Congresswoman Martha Roby

Representing the 2nd District of Alabama

House and Senate Take Important Step to Support our Military

November 17, 2017
Representative Roby's Weekly Column

Thanksgiving is a special holiday because it offers us an opportunity to pause as a nation and thank God for all the ways He has blessed us. With all that is going on across our country and around the world, it can be easy to lose sight of just how much we have to be thankful for. As we gather with loved ones this Thanksgiving, I hope we can all take time count our many blessings.

I’m thankful for the gift of family – for my husband Riley and our two wonderful children, Margaret and George; for our parents and all of our dear family and friends.

I am thankful for the opportunity to serve my state and country in the United States Congress. It is an honor to be in a position to make a difference on behalf of those I represent and to fight to make this country great for all Americans. Thank you for allowing me to represent you.

I am thankful for this great country and all the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. I’m abundantly grateful for the men and women of our Armed Forces who have put their lives on the line to defend these freedoms – especially those who are deployed and away from their families at this very moment.

Just in time for the holiday season, Congress is saying “thank you” to all service personnel by authorizing the largest military pay raise in more than eight years. It’s part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which has now passed the House and Senate and is expected to be signed into law by President Trump.

As you may know, the NDAA is an annual bill authorizing various programs and activities throughout the military, ranging from weapons systems and training to military base construction and the payment of troops. After years of harmful budget cuts, this NDAA aims to rebuild our military by authorizing nearly $700 billion for the Department of Defense, increasing the size of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Army Guard and Reserve, Naval and Air Reserve, and Air Guard. The bill authorizes an additional $4.4 billion to strengthen Missile Defense and an additional $1.9 billion for military facility maintenance over the President’s budget. It also makes permanent the special survivor indemnity allowance (SSIA) payments to more than 60,000 surviving military spouses. The NDAA includes strong funding for Alabama-based military missions, including Army Aviation at Fort Rucker and military education and cyber warfare at Maxwell Air Force Base.

One of Congress’ most fundamental duties enumerated in the Constitution is to “provide for the common defense” of the nation. As your Representative in Congress, I take my responsibility to look out for our troops very seriously. It’s no secret that the world has seen increased threats in recent years, from the rise of ISIS in the Middle East and Africa to North Korean hostility. It is imperative that we provide the military with the tools they need to deter these threats, and I am confident this NDAA does just that.

It is my great honor to serve a district that is home to two of our nation’s finest military installations in Maxwell Air Force Base and Fort Rucker, thousands of active duty and reserve personnel, and nearly 16,000 military retirees. I have always been a strong and vocal proponent of properly funding the military, and I will continue to fight to ensure that the men and women who protect us have all the tools and resources they need to be safe and successful when we send them into harm’s way.