Monday, December 17, 2007

Romney - Strengthening Military, Caring For Military Families

The Romney Agenda: Strengthening Our Military And Caring For Our Military Families And Veterans

Today, In New Hampshire, Governor Mitt Romney Discussed His Plan To Aid Our Military Families And Veterans While Strengthening Our Armed Forces. A strong America requires a strong military and Governor Romney believes we must do more to support our men and women in uniform, their families and those who have returned home after serving their country. Governor Romney will take action to aid our veterans, military families and the men and women of our Armed Forces.

Governor Romney's Initiatives To Aid Military Families And Veterans:

Governor Romney Will Ensure That The Value Of The Montgomery G.I. Bill Keeps Pace With Rising Educational Expenses. Currently, benefit amounts under the Montgomery G.I. Bill are periodically adjusted by Congress to account for increases in educational costs. But these increases have not kept pace with rising higher education costs. Governor Romney will call for a regular outside review of Montgomery G.I. Bill benefits to ensure that our veterans, active duty military, and their eligible spouses and dependents have the resources they need to pursue the opportunities they deserve.

Governor Romney Will Ensure Military Dependents Get Access To In-State Tuition At Public Colleges And Universities. Most states extend in-state tuition benefits to military dependents whose parents are stationed there. Many more, however, do not permit the continuation of discounted in-state tuition benefits once a military parent has been reassigned out-of-state.

Governor Romney will level the playing field for military families by calling on every state to extend in-state tuition benefits to military dependents whose parents are stationed there and, furthermore, to permit the continuation of the in-state tuition rate even if their parents are reassigned and forced to leave the state.

Governor Romney's Plan To Strengthen Our Armed Forces:

Governor Romney Will Expand The Military. Our military suffered a dangerous decline under the Clinton Administration and the Congress in the 1990s and has faced serious strains as we confront Jihadist threats following 9/11. To support our troops, we need to ensure we have the personnel and resources needed to maintain a strong America and safe world by:

- Adding At Least 100,000 More Troops To Our Armed Forces. By expanding our military's size, we can help alleviate some of the stress faced by our current Armed Forces and National Guard and military families.

- Committing 4% Or More Of Our Gross Domestic Product To Defense, A Policy Recently Supported By The Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff. This will help provide the resources needed to make long-overdue investments in equipment, weapons systems, modernization, training, health care, family programs, and treatment of our wounded soldiers. - Ensuring Funds Are Used To Support Our Forces By Eliminating Waste And Washington Pork. Governor Romney will call upon a team of private-sector and defense experts to carry out a stem-to-stern review of military purchasing because increased spending should not mean increased waste.

- Creating A Permanent Rapid Innovation Force To Ensure Our Troops In Harm's Way Have The Equipment And Technology They Need. Governor Romney will establish a Rapid Innovation Force within the military to rapidly deploy the equipment and innovative solutions our troops need for their success and protection. This force will expand and provide permanent authority for efforts started in the Army and create a permanent Force to continually assess the military's needs on the ground and the available technology so that commanders have the equipment they need.

- Establishing A Special Partnership Force (SPF) To Harness All Elements Of Our National Power In Contested Areas To Defeat Jihadists. To meet today's challenges, we must mobilize and integrate all elements of national power in unstable areas where traditional civilian agencies cannot operate effectively and traditional military power alone cannot succeed. The SPF will build on the lessons of the former Office of Strategic Services (OSS) which mobilized efforts in World War II and integrate all elements of national power under a new force with leadership drawn from a core group of our Army Special Forces trained to work with civilian governments and intelligence personnel to form a new capability to help defeat the Jihadists.


Governor Romney's Support For Military Families And Veterans:

- In 2003, Governor Romney Swore In Congressional Medal Of Honor Recipient Thomas Kelley As The State's First Secretary Of Veterans' Services. (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "Romney Appoints State's 1st Secretary Of Veterans' Services," Press Release, 8/28/03)

- In 2004, Governor Romney Signed Legislation Prohibiting Employment Discrimination Against Any Member Of The Military. (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "Romney Signs Law Protecting Armed Service Members," Press Release, 9/23/04)

- In 2004, Governor Romney Signed Legislation Ending The Practice Of Denying Benefits To Veterans Who Served Only During Periods Of Peace. (Courtney Hollands, "Concerns Over Fate Of Veterans Bill," The [Quincy, MA] Patriot Ledger, 6/16/04)

- In 2005, Governor Romney Introduced And Signed The "Welcome Home Bill," Which Was A Major Expansion Of Veterans' Benefits. (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "Romney Signs Legislation Expanding Military Benefits," Press Release, 11/11/05)

- In 2006, Governor Romney Signed Legislation Providing Disabled Massachusetts Veterans With Extensive Tax Exemptions As Well As Providing Financial Relief For Families Of Soldiers Killed Or Missing In Action. (Office Of Governor Mitt Romney, "Romney Expands Tax Benefits For Disabled Veterans," Press Release, 8/14/06)

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