Often in politics it seems like the divide between the parties is an ever-growing gap which leaves little room for compromise or reaching across the aisle. But within the traditional framework of Republican versus Democrat is the idea of a caucus.
What is the Congressional Veterans Caucus?
In part a caucus can be defined as “a conference of members of a legislative body who belong to a particular party or faction.” In some cases, party affiliation can in part be sidelined to join together into a unifying interest. For members of Congress who have served in the United States Military, Military Times has compiled a virtual Congressional Veterans Caucus.
The Congressional Veterans Caucus compiles a full list of the Veterans who serve in Congress and allows visitors to the site to access profiles for each member. These profiles feature biographies for each of the 96 members listed, outlining their political and military journeys and achievements.
Going Deeper than Party Affiliation
For instance, we can discover that despite potential philosophical differences, Army Ranger and Democrat, Max Rose representing New York, and Navy Seal and Republican, Dan Crenshaw representing Texas, both served in Afghanistan in 2012 and both have received Purple Hearts for injuries sustained in battle.
The portal also offers top political headlines from 2017 when the page was compiled, where visitors can access top political headlines which involved or impacted Veterans.
Articles include topics such as “Could Post 9/11 Veterans Restore Civility in Politics?” and “Advocates Want More Veterans on Congress’ Policy Staff.”
Short videos also highlight unique topics covered by the page, including the career of Gregorio Kilili, a delegate from the Northern Mariana Islands. Kilili, who served in the Army Reserve in the 1980’s is the only veteran within the country’s overseas territorial delegates to Congress.
Search the Virtual Caucus
Lastly, the page offers a useful filter feature which allows users to narrow their search for members of the Veterans Caucus. Members can be filtered out according to state, party, chamber, military branch, and War Era. “War Era” is interesting, as it provides some context to the shared experiences of certain members serving in Congress.
Ultimately, the Congressional Veterans Caucus pages has many useful features which allow citizens to learn more about the Veterans serving in our Legislature and also raises critical awareness to issues that impact Veterans across America.
Image Credit: Photo by Iiona Virgin on Unsplash
The number of Veterans elected to serve in the 117th Congress of the United States beginning in 2021 represents a shrinking contingent of elected Veterans in our legislature. Here is a breakdown of the 91 Veterans serving in both the House and Senate in the 117th Congress, according to Defense News.