U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate
In 2018, these Representatives and Senators were at the front and center on veterans’ issues or were dynamic veterans themselves. During challenging times at VA, and with more than 16 years at war, these members are on the leading edge of the policies that affect our nation’s service members and veterans.
Representative Conor Lamb
Congressman Conor Lamb was sworn into the United States House of Representatives on January 3, 2019 to represent Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District, which includes parts of Allegheny and Butler Counties, as well as all of Beaver County in southwestern Pennsylvania.
Lamb previously served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Justice Department’s Pittsburgh office. In this position, he prosecuted violent crimes and drug trafficking and helped establish the office as a national leader in the fight against the heroin epidemic. Lamb served on active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2009-2013 and continues to serve as a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves.
In the 116th Congress, Congressman Lamb serves as the Vice Chair for the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. He also serves on the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Technology Modernization and the Subcommittee on Health.
Representative Adam Kinzinger
Adam D. Kinzinger is currently serving his fifth term in the United States House of Representatives and proudly represents Illinois’ Sixteenth Congressional District, which stretches across 14 counties in Northern Illinois. Congressman Kinzinger was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in November 2003 and later awarded his pilot wings. He has served in the Air Force Special Operations, Air Combat Command, Air Mobility Command, and Air National Guard.
Kinzinger continues to serve his country as a pilot in the Air National Guard, with the current rank of Lieutenant Colonel and balances this service with his duties in Congress. In February of 2019, Congressman Kinzinger deployed with his unit to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Senator Jack Reed
Senator Jack Reed graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1971. Since then, he has dedicated his life to the service of our nation in the United States Military and in Congress.
Senator Reed served in the 82nd Airborne Division as an Infantry Platoon Leader, a Company Commander, and a Battalion Staff Officer. He eventually joined the faculty at West Point, teaching cadets about economics and international relations as an Associate Professor within the Department of Social Sciences. He served as a professor at the U.S. Military Academy until August of 1979 when he resigned from active duty as a Captain. He continued serving in the U.S. Army Reserves until June of 1991, when he left the Reserves with the rank of Major. Over the course of his military career, he earned the Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, Ranger Tab, Senior Parachutist Badge, and Expert Infantry Badge.
In Congress, Senator Reed sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee; Senate Appropriations Committee, where he serves on the Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies.
Senator Tammy Duckworth
A former U.S. Army helicopter pilot, United States Senator Tammy Duckworth was living in DeKalb, Illinois, working at Rotary International while pursuing a Ph.D. at Northern Illinois University, when her Peoria-headquartered unit was mobilized in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On November 12, 2004, Tammy’s UH‐60 Black Hawk helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. She lost both legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion, but declined a military medical retirement and continued to drill as a Lieutenant Colonel in Springfield with the Illinois Army National Guard. As a result of her injuries, Tammy earned a Purple Heart.
Tammy served as Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs in Springfield where she implemented many first-in-the-nation programs to alleviate suffering from post-traumatic stress, improve traumatic brain injury screening and reduce homelessness among Veterans. In 2009, President Obama nominated Tammy to be U.S. Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. There, she headed the federal VA’s effort to end Veteran homelessness and was a leader in initiatives for female Veterans.
Tammy was elected to the United States Senate in 2016. In the Senate, Tammy is focused on helping Illinois’ working families get ahead through investing in infrastructure and job development, protecting Social Security and Medicare, promoting civil rights and equal rights for all Illinoisans and advocating for our Veterans. She serves on the Environment & Public Works Committee, the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee. Tammy continues with her lifelong mission of supporting, protecting and keeping the promises we’ve made to our Veterans.