Nov 18 2010
Meghan Hughes (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) has been named co-chairman of the 97 member Senate National Guard Caucus. He replaces retiring Senator Kit Bond (R-Missouri).
Graham has long fought for better pay and benefits for members of the National Guard. He played an instrumental role in helping Congress approve and former President George W. Bush sign into law better health care benefits for members of the Guard and Reserve.
“As co-chairman of the Caucus, I will fight as hard for the National Guard as they fight for us,” said Graham, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I know first-hand the tremendous work the South Carolina National Guard has done in the War on Terror. I know the sacrifices our citizen-soldiers, and their families, have made on behalf of our nation. I will stand up for their interests as they stand up to protect us. The National Guard Caucus was one of the best things to happen to the Guard in Congress. I hope I can fill the shoes of Senator Bond and the work he has done on behalf of the National Guard for the past 22 years."
“I think Senator Graham being selected as the Co-Chair of the Senate National Guard Caucus is outstanding,” said South Carolina Adjutant General Stan Spears. “A proud former member of the South Carolina Air National Guard himself, Senator Graham has long been a staunch supporter of Guard programs. With a champion of National Guard issues in the leadership of this committee, our Guardsmen nationwide are guaranteed to be well taken care of, their issues addresses, and their causes supported.”
“Senator Graham has always been an extraordinary advocate for our men and women in uniform,” said South Carolina Adjutant General-elect Robert Livingston. “His background and experience with the National Guard and Reserves makes him an obvious and appropriate choice to Co-Chair the Senate National Guard Caucus.”
“Despite the National Guard’s critical dual mission of keeping Americans safe both here at home and overseas, the bean counters in the Pentagon too often overlook our citizen-soldiers, which is why the Senate Guard Caucus is so important,” said Senator Kit Bond who founded the Caucus in 1988. “Senator Graham has long had the back of our warfighters and their families, and I know he will have the back of the National Guard as he assumes the co-chairmanship in the next Congress.”
“We at the National Guard Association of the United States congratulate Senator Lindsey Graham on his selection as the Republican co-chair of the Senate National Guard caucus,” said Major General Gus Hargett, President of the National Guard Association of the United States. “Senator Graham has always fought hard for the men and women of the South Carolina National Guard and we know he will now fight just as hard for all 470,000 members of the National Guard from coast to coast. We look forward to rolling up our sleeves and fighting alongside him.”
The Senate National Guard Caucus provides strong support to the National Guard through aggressive legislative efforts, as well as intensive work in the appropriations process. The Caucus generally raises awareness of the key challenges that face this force of citizen-warriors. Serving as Caucus co-chair along with Graham is Senator Pat Leahy (D-Vermont).
Click here for audio/video of Senator Graham being named co-chairman of the Senate National Guard Caucus.