National Security & Veterans - John Hickenlooper for U.S. Senate

National Security & Veterans

Our government has no more profound obligation than protecting our national security. 

My four-pillar approach to national security and foreign policy builds on my experiences as a Governor, as a Mayor, and as a small businessman. These pillars include: a clear-eyed identification of our threats and a willingness to honestly confront them as a united country; strengthening our global alliances and partnerships; modernizing our military, defense, and intelligence capabilities to face longstanding and new challenges; and realigning foreign policy to once again reflect American leadership. By virtually every measure, President Trump has made us less safe and has compromised our national security interests. A broken and dysfunctional Senate has helped to further a foreign policy that lacks planning, precision, allies, a persuasive rationale, and coherence. As a result, the U.S. lurches from reckless decision to looming crisis, and that includes the COVID-19 pandemic, a global health crisis unmatched in our lifetime.

Time and time again, a Republican-led Senate has enabled the President’s recklessness through active support and willful abdication of their responsibility to rein him in.

Our security begins with those who wear our uniform and are willing to sacrifice for our nation. Colorado is home to six U.S. military bases, including NORAD. As Governor, I oversaw in-state deployments of the National Guard to Afghanistan, including those who trained for duty right here in Colorado at the High-Altitude ARNG Aviation Training Site (HAATS). 

We owe a priceless debt to those in active service and to our veterans. Too often, we fail them. Over 40,000 veterans are experiencing homelessness at any time in our country. Access to health care and job training can help ease this transition to civilian life, and I pledge to support funding for these programs as Senator. I believe we should do as we did in Colorado, ensuring that universities award academic credit for various relevant skills veterans acquire while serving our nation. When veterans are finished with their service, they deserve priority in training that helps them get high-quality jobs and re-enter civilian life more easily.

We also need to do more to modernize the VA to better serve our nation’s heroes — whether it’s reducing paperwork and expanding telehealth, or recognizing the needs of women veterans and supporting survivors of military sexual trauma. We also must end the claims backlog to help veterans quickly access the benefits they’ve earned.

Because we’ve made great strides in health care, more veterans survive combat injuries today than did in previous generations. We need to improve and adapt the care they can receive for these injuries — including the invisible ones. An average of 20 veterans die each day of suicide — an epidemic that we must end.

As a Senator, I will continue to turn this commitment to our military and veterans into action, and fight to ensure that we maintain a quantitative and qualitative military and intelligence advantage over every possible adversary.   

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