Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bipartisan measure spearheaded by U.S. Representatives Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Brian Mast, R-Fla., to help more disabled veterans transition to the civilian workforce. The measure, passed as an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2019 Legislative Branch appropriations bill, increases funding for the U.S. House’s Wounded Warrior Program, which provides two-year paid fellowships for disabled veterans to work in the Washington or district offices of Members of Congress. There are currently 47 disabled veterans working in House offices through the Wounded Warrior initiative, and this new funding will help the program reach its ultimate goal of supporting 110 paid fellowships.
“Our veterans, especially those wounded in the line of duty, have fought hard to protect our nation, and Congress should fight just as hard for them,” said Murphy. “The Wounded Warrior fellowship program helps veterans succeed after they leave the military by affording them potentially life-changing personal and professional opportunities to gain experience in congressional offices. Veterans can use the valuable skills they honed in the military to help constituents, including fellow veterans, in congressional districts across the country. I’m proud to work with Congressman Mast to create more opportunities for disabled veterans to get the skills, training, and expertise that will help them succeed.”
“After I opened our Congressional office inside the West Palm Beach VA, we set out to hire a wounded warrior to help us because I know that veterans are among the most qualified applicants for any position thanks to the skills they learned in the military,”said Mast. “This amendment is a win-win: giving disabled veterans a great opportunity to transition into a new career while improving constituent services in Congressional offices across the country.”
The Murphy-Mast amendment increases funding for the Wounded Warrior Program by $250,000, from $2.75 million to $3.0 million. In addition to Murphy and Mast, U.S. Representatives Dan Kildee, D-Mich., and Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, co-led the amendment.
Wounded warrior fellowships enable disabled veterans to gain professional experience and develop their skills while they determine their long-term career interests and goals. Participating veterans perform a variety of duties, including legislative work and constituent advocacy. As a result of their military service, fellows provide invaluable support to Member offices, especially on defense and veterans issues. To qualify for the program, an applicant must be an honorably discharged veteran released from active duty within the last five years. The applicant must have a 20 percent or greater service-connected disability or be a Purple Heart recipient.
For more information on the Wounded Warrior Program,click here.