Our military personnel must have the training and resources they need to meet the challenges they are likely to face. Critical security and military functions should not be outsourced to private contractors.

Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) schools are to be robustly funded to guarantee that military families benefit from excellent educational facilities, acceptable student-teacher ratios, and gifted or special-education opportunities that allow them to maintain high student achievement. It is important to ensure that the children of military families serving overseas have quality after-school activities, both to foster social development as well as to compete on an equal level with students living in the U.S. for university admissions.

We believe that it is critical to assist Congress and the Department of Defense to find ways to improve full and part-time career opportunities for dependents accompanying military members overseas.

We believe that retired veterans living overseas should have access to the maximum extent allowed under international agreements to military postal, commissary, legal-assistance, and exchange privileges.

We applaud non-discriminatory appearance codes and the inclusion of women in the Army's Infantry, Armor, and Special Operations Units. We support the Military Justice Improvement Act to reform the handling of sexual assault in the military, and salute Kirsten Gillibrand's steadfast and persistent efforts to address this issue.

The Purple Heart should go to military personnel and veterans who suffer from a properly verified mental injury, notably post-traumatic stress (PTS) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), so that mental and physical war injuries can receive appropriate recognition, honor, and compensation.