Guest Author - Evelyn Rainey
Gerald ďJerryĒ McNerney is one of those American Heroes who stands out in todayís world. He is a brilliant man with a Ph.D. in Mathematics and an avante gard scientist-slash-businessman in the area of renewable wind energy. Inspired by his sonís response to 9/11 (Michael sought and received a commission in the Air Force), and intrigued by his sonís challenge to run for US Congress, Jerry registered as a write-in candidate two weeks before the primary election in 2004. Incumbents usually are at an advantage in an election, but McNerney not only won by one vote against Richard Pombo in California's 11th congressional district, in doing so, he gained more votes than any previous incumbentís opponent. Two years later, he made history by becoming the only candidate in California to oust an incumbent and the only candidate in the United States to topple a sitting House committee chair.
Getting votes doesnít make you a hero, but I believe voters could sense the integrity and perseverance of this politician.
As a member of the House Committee on Veteran Affairs, McNerney states, I am committed to fighting to ensure that my son, and all the men and women who wear our nationís uniform, get the recognition, respect and support they deserve.
Both in war and peace, our strength as a nation comes from honoring those who put their lives on the line for our country. Yet we must do more than pay lip service to their sacrifice. As a new generation of veterans returns from Iraq and Afghanistan, we should expand veteranís services to meet our future needs.
In Congress, I was proud to cast my vote for the largest increase in the Veterans Administration budget in the agencyís 77-year history. And I have worked hard on issues like expanding education benefits and addressing the long-terms needs to traumatic brain injury victims, the signature injury from the Iraq War, in my service on the Veterans Affairs Committee.
I created a Veterans Advisory Board that includes veterans from every era of service and every part of the district so that I can hear directly what the needs of our regionís veterans. And itís clear there is so much more to do. One of my commitments is to create a GI Bill for the 21st Century to provide veterans the full education and housing benefits they deserve.
McNerney went to Afghanistan December of 2009. He wrote Iím writing to you from Kabul, Afghanistan where Iíve traveled as part of a bipartisan congressional delegation. Iíve come here to see for myself the current state of affairs in Afghanistan, ask questions of our military leaders and the Afghan government, and spend time with our men and women in uniform.
He has also instigated and fought for the Caring for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury Act of 2009 H.R. 1546 (introduced in 3/17/2009). Says McNerney, My legislation establishes a panel to evaluate how the Department of Veterans Affairs cares for veterans with TBI and makes recommendations for improvements. The bill also helps to establish classes and training programs on TBI for VA health care professionals.
Born in Albequerque, New Mexico on June 18, 1951; McNerney attended West Point for two years before graduating from University of New Mexico and eventually earning a Ph.D. in Mathematics. He has been married to Mary for more than three decades and is obviously a proud father to Michael, Windy, and Greg.
McNerney for Congress Committee
PO BOX 12022
Pleasanton, CA 94588
6250 Village Pkwy
Dublin, CA 94568
Office Phone: 925-833-0643