Senator Patty Murray, a Democrat from the state of Washington, has been recently appointed the new leader of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. Senator Murray has been an active member of the Committee since 1995. She has been described as a “fierce critic of the bureaucracy that faces veterans and their families when they try to get benefits, use veterans’ hospitals or get other aid from the Veterans Affairs Department.” She is a widely recognized and outspoken advocate for America’s veterans. She has been honored for her work for veterans by the Vietnam Veterans of America, American Ex-POWs, the VFW, the Paralyzed Veterans of America and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs. Among other things, Senator Murray has fought to give veterans access to quality care and benefits, has pushed Republican and Democratic administrations to provide the VA with responsible budgets, and has worked to ensure the VA is preparing for the influx of new veterans. Senator Murray’s father is a disabled veteran of World War II and earned the Purple Heart. He was one of the first military members to land on Okinawa. Senator Murray has expressed the need for increased assistance to our nation’s veterans, stating: “I know we have World War II veterans who have needs today, Vietnam veterans who are aging, and we have a new population of veterans coming home who need disability checks, need employment and need VA services that work better. I intend to really have the committee be a place where veterans have a voice and an advocate.” To learn more about Senator Murray, and her work in support of veterans, please see her website: http://murray.senate.gov/public/. More information is also available at: www.militarytimes.com/news/2011/01/military-murray-veterans-panel-012711w/.