Davis (Right) and Thornberry (Left) listen as military families discuss ways to improve policies and communication with the Department of Defense (DoD). Click here to download photo
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today hosted House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) at the Decatur Amory for a roundtable with military families and veterans. Davis and Thornberry heard from participants on ways the Department of Defense (DoD) can improve communication and policies that impact rank and file servicemembers and their families.
“As members of Congress, it’s our job to oversee the Department of Defense and ensure our servicemembers and their families are getting the answers they need,” said Davis. “Having Chairman Thornberry make the trip to hear from families in my district is testament to his commitment to not only rebuilding our military, but making the military work for every family who serves. I appreciate Mac's leadership and look forward to working with him to make sure our servicemembers and their families are a priority within the Department of Defense.”
“I appreciate Congressman Davis’ invitation to visit with military families and veterans in Southern Illinois. It is important for those of us in Congress to hear from our troops. Making sure they have what they need to do the job we have asked them to do is one of our first responsibilities,” said Thornberry. “Rodney has been a leader in communicating with our servicemembers about what they need from us and in working to find practical solutions. I look forward to our continued work together.”
Under Thornberry’s leadership, this Congress passed into law the biggest increase in defense funding in 15 years and the largest pay increase for our troops in eight years. Additionally, the House recently passed H.R. 5848, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2019, which continues to build on these efforts to adequately fund our military and support our troops.
Davis worked with Thornberry to include an amendment to H.R. 5848 to change DoD’s travel policy regarding family of fallen servicemembers. The amendment requires the department to automatically cover the costs of families to travel to Dover Air Force Base to receive a servicemember killed in non-combat operations. DoD recently made this change internally. However, including it in the NDAA ensures this policy becomes law and cannot be changed without an act of Congress. This change was inspired by the family of Petty Officer Logan Palmer who died aboard the USS McCain last august.