On Wednesday, March 4, Sen. Bernie Sanders was recognized by the Veterans of Foreign Wars for his dedication to veterans’ issues and presented with the VFW’s prestigious Congressional Award. During the ceremony, VFW National Commander John Stroud acknowledged Sanders’ role in securing the passage of legislation design to improve health care for service people through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Stroud said, “It is no understatement to say that Sen. Sanders has taken care of the wounded, ill and injured veterans and their surviving family members.”
As part of Sanders’ continued efforts on the committee, last month Sanders recognized the efforts of Vermont Army National Guard Captain, Zachariah Fike, for founding Purple Hearts Reunited. The program was created to ensure that veterans and their families entitled to Purple Heart awards receive their due recognition and that lost or stolen medals are recovered or reissued. Capt. Fike said in a statement, returning the awards “often brings families back together again and brings closure to their families’ lives.” Responding Capt. Fike’s work, Sen. Sanders observed, “We can never truly repay the debt that we owe to those men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our country. These medals are a symbol of our thanks.”
Sen. Sanders has been a longtime advocate for veterans of the United States armed forces. Although Bernie’s career in politics began with his involvement in the movement against the Vietnam War, he has always been careful to make a clear distinction between U.S. foreign policy and American servicemen and women who are duty-bound to carry it out. As a Congressman, Sanders served for eight years on the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.
By J.D. Thomason