The final results leave the total number of lawmakers with military experience for next year’s session at 96, down six from the start of the last congressional session. It’s another decrease in veteran representation in Congress, a figure that has declined steadily since the mid-1970s.
At that time, the years following the Vietnam War, nearly three-fourths of lawmakers had served in the military. The 116th session will open with less than 18 percent of Congress boasting first-hand familiarity with the military.
Is this good or bad?
At Coalition for American Veterans, we believe that those who have served our country deserve representatives that truly understand their needs. By electing veterans and those who advocate for veterans, we can ensure that the unique challenges and opportunities facing them as they move through the continuum of life are heard and met.
By engaging in the political process on behalf of veterans, Coalition for American Veterans will continue to fight to elect individuals who will put veterans first, and hold elected officials accountable. In the months ahead, we will work to identify veteran Congressional candidates and their allies.
Per the same article in Military Times:
Next year’s Congress will boast the largest number of female veterans in history (six) and the largest class of freshmen veteran lawmakers in a decade (19). Nearly half of the veterans caucus served in the ranks after 2000, while four members still boast service from the 1950s.
That’s indeed encouraging news; younger veterans and women who are veterans are seeking – and winning – seats in Congress. The diversity of voices among veterans should be celebrated and will serve to make their advocacy for their rights and freedoms even louder.