HUDSON: Protecting our veterans & honoring our fallen heroes

As the representative of the largest Army base in the world, making sure our community’s veterans, troops, and their families get the support they deserve is among my top priorities.

At the end of July, the House passed the FY24 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This legislation will strengthen our commitment to our veterans by fully funding veterans’ health care programs, benefits, and other critical VA programs. This legislation is also providing nearly $800 million above President Biden’s budget request for military construction to improve our national security.

I was able to secure large wins for our community, including over $250 million in funding for critical infrastructure projects that will aid our region’s military personnel, $150 million for barracks, and $36 million for a desperately needed child care center at Fort Liberty, formerly Fort Bragg. I am especially proud this legislation contains my amendment to increase funding for the Veteran Crisis Line by $10 million.

The Veterans Crisis Line acts as a critical tool to help our veterans in their time of need. In March alone, the crisis line received more than 88,000 calls, texts, and chats—the highest number we’ve ever had in one month. The additional funding in my amendment will allow the VA to better serve veterans, and their families, by ensuring the Veterans Crisis Line has the capacity to respond to every veteran in need.

If you are a veteran or know someone who needs assistance, contact the 24-hour Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255 or 988 and Press 1, text 838255, or chat online at

We owe veterans our full support and I’m proud of everything House Republicans have accomplished this Congress for our veterans. Ensuring our military families and veterans have the resources they deserve are the most important duties we have in Congress, and we must continue to do everything we can to improve their quality of life.

As we support our nation’s veterans, we will never forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice. August 15th marks the two year anniversary of when our nation lost 13 brave U.S. service members—including our own U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Ryan Knauss—during Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan.

These brave men and women lost in Kabul put their lives on the line to save our fellow citizens and allies in harm’s way, and will forever be known as heroes. I continue to pray for the family of Staff Sgt. Ryan Knauss, as well as the Gold Star families of each of these heroes, whose legacy will never be forgotten.

I recently met with family members of these heroes, including Staff Sergeant Knauss’ mother. Their pain and loss has been compounded by the misinformation and a lack of transparency by President Biden and his administration. These family members deserve to know all the facts and the truth about the mistakes made that put their loved ones in harm’s way. I am working with Committee on Foreign Affairs Chairman Mike McCaul, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mike Rogers and others to ensure we get the answers they are seeking. We will hold this administration accountable.

Whether it’s protecting our veterans, shoring up our national security, securing the border, growing our economy, or holding our government agencies accountable, I continue to fight for what matters to you most. I’m proud to be standing up for you.

My goal is to continue to provide you with high quality constituent services and be accessible to hear your needs, thoughts, and concerns on key issues facing our community and nation. My dedicated staff in our Southern Pines and Fayetteville district offices are here to serve you.

Working with my House colleagues on both sides of the aisle to advance common sense solutions that improve your quality of life is part of my commitment to you as your Congressman.

Richard Hudson is serving his sixth term in the U.S. House and represents North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. He currently serves as the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and is a member of the House Republican Steering Committee.

By U.S. Rep. Richard Hudson