Cited for a commitment to a strong national security, U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry was presented with the Distinguished Public Service Award on March 10 during The American Legion’s Washington Conference in the nation’s capital.
American Legion National Commander Bill Oxford presented Thornberry with the award.
“In a time of unprecedented security challenges, (Thornberry) is committed to ensuring that the United States has the military capability and agility to protect the nation and our interests around the world,” Oxford said. “He believes that the men and women who serve deserve to have the best training, equipment and support that our country can provide.
“Widely respected as an innovator and strategic thinker, Rep. Thornberry has consistently been on the leading edge of critical national security issues, has written widely on defense matters, and appeared on all major cable and network television channels providing Congressional insight on national security issues.”
Thornberry, who represents the 13th District in Texas, said the award meant a lot to him “because of who it is coming from. I have tremendous respect for The American Legion, and for the individual men and women who have served their country who comprise its membership. This means even more to me because everybody here is continuing to serve and continuing to be involved in trying to promote the interests of our veterans and our country’s national security.”
Thornberry said The American Legion’s role in advocating for a strong national defense is critical now. “Your country needs you now more than ever,” he said. “Forty-four percent … of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives have been there less than six years. Only 15 percent of Congress was in office on 9/11.
“Members of the House and Senate … need you, your guidance, your experience, your insights more than ever.”
Thornberry asked Legionnaires to urge Congress to pass funding of both the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs “on time. Remind us that everything we enjoy in this country – our freedom, our prosperity, our quality of life – is built upon the sacrifices of the men and women who served.”
Thornberry said that while members of Congress are brought “little” issues regularly, “you all are better than anybody else to remind members of Congress of the big issues: What America is, what America has done, is built upon the sacrifices of the men and women who served.”