Service in the Armed Forces is a way of life in communities across Montana. Jon has a strong commitment to America’s troops and their families, and to his role in defending our nation.
Jon recently secured a commitment from the Pentagon to keep the Montana Air National Guard’s (MANG) F-15 mission in Great Falls through at least 2013. And he also played a vital role in securing a new, long-term flying mission of eight C-130 cargo planes for MANG.
From his seat on the influential Appropriations Committee, Jon fought for and won needed investments in Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, like upgrades to weapons storage areas and a new community center on base.
A steadfast advocate for America’s troops, Jon proudly supports their service any way he can. In 2009, Jon helped lead the effort to pass a 3.9 percent pay raise for America’s troops because it was “the right thing to do.”
Jon has twice traveled to Iraq to visit Montana troops. He also visited Montana soldiers in Afghanistan. These visits reaffirmed Jon’s belief that the United States must do everything it can to end both conflicts responsibly, without “taking our eye off the ball” in the war on terrorism.
Behind every Montana Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Guardsman is a family that sacrifices too. That’s why in 2008, Jon helped secure a plane ticket for a Montanan attending his son’s 2008 memorial service in Arizona. Jon coordinated the travel with a non-profit group when the Defense Department was unable to provide assistance.
This situation inspired Jon to pass a measure allowing the military to pay the travel costs for immediate relatives to attend one memorial service, in addition to a burial service, following an active-duty death.
As a staunch defender of Montanans’ Constitutional rights, Jon believes that effectively defending America can be achieved without invading privacy. That’s why Jon pushed hard to eliminate the federal government’s proposed REAL ID program — an effort to force all Americans to obtain national ID cards. And he opposed the unpopular Patriot Act (which invades the privacy of law-abiding Americans) from the beginning, as well as President Obama’s extension of the act in 2011.
As a member of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, Jon has successfully fought for critical investments to keep illegal drugs out of Montana’s communities, such as the Montana National Guard Counterdrug Task Force.
He has also fought to strengthen the security of Montana’s northern border.
And to help continue Montana’s proud tradition of service, Jon has helped dozens of Montana high school students secure spots at the nation’s most prestigious military academies through the congressional nomination process.