113th Congress Has Fewer Veterans

With the Presidential Inauguration completed, the work that Congress is charged to do begins in earnest. While much is said about the number of women and minorities serving, the 113th Congress will have the fewest number of military veterans since World War II.

Declining Veterans in Politics

A HuffingtonPost.com report indicates 85 members of the House of Representatives will have military experience, while 19 senators will be veterans. These numbers will be slightly lower than the previous Congress, which had 91 House members and 25 senators.

The number of veterans has steadily declined since the draft ended in 1973. Since then, the number of veterans from World War II and the Vietnam War have retired in greater numbers, and veterans from the Iraq War have not yet gained the required political traction to take their places. Nevertheless, the new Congress will see more post 9/11 veterans, which is an important consideration given the challenges of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee.

The Huffington Post also reports that more than 1 million veterans will be returning to the United States as the war in Iraq concludes and the war in Afghanistan winds down. Representation on veterans’ issues will become increasingly important considering the potential problems involving disability claims.

As we stated before, the backlog on disability claims exceeds 800,000, which can create wait times of more than 18 months on average. We have posted on the despair this can lead to, as well as the potential ways to alleviate this problem.

We wish the new veterans in Congress the best in their work as they continue to serve our country.

Source: HuffingtonPost.com, Veterans in new Congress fewest since World War II, November 17, 2013.