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Opening Statement of Hon. Corrine Brown, Democratic Member, Committee on Veterans' Affairs

I want to thank Chairman Miller and Ranking Member Filner for holding this hearing to allow the DAV to present its legislative agenda.

I want to begin with acknowledging those in attendance from Florida who have made the trip from the state with one of the largest veteran populations:

Dennis Joyner Past National Commander

AI Linden Past National Commander

Andy Marshall

Guy Diffenbaugh

Frank Chicallo

Ken Wolfe Past National Service Director

Fred Bristol Past National Assistant Adjutant

Art Wilson National Adjutant

Dave Tannenbaum

Phil Condon

Richard Tolfa

Bobbie Parker

Don Ebright

And especially John Markiewicz, Past State Commander, from my district.

It is important we hear from the leaders of the Veteran Service Organizations when they are in town. 

With their input, we learn what those living with VA care every day need.

The Independent Budget is the blueprint which the Veterans Affairs budget should be based, not the other way around.

Every year Amvets, Disabled American Veterans, Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Veterans of Foreign Wars get together to write the bible of the Veterans budget. 

It was on your initiative that we were able to get advanced funding for VA healthcare.  To protect our nations veterans from the politics of governments shutdowns.

I am reminded of the words of the first President of the United States, George Washington, whose words are worth repeating at this time:

``The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their country.''

Thank you for being here today to remind those of us up here in Washington what is important.