer breakfast, i still do not know what it was. but when i wake and that morning, it was so clear what i was supposed to say. obviously, it resonated with millions of people. and then people started clamoring for me to run for president, which i thought was pretty absurd.
be i said, why would i even thinking about something like that, i'm going to retire and relax with my wife and have fun. but i said, just ignore all that chatter out there, that will die down. but he did not die down. they kept building and building. and all of the political professionals were saying, carson run for president, are you kidding me? that's ridiculous. ofis not connected to any the money. you know, he doesn't know anything. he has never been elected to public office. it's impossible. don't even think about it. and i said, whew, i'm glad to hear that. but it kept going. and a finally said, lord, this was not on my bucket list but if you truly want me to do this,
all the pundits say it is impossible, but nothing is impossible for you so if you open the doors, i will walk through them. [applause] and he began opening the doors. we were able to put together incredible team, including one of your alums dean parker there. [applause] in terms of the money, they said, that is impossible, can't raise that much money. enough, weestingly 900,000 donations from average americans, which they never anticipated that we, the people, could fund the campaign. they always thought it had to be the billionaires and the special interest groups. but the way it was actually
designed is that it should be we, the people, and it was designed for citizens, statesman, not career politicians. and i believe the people are beginning to understand that. [applause] so i am -- i am hopeful the courage,ll pray for for stamina, for protection for me and my family, and for the opened the nation to be to what is going on, because the problems that we have in this they are not republican problems or democrat problems. they are problems that affect all of us. and we have to recognize that one of the goals of those who want to fundamentally change our
nation is to pull our nation apart. and hence, their created -- they have created the perception that there was a war on women, that every time there is any conflict between people, two races, there is race wars. that there is income wars. that there is age wars. that there is religious wars. that democrats hate republicans, the republicans hate democrats. and you keep people at each other's throats. and then we forget what is truly important. what is truly important is our unity. and we have a lot more that unites us than the things that divide us. and we must remember, this is the united states of america. [applause]
>> my wife and i got to be at the prayer breakfast that morning. it was you and andrea recently -- but chilly and i remember the one thing that everyone had at our table, continue to agree upon, was that you were a man of courage, you are speaking some hard truths, even with people in the room they don't necessarily agree with you, with the president sitting right next to you, but at the same time, there seemed to be more of a spirit of unity and really, the one thing i think we all really love and appreciate about you, sir, is your humility and the way you carry yourself as a believer. thank you for that. we will be praying for you. let's all pray, could we? let's all just stand together and just pray for dr. carson and his wife and his team and his
family. father, thank you. thank you, lord, for a man who understands that leadership begins at the feet of jesus. thank you, father, for this person you have called out for such a time as this to be a , god, a reason, to be testimony for you. we pray, father, for stamina. for him and his family, we pray in his busy season. we pray for courage. we thank you, lord, that all of this things bring the very things he was sisi this country to bring unity. thank you that we are the united states of america. thank you that even though we might not agree on secondary issues, that we can come together, god, and recognize as a nation that we have been called to do together what we could never do alone. and we do look for a leader. lord, if this is the leader enough called for us, we pray,
father, that would be very clear to people. we pray against confusion and division and we pray, father, that there would be crystal clarity frese sure people on how to serve, father, your kingdom first, then the gray citizens of this nation, whoever that leader is. father, i thank you for the team you have assembled to lead with dr. carson. we pray for them, the of them wisdom and discernment. god, and this very busy season, allow him to also be a witness in a testimony with a very peers that he has that are running alongside of him. for thisteful, father, time you have given us. we sit under your authority. we pray this in your name, amen. can we put our hands together for dr. carson? dr. carson, thank you. [applause]
>> we give you a football game to watch in the white house. today, a look at the supreme court 10 years after john roberts became chief justice. we are live from the federalist society lawyers convention at 12:15 p.m. eastern on c-span2. c-span throw to the white house coverage continues friday live from orlando at the republican party of florida's sunshine summit, the two-day event brings together presidential candidates along with florida's state and federal elected officials. friday morning at 10:30 a.m. eastern, the line up includes --
and live on saturday morning starting at 10:00 p.m. eastern, more from the republican sunshine summit with -- stay with c-span for campaign 2016, taking you on the road to the white house on tv, on the radio, and c-span.org. >> coming up in 45 minutes, the center for community action on a federal appeals court ruling blocking obamas executive action suspending the deportation of immigrants. threatse looks at new
to the u.s.. and at 9:20, the center of disease control and prevention reporting a 25% increase in multistate foodborne illness outbreaks in the past few years. ♪ host: good morning and welcome to the washington journal. we will begin this morning with the debate over the minimum wage. a call for an immediate increase of $15 per hour, the gop presidential candidates tuesday night argued against an increase. we want to get your take on it, what should the minimum wage be? ,emocrats at 202-748-8000 ndpublicans at 202-748-8001, a independents at 202-748-8002.