Military and Veterans
Senator Landrieu has been a constant advocate and supporter of our armed forces since her days in the Louisiana State legislature. “Military Mary” continues her proud tradition of serving those who sacrifice so much for our country: soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and their families.
Senator Landrieu understands how important quality educational opportunities are for our military families and has worked with our military leaders to make necessary improvements. Senator Landrieu worked with the Barksdale Base Leadership to form the Barksdale PTA and pushed the Justice Department to issue a ruling allowing free school choice for Barksdale’s high school students. She continues to work with Ft. Polk leadership and Vernon Parish to ensure that Ft. Polk receives the maximum amount of federal funding available to accommodate the current and future student population on and around the post. She also actively engages US Marine Corps Naval leadership in support of the New Orleans Marine Maritime Academy (NOMMA) located in Fed City, and the Belle Chasse Charter School on the Naval Air Station/Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse.
Additionally, Senator Landrieu is the Congressional Champion for the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program. As the honorary co chair of the Youth ChalleNGe Foundation, Senator Landrieu works tirelessly with National Guard and Defense leaders to offer a second chance to young men and women who have fallen through the cracks of our education system. This year, Senator Landrieu secured an additional $5 million in funding for the Youth ChalleNGe program, which graduated its 100,000th Cadet from Camp Minden, Louisiana.
Senator Landrieu is committed to keeping our domestic shipbuilders making quality ships in Louisiana for our commercial and national security needs. She worked with Representative Cedric Richmond to put pressure on the Navy to allow any federal funds originally provided for the closure and conversion of the Avondale Shipyard to be used to bring more work to the facility. She has also drafted several bills and amendments aimed at incentivizing the revitalization of the domestic shipbuilding industry.
Growing Louisiana’s Military Footprint
Senator Landrieu believes that Louisiana offers unique and unparalleled opportunities for our military to organize, train and equip themselves for any fight both at home or abroad.
She is leading the effort to ensure that the US Army Corps of Engineers and Army Installations Command effectively execute the only active land acquisition, which will double the size and scope of Fort Polk. Senator Landrieu will continue to work with the Army to provide the best quality of life possible for the men and women serving our country in and around the State of Louisiana.
Senator Landrieu believes that the men and women who have sacrificed so much to serve our country and protect our freedoms should be supported and honored for their sacrifices. As a senior member of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Landrieu has worked to create and shape the budget to meet the needs of our veterans.This year she secured $60 million for the New Orleans VA Hospital. Additionally, she wrote language providing additional education opportunities for our veterans and improving Medical Research Centers of Excellence focused on those veterans in need of specialized care. She continues to work with our three hospitals and is working to ensure that our homeless and unemployed veterans are given the necessary care and support to put them on a path to success.
In March 2012, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that the construction of VA clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles would be delayed due to serious errors the Department made during the bidding process. Senator Landrieu believes these delays are completely unacceptable, and hosted a meeting with high-ranking VA officials to push them to speed up the process. She also questioned Secretary Eric Shinseki about the mistakes at an Appropriations Committee hearing and pledged to work with the VA and the Louisiana delegation to identify and implement any legislative fixes that would expedite construction. After these efforts, the Department agreed to open a mobile clinic in the Lake Charles area and extend hours of operation at the Lafayette clinic. The Senator believes these actions are a step in the right direction as she continues to work with the VA to remedy the situation