Support VFL on Social Media
RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
SHARE

There is no stronger advocate for veterans than 2016 Presidential Candidate James Henry “Jim” Webb, Jr. Most recently he served as U.S. Senator in Virginia, but his service to our country includes a term as Secretary of the Navy and Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, both during the Reagan administration. Prior to that, Jim Webb was a Captain in the Marine Corps from 1968-1972 during which time he fought in Vietnam with 1st Battalion of the 5th Marines. Senator Webb’s decorations include the Navy Cross (The Nation’s Second Highest Honor), Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal with one Device, and two Purple Hearts among many other medals and ribbons. Selfless service runs in Jim Webb’s blood, as his ancestors fought in every major American War after immigrating from Scotland and Ireland in the 18th century. Continuing this tradition, Jim Webb’s only son Jimmy Webb served as a Rifleman in Iraq with the 1st Battalion of the 6th Marines.

After high school, Jim Webb attended the University of Southern California (Fight On!) for one year before transferring to the Naval Academy in Annapolis where his sport of choice was boxing, and he graduated with a letter for outstanding leadership. Upon graduation, Jim Webb served as a platoon commander in Vietnam. Injuries sustained from his second Purple Heart led to a stateside position as an OCS instructor prior to his medical retirement. After medical retirement, Webb attended law school at Georgetown University where he wrote his first book, Micronesia and U.S. Pacific Strategy while earning his J.D. degree.

As a political figure Webb is an inspiration to veterans and civilians alike, regardless of political party. Jim Webb’s resignation as Secretary of the Navy came as a result of his refusal to downsize the Navy, stating that the Navy was critical to projecting power worldwide and was a cornerstone of American foreign policy. This was at a time that the Cold War was drawing to an end, but national security threats were rising in other parts of the world in the form of radical extremism. Webb pushed back against Department of Defense leadership with his attempt to increase the size of the Navy. This ultimately led to his resignation, and his start as a filmmaker and author.

Nearly twenty years later, an internet-based grassroots movement began to have Webb elected as Senator in the state of Virginia in 2006. This campaign was a success, and Webb was sworn into office on January 4, 2007. The very next day, Webb introduced the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007, a bill he wrote himself. The bill would eventually be passed in June of 2008 and be commonly known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill. For the last seven years, this law has changed the lives of veterans and their families, including myself, by allowing us to receive higher education in situations that it would previously have been unattainable.

During his six years as Senator, Jim Webb served on the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on Foreign Relations, the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and the Joint Economic Committee. Although Webb is a Democrat, his voting record is consistently middle-of-the-line. His voting record would make even hardline conservatives happy as he supports constitutional rights to firearms, speech, privacy, and expression. However, he votes heavily against military intervention in foreign sovereign states such Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and any actions against Libya and Syria (Before the rise of ISIS). Shown below is his ideology score based upon his voting record as Senator thanks to govtrack.us

Webb Ideology

Webb drafted and introduced legislation that may not have been popular among his peers in Congress, but he stayed true to his beliefs and sought to improve the situation of veterans in our country and to preserve the freedoms and liberties that we all fought for. Even one of his fellow lawmakers, Senator Charles E. Schumer, has said of Webb, “He’s not a typical politician. He really has deep convictions.”

See below some of the highlights of the bills that introduced to the Senate floor.

Sponsored Bills

S.3372 – Military Service Integrity Act of 2012
This bill would have prohibited the unauthorized purchase, sale, or use of military medals or decorations by civilians and service members in order to receive a tangible benefit.

S.3176 – Military Humanitarian Operations Act of 2013
This bill would have required the President to seek congressional approval prior to using the U.S. military to conduct humanitarian operations.

S.390 – Blue Star/Gold Star Flag Act of 2011
At a time when there were several news stories of how apartment dwellers and home owners were being ordered to remove their blue star or gold star flags in honor of military service from their property, this bill would have prohibited any organization or association from adopting or enforcing any policy against the display of these flags.

S.1588 – Recreational Land-Defense Act of 2011
Many citizens had been unfairly charged with firearm crimes for possessing weapons in public area near Army Corps of Engineers water projects such as dams and levees. This bill would have prohibited the enforcement of any regulation prohibiting an individual from possessing a firearm at water resources development projects administered by the Chief of Engineers.

S.306 – National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2011
This bill would have established the National Criminal Justice Commission to identify why the United States has only 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners, and develop policy recommendation to improve the nation’s criminal justice system.

 S.22 – Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007
This bill established the Post-9/11 GI Bill, allowing U.S. service members to receive a housing allowance, book stipend, and tuition assistance while registered as full time students at public or private colleges and trade schools. It also allows for the Yellow-Ribbon Program which matches prestigious private university contributions dollar for dollar in order to make up the gap of tuition caps based upon public tuition costs.

 

 

 

 

 

The following two tabs change content below.
Chris Fox is a Project Coordinator at USC’s Sol Price School of Public Policy, where he recently graduated with an MPA. Prior to that, he was a research fellow at the DHS Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events (CREATE), where his focus was on homegrown violent extremism. He also holds a BA in Psychology and an AAS in Information Systems Management. Chris served for seven years as a TACP, is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and continues to serve as a JTAC Instructor in the Texas Air National Guard.