Dear Friend,

Memorial Day is a chance to honor the brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country. It is also a time to reflect on the strength of the families that these fallen heroes left behind.

We must ensure that we are doing right by these men and women by taking care of Gold Star families. Congress has been hard at work to ensure that surviving families get the support they need. We have repealed the “widow’s tax” so that earned benefits are not offset. I also introduced two bills to increase Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits through the VA.

To commemorate Memorial Day, we had the pleasure of honoring Sergeant John “Jack” Dwyer. Sergeant Dwyer was a member of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during WWII as part of Operation Carpetbagger. A predecessor to the CIA, the OSS organized, trained, supplied, and fought with resistance organizations throughout Europe and Asia, and played an important role in America’s victory during World War II. In 2018, Congress presented the OSS with the highest civilian honor: the Congressional Gold Medal. This weekend, we joined Jack’s son, John Dwyer, for a virtual ceremony to honor his father posthumously.  A video recording of the ceremony can be seen here.

If you are the surviving family of a deceased service member who needs assistance accessing benefits, receiving awards, or navigating the VA, please contact my office at (860) 223-8412. Our Veterans Liaison is dedicated to serving the Fifth District and will be able to assist. 

I hope you will join me in taking a moment to reflect on the freedoms we hold dear and the people who gave their lives to protect those freedoms.