veterans

Donnelly: 'Heartbreaking' Military Suicide 'Has to End'

Donnelly spoke at the panel Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Maj. Gen. Mark Graham stood in front of the handful of people gathered in a Senate office building Tuesday and recited a phone number.  

"855-838-8255. Don't wait. Don't wait. Call," Graham said. He was listing the number of Vets4Warriors, a 24/7 call center where veterans provide support to service members and their families. In 2003, Graham's his son, Kevin, who had planned on becoming an Army doctor, committed suicide. Fewer than nine months later, his other son, Jeff, was killed by an improvised explosive device while serving in Iraq.  

Honoring Veterans, One Story at a Time

The Veterans History Project has more than 99,000 collections. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Americans will pause Wednesday to remember the nation's veterans. But one Library of Congress project is working to ensure veterans' stories are preserved for years to come.  

The Veterans History Project is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. It was established on Oct. 27, 2000, by an act of Congress, and over the past 15 years the project has collected more than 99,000 stories of service members. Former Librarian of Congress James H. Billington touted the program at congressional hearings on the Library's budget, noting in his March testimony to the Senate subcommittee of jurisdiction it "is now the largest oral history project in America."  

It's Veterans Week in the Senate

Kirk is the MilCon-VA subcommittee chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has an aggressive plan for what could be a two-day workweek ahead of the Veterans Day holiday.  

The Kentucky Republican secured a consent agreement Nov. 5 that sets up a Tuesday morning vote on the Senate agreeing to a House-passed revision of the fiscal 2016 defense authorization bill, clearing one must-do item off the calendar. While the changes to the policy measure reflect the funding levels for the Pentagon in the recent bipartisan budget agreement, eliminating one key reason President Barack Obama vetoed the original measure, a disagreement remains over potentially closing the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.  

McCain to Democrats: Do You 'Give a Damn' About Servicemembers?

McCain gave a biting floor speech about the blockade of the defense spending bill. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Republican defense policy leader in the Senate wondered aloud Thursday if Democrats "don't give a damn" about military personnel.  

During a stem-winding floor speech, Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., asked if his Democratic counterparts were blocking the defense spending bill debate not for procedural reasons — but because they don't care. "It's foolish, it's cynical and dangerous to hold defense legislation hostage until every one of their political demands is met," McCain said. "Veterans Day is one week away. I urge my Democratic colleagues: Stop treating our national defense as a tool for extracting political leverage."