News from the Week of August 13th

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On Sunday, one year after the violent demonstrations in Charlottesville, Virginia, Unite the Right protestors descended on our nation’s capital. In an Op-Ed published in the USA Today over the weekend, our very own Scott Cooper articulated the need for citizens to get to work building others up rather than dwelling in the negativity of recent events.

“I cannot just watch these racists with disgust from afar. I’m working with my fellow veterans to champion our values at home now that we’ve taken our uniforms off. When it comes to citizenship, I believe no one gets to stay on the sidelines.”

This past Monday, Robert Berry Sinclair, a highly decorated Marine Corps aviator who served in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, was celebrated during a burial at sea. It wasn’t until after his passing that Mr. Sinclair’s family began looking through his service records. Upon their search, they found that he had been awarded the Silver Star (the nation’s third-highest medal for valor) for his “superb airmanship, daring initiative, and exceptional courage,” during his time in Korea.

Mr. Sinclair was 96 when he passed away. On August 13th, about 60 of his closest family members, friends, and military veterans gathered aboard a ship to celebrate his life in a ceremony that took place about two miles off the California coast. Read more about Mr. Sinclair’s amazing story here.

Representatives Matsui, Blumenauer, Nadler, and Lofgren introduced the Afghan and Iraqi Allies Resettlement Improvement Act to improve the resettlement process for those coming to the United States on a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV). Key provisions of the bill would survey SIV recipients annually to assess their progress, as well as establish a program headed by the Department of State and the Department of Defense to offer SIV recipients employment upon their arrival.

Congressman Nadler stated: “Every year, thousands of brave Iraqi and Afghani men and women risk their lives to help our U.S. military. The Special Immigrant Visa program provides these brave men and women with protection and we should do everything we can to ensure that SIV recipients have a comfortable transition to life in the U.S.  This bill takes some initial steps towards critical policy changes in our SIV program, and I am proud to be a co-sponsor on this important legislation.”