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The headquarters of the United States military at the Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, the Iwo Jima Memorial, Joint Base Meyer-Henderson Hall, Fort Belvoir, as well as thousands of defense-related jobs and even more of our service members all call Virginia’s 8th District home. As the son of a West Point graduate and a Korea veteran, I feel a special commitment to defense and veterans’ issues.

We must maintain a robust national defense that keeps American citizens and our allies safe. Simultaneously, as the former United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, I believe in the power of diplomacy and in our responsibility to do all in our power to find nonmilitary solutions to crises whenever possible.

Battlefield scars, whether mental, physical or both, heal slowly. Our Veterans Administration has a moral obligation to make our troops whole again. After a decade of war, our troops deserve a healthcare system that works for them and is able to process claims in a robust, efficient, and effective manner. I look forward to working with the VA and with our constituents who are veterans to seek solutions.

The 8th District is also home to thousands of defense-related jobs. The professionals who hold these positions help keep our nation safe. Simultaneously, many of them make us more efficient in our defense budget, precise and safe in our military operations, and innovative in caring for our veterans. We must avoid the harmful effects of sequestration while maintaining a robust defense apparatus.