Your View: Lt. Gov. Northam is truly an advocate for veterans

Your View: Lt. Gov. Northam is truly an advocate for veterans

By Chris Reese, Alexandria (File photo)

To the editor:
September 1, 2015 was my final day in uniform as a Marine and, after serving nearly for 23 years, I searched for another means to serve. I found Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam and his work with Virginia veterans.

Northam knows what it means to be a veteran. As a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, he was instilled with the call to serve his country. So it is only fitting that after graduating from the Eastern Virginia School of Medicine, Northam dedicated his medical knowledge to serving as a physician in the U.S. Army, where he treated evacuated casualties during Operation Desert Storm. Northam has advocated for our armed service members and supported veteran programs throughout his career.

Supporting our veterans includes making jobs available for veterans. Northam and the administration have taken the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) program to the next level. V3 has encouraged 690 companies to commit to hiring veterans to ensure veterans have access to good-pay- ing jobs. Since 2012, more than 20,000 veterans have been hired through the program.

And Northam’s work continues. He is a proud advocate of a pilot program to connect returning military medics and corpsmen to private sector healthcare jobs.

When discussing his support included within the $13 million investment into Veterans’ Services, Northam said, “Currently, these highly-skilled and experienced men and women may have to spend two or more years out of work while they seek civilian credentials. That’s no way to treat our veterans who have put their lives on the line for our safety.”

As a result of this program, hundreds of veterans were able to get jobs in civilian health care systems across Virginia.

As a U.S. Army veteran of eight years, Ralph Northam knows what it means to serve our country, and as lieutenant governor, he has shown what it means to serve our veterans. As governor, Northam will be able to continue to serve our veterans, and we can rest assured that they will be in good hands.