The Virginia Council of Chapters of the Military Officers Association of America (VCOC MOAA) announced that Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) has been named the “Legislator of the Year.”
The award recognizes Members of Congress for “exemplary support of the national security of the United States and the current and past members of the Armed Forces and their families.”
“The men and women serving in our armed forces are not only America’s finest, but also the reason this country is free,” said Congressman Forbes. “I am both honored and humbled to receive this award; I have no higher priority in Congress than continuing my work to defend our defenders, support our military families, care for our veterans, and properly equip our heroes on the frontlines.”
Congressman Forbes is the Chairman of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee on the House Armed Services Committee. For more information on Congressman Forbes’ work on these issues, visit his website at forbes.house.gov.
The Virginia Council of Chapters of the Military Officers Association of America is an affiliation of MOAA chapters throughout Virginia. There are 18 MOAA chapters and over 40,000 MOAA members in Virginia. Learn more about VCOC MOAA, here: http://www.virginiamoaa.com MOAA is the nation's largest association of military officers. It is an independent, nonprofit, politically nonpartisan organization with approximately 380,000 members from every branch of service, and their families. To learn more about MOAA, visit their website: http://www.moaa.org/
Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee and Co-Chairman of the Congressional China Caucus, released the following statement on the release of the Department of Defense’s 2015 China Military Power Report:
Heroes are around us every day. Take Buzz, for example.
Serving as an Army Chaplain during the Vietnam War, Basil “Buzz” Ballard drove his jeep roughly 25,000 miles in one year to hold 11 worship services a week for service members in combat zones. It was the height of the war, and once Buzz found himself targeted and ambushed by the Viet Cong. He got away unhurt, however, and continued serving and supporting the soldiers far away from home in Vietnam.
That was his first deployment. Buzz’ entire career in the U.S. Army spanned 25 years, carrying him across the country and around the world — including Ft. Hood, Texas; Ft. Lewis, Washington; Germany; and Hawaii, to name a few. During those years, Buzz served in multiple roles, from jail chaplain to hospital chaplain, providing support, counsel, and prayers for our men and women in uniform and their families. Buzz was awarded the Bronze Star “for going above and beyond the call of duty.
Do you want to know something else about this American hero? He lives right around the corner. After retiring from the Army, Buzz served as the pastor of Windsor Christian Church for 12 years. Today, Buzz continues to call Windsor, Virginia “home.”
Buzz Ballard’s name may never be printed in the history books, but it is forever stamped in the hearts and minds of the men and women he served for 25 years. I’m proud of quiet American heroes like Buzz, who demonstrate for the rest of us what conviction and courageous dedication to duty look like. And I’m proud of what he represents: the countless other men and women in the line at the grocery store, pumping gas at the gas station, sitting next to us at church — the quiet heroes who sacrificed so much for so many years, that we might live in freedom.
We are grateful. But gratitude is not merely an emotion. Gratitude is an action word. It means working to provide veterans with the care they deserve. They did not wait to answer the call of duty; they should not have to wait to receive quality, timely medical care. Gratitude means supporting their families. It means helping our heroes find jobs. It means recognizing that while we can pay the men and women who wear this country’s uniform, we can never repay them. And gratitude means honoring the memories, telling the stories, saying thank you, reflecting on the heroes — right here at home — who served and fought for our freedom.
There is no question that, while we are a nation that is overwhelmingly grateful for our veterans’ service, our government has fallen short in its duty to support and serve those who served this country. Instead of providing the best our nation can offer, we see bureaucracy, backlogs, and blunders. But I believe Americans have a right to expect better from their government. That includes action steps like:
• Addressing the claims backlog at the VA. Until that happens and the backlog is cleared, VA employees should not be allowed to accept bonuses.
• Continuing to work to make quality care more accessible to our Veterans — building off the Veterans Choice Program.
• Refusing to place the burden of our fiscal challenges on the backs of our servicemembers; defense spending in support of our men and women in uniform is not the cause of our fiscal woes, and cutting the benefits earned by our brave service members is not the solution.
• Offering in-state tuition to our veterans regardless of where they live. The men and women who serve this nation did not just defend citizens of their own home states, but the citizens of all 50 states.
•Continuing to address post traumatic stress injuries. The number of veterans who have committed suicide or are homeless is a troubling factor that haunts far too many.
• Providing retirement pay and benefits as promised.
And perhaps, most importantly, we must make a commitment to asking ourselves — how can we better strengthen and empower our warriors after they return home? It’s a question that is constantly on my mind as I serve in Congress, work on legislation, and one that keeps me up at night. Defending our defenders has been, and will remain, one of my top priorities in the House of Representatives. Because how we treat our service members defines who we are as a nation.
At the end of the day, gratitude is about saying thank you — not just in words, but in actions. Whether it is a bill in Congress, a project by a community, or an act of recognition for the hero next door — it’s the least we can do for those who selflessly serve.
You can read the article here.
2135 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Placed prominently on the wall of Congressman Randy Forbes’ Washington office is a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence surrounded by portraits of the fifty-six founding fathers who signed the document asserting our nation’s freedom. Frequently when Randy is in our nation’s capital, he can be found personally escorting constituents through his office to tell the story of how this powerful document and its signatories serve as reminder of the sacrifices that were made during birth of our nation and the weight of responsibility on elected officials to preserve the freedom for which so many have fought and died.
Since his constituents elected him to Congress in 2001, one of Randy’s key priorities has been to protect and defend our nation. As Chairman of the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, Randy is responsible for the research, development, acquisition, and sustainment of Navy and Marine Corps programs as well as the Air Force’s bomber and tanker fleets. Randy’s position is central in developing the nation’s long-term strategies to meet our future security needs. As a result of his work on behalf of our military, in 2009, Randy became one of only a few individuals to have been honored with the highest civilian award offered by both the United States Army and the United States Navy.
In a time of broken government and stale ideas, Randy has focused on legislative solutions that have proven to be refreshing alternative to the status quo. His much-hailed New Manhattan Project for Energy led the Wall Street Journal to ask: “Why is Randy Forbes all alone? … The surprising thing is that there aren’t 100 Randy Forbes out there, issuing similar calls to arms to seize this moment and finally cure the country’s oil addiction.” The Virginian Pilot, similarly, commented: “Outrage won’t solve the nation’s energy troubles, or safeguard jobs. For that, you need something else, something Forbes is displaying: Leadership.”
Randy has rejected Washington political rhetoric and has instead focused on solutions-based leadership to tackle issues such as economic recovery, health care, tax reform and government spending. In health care, Randy has introduced proposals to protect seniors and individuals with preexisting conditions from health insurance cancellation, to harness the potential in ethical stem-cell research, and to double the investment the federal government is making in research to cure diseases such as cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. His work has earned him the award, “Guardian of Seniors’ Rights.” In addition, Randy has introduced legislation to improve efficiency in government agencies, and he has been named a “Hero of Taxpayers”. Instead of abandoning sound fiscal policy in the face of economic challenge, Randy was one of only 17 Members of Congress to vote against each stimulus and bailout package under both the Bush and Obama Administrations.
Randy founded and chairs the Congressional Prayer Caucus and has led this group of bipartisan Members in national efforts to protect prayer and our nation’s spiritual history. He is known as a skilled orator on the Judiciary Committee and, as the former Ranking Member of the Crime Subcommittee, Randy is often called upon to lead the debate on national issues such as gang crime or immigration reform. As founder and chairman of the Congressional China Caucus, Randy has introduced legislation to combat Chinese espionage and is frequently tapped as a national commentator on Sino-American relations. Groups as diverse as the US Chamber of Commerce, the NAACP, the National Taxpayers Union, and the American Farm Bureau Federation have all recognized the work Randy has done in Congress – a testament to Randy’s independent problem-solving and focus on bipartisan solutions.
While Randy’s legislative proposals have received significant national and local attention, Randy’s commitment to improving quality of life for his constituents has been the hallmark of his career in Congress. Randy places a high-priority on partnering with community leaders and elected officials of all political persuasions to bring about greater economic prosperity, increased educational opportunities, safer communities, and improved local transportation and infrastructure for the Fourth District. His work to position Fort Lee through the last BRAC round led to the arrival of nearly 12,000 jobs in the Chesterfield/Tri-Cities area and his work as founder and chairman of the Congressional Modeling & Simulation Caucus has elevated Hampton Roads as a premier destination for high-paying tech jobs.
Working in Washington has not changed Randy’s enthusiasm for serving those that elected him. Richmond Times Dispatch noted Randy has “earned a reputation for constituent service” for his ability to cut through red tape and for his unparalleled constituent communications. Randy publishes a weekly email newsletter with over 85,000 subscribers that includes commentary and as well as factual information on the issues before Congress.
Randy has long worked under the belief that transparency is a key condition of good government. In addition to his unparalleled work to inform and solicit input from his constituents, Randy was one of the first members of Congress to publish appropriations requests to his website, causing the Richmond Times Dispatch to call him, “an admirable example for openness.” His website was selected by the Congressional Management Foundation as one of the best websites in Congress and was specifically commended for offering constituents a “clear understanding of his work in Congress”.
A life-long resident of Virginia, Randy began his career in private law practice helping small and medium-sized businesses and ultimately became a partner in the largest law firm in southeastern Virginia. From 1989-2001, he served the Commonwealth of Virginia in the General Assembly. As a member of the House of Delegates, he served 7 years, quickly establishing himself and serving as the Floor Leader until his election to the State Senate in 1997. One year later, he became the Senate Floor Leader. He served in the State Senate for 3 1/2 years, until his election to the U.S. House of Representatives.
Randy graduated from Great Bridge High School in Chesapeake in 1970. He was valedictorian of his 1974 class at Randolph-Macon College. In 1977, Randy graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law.
Randy attends Great Bridge Baptist Church, where he has taught adult Sunday school for over 20 years. He was born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia where he still resides with his wife Shirley. He and Shirley have been married since 1978 and have four children: Neil, Jamie, Jordan, and Justin.
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We lost an American hero when MajEverett Worrell Jr– Prince George Countys oldest living WWII vet– passed away this month #4thDistrictFriday
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WATCH: Speaking on the House Floor in defense of the 11-carrier fleet that our Navy and our Nation need http://t.co/O6V8j3pZrN
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For a strong America, we need a smart national defense as well as a strong national defense.
Today, the potential of one of our great military leaders was recognized as Brigadier General Timothy P. Williams was promoted to the rank of
Friends, the Fourth District lost an American hero when Major Everett Worrell, Jr. – Prince George County’s oldest living World War II veteran
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