This week, our nation honors the brave men and women who have served to defend the freedom and values that are the pillars of our democracy. With nearly 100 military veterans in Congress, we reflect on how these members have shaped our nation—both in their selfless sacrifice in the military and in their commitment to govern in Congress.
Veterans in Congress bring a unique perspective to the legislative process. Often, the same perseverance, comradery, and commitment on the battlefield translates to persistence, comity, and dedication in the halls of Congress. While the current political environment often enables partisan bickering, veterans in Congress have an innate ability to see beyond party labels and build consensus and compromise to achieve the mission.
This Congress, the House freshman class is comprised of the most veterans in nearly a decade, including a record number of female veterans. One of those is Rep. Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat from New Jersey, who is a former Navy pilot and was in one of the first classes of women eligible for combat after graduating from flight school. Recently, Rep. Sherrill joined Bipartisan Policy Center Action to discuss how being a veteran impacts her decisions as a legislator and, as a fresh face in Congress, what areas she sees for improvement to make the institution function better.