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Veterans Elected to Congress Last Night

Veteran News
Veteran News
November 9, 2016
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Military veterans showed up in a big way this election day-and not just to vote.https://www.instagram.com/p/BMl4u6pBBJF/?taken-by=kajlarsenvice&hl=en27 veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq won Congressional seats on Tuesday night, while several more races are still being decided.In addition, former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens won the governorship of Missouri in an upset that fellow Navy SEAL and Vice News reporter Kaj Larsen called “one incredibly bright spot in the American political landscape.”Greitens served multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, and defeated his opponent, Democrat Chris Koster, by a very small margin in a hotly contested race. He is the CEO of a nonprofit called The Mission Continues and the author of several books.He's also the originator of this sweet campaign ad:https://youtu.be/0-VfFi6Z14Q18 veteran incumbents won reelection and three senators did not face an opponent this cycle, while around a half dozen new veterans claimed seats.Among them was Tammy Duckworth, a former Army helicopter pilot who lost her legs in Iraq. She successfully transitioned from a position as a representative to that of a senator from the state of Illinois.https://twitter.com/TammyforIL/status/796182722695852032Duckworth joins Sen. Joni Ernst as a female veteran of Iraq serving in the Senate.


Iraq and Afghanistan veterans serving in Congress after intense trials by fire

One of the most incredible success stories of the election is that of Brian Mast, a medically retired former Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician who lost both legs to an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.[caption id="attachment_8780" align="aligncenter" width="640"]

veterans elected

Brian Mast, former EOD Staff Sgt and current representative-elect from Florida. Source: Brian Mast for Congress[/caption]He won the seat in Florida’s 18th Congressional district after the incumbent vacated it and ran for the Senate. He first started thinking about a congressional run while lying in his hospital bed, recovering from his wounds.“As I’m lying there in a hospital bed and I’m talking to my wife, I was telling her I feel it would be very difficult to go through life thinking that the best contribution I’ve made to America is in my past,” he said in an interview with Army Times last year.Mast lost his legs during an operation with the Army’s elite 75th Ranger Regiment in 2010. He stepped on an IED while going to assist a Ranger who had fallen off of a bridging ladder and lost both of his legs in the explosion.[caption id="attachment_8781" align="aligncenter" width="885"]

veterans elected

Navy SEAL and Congressman from Virginia Scott Taylor in Iraq. Source: Washington Times[/caption]Other veterans who will be heading to Washington D.C. as congressmen and women include Scott Taylor, a former Navy SEAL and Iraq War veteran, Jimmy Panetta, a Navy Veteran of Afghanistan and son of former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Anthony Brown, an Army veteran of Iraq.[caption id="attachment_8782" align="aligncenter" width="800"]

veterans elected

Senator-elect Tammy Duckworth outside of a Blackhawk helicopter she flew overseas. Source: PBS[/caption]Jim Banks, a Navy officer who served in Afghanistan, and Mike Gallagher, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq, also won seats in the House of Representatives.Doug Applegate, a Marine Reserve Col., lost his bid to upset incumbent Darrell Issa in California.The number of veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan in Congress is rising despite the total number of veterans being down to its lowest level since the 1950’s.

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