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Thursday, April 4, 2013

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Kaine Meets with Military Families in Webb Center

U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, met with military families at Old Dominion Monday afternoon to discuss steps to increase support for service members and their families as well as ease the transition from active duty to civilian life and employment.

Earlier in the day, he toured military bases in Hampton and Virginia Beach, where he discussed the importance of budget certainty for the defense community.

At the roundtable in Webb Center with more than 20 members of the Hampton Roads chapter of Blue Star Families, Kaine discussed the importance of supporting service members and their families (see photo below). Throughout the discussion, he focused on the need to improve continuing care for veterans and address the disproportionately high rate of unemployment among post-9/11 veterans. Kaine also discussed the need to improve and streamline the credentialing process to help service members better apply skills earned during service to secure employment, easing their transition to civilian life.

"Hearing your perspective and the challenges you face is extremely valuable for me so I can take your stories back with me," Kaine told the Blue Star Families veterans and military families in attendance. "From employment and transition issues, to unacceptable delays in VA services, budget uncertainty causes real impact in your lives. I don't know how anyone who has the chance to meet with you could ever make the mistake of thinking a budget is just numbers on a page."

Kaine concluded the afternoon at the Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, where he visited the commissary, toured the facilities and met with service members.


Kaine listens to a comment from Sally Caradona (second from left) of ODU's Center for Educational Partnerships, where she is program manager for Military Child and Family Education Initiatives and a research assistant professor. To her right is Kathleen Levingston, assistant professor of human services and faculty adviser to the ODU Student Veterans Association.
Photos by Chuck Thomas

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