Congressman Mike Bost serves as the 15th Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. Mike proudly represents the Twelfth Congressional District of Illinois. He is the son, grandson, and nephew of veterans, and the father and grandfather of two active-duty Marines. As a veteran himself, Mike has been a fierce fighter and advocate for the men and women who have served our great nation, and their families, since coming to Congress in 2015. A few years back, Mike was greeting an Honor Flight of World War II veterans in D.C. when a veteran gave him a scarlet and gold paracord bracelet, reflecting the colors of the U.S. Marine Corps. The veteran had one simple request for Mike: that when he wears it, he remembers the sacrifices the servicemembers, veterans, and families that he works for have made. To this day, Chairman Bost still wears that bracelet and takes that veteran’s charge to heart.
After high school, Mike followed in the footsteps of his father, grandfather, and uncle by enlisting in the USMC, where he served from 1979 to 1982. He was trained as an electronic specialist and radar repairman and received an honorable discharge as a Corporal E-4. Mike then returned home to Southern Illinois where he worked for 13 years for the family business - Bost Trucking Service - first as a driver, and then as a truck manager. He went on to become a firefighter and graduated from the University of Illinois' Certified Firefighter II Academy in 1993. Mike continued to serve the Murphysboro Fire Department during his six terms as an Illinois state representative.
Prior to serving as the Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Chairman Bost led the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs as Ranking Member during the 117th Congress, and the Subcommittee on Disability Assistance & Memorial Affairs during the 115th and 116th Congresses. During his time as Chairman and then Ranking Member of the Subcommittee, he championed landmark reforms for the veteran community, including the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019, and the Veteran Families Financial Support Act.
As Chairman, Mike is laser-focused on upholding the sacred promise Illinois’ own President Abraham Lincoln made in 1865 to veterans and their families, “to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.” He is committed to ensuring full transparency for veterans and taxpayers so that the men and women who have worn the Stars and Stripes on their right arm, have access to the care, support, and services they have earned and to lead fulfilling lives as civilians.
In addition to his duties as a Member of Congress, Chairman Bost and his wife, Tracy, own and operate a small business in their hometown and are very active in their church and community. Mike and Tracy have three children and eleven grandchildren.