On February 20, 2018, CCK was visited by a special guest – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. Senator Whitehouse spoke with CCK staff about current political issues, some of his initiatives in the Senate, and Rhode Island veterans.
Mr. Whitehouse, whose father was a World War II veteran, has served as United States Senator since 2007. A firm supporter of veterans’ issues, he has cosponsored important legislation for veterans, including the 2014 Choice Act, the recent Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. And in 2015, he introduced the Foreclosure Relief and Extension for Servicemembers Act to ensure a one-year period of protection against foreclosure for veterans after they leave service. At his visit to CCK, Senator Whitehouse was accompanied by his Veterans Affairs Coordinator, Tyrone Smith.
Rhode Island has one of the highest per capita National Guard deployment rates in the country, as well as a substantial number of active-duty servicemembers at Naval Station Newport. Accordingly, Rhode Island, though small, boasts a veteran population that is nearly 1.5 percentage points above the National average – 7.9 percent of the adult population in the state.
Senator Whitehouse is no stranger to the legal profession, either. After attending Yale University, he studied at University of Virginia School of Law and, in 1994, was appointed as U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island. Then, Mr. Whitehouse served four years as the Rhode Island Attorney General, from 1999 to 2003. During his visit, he acknowledged the complicated, and often frustrating legal issues veterans face when fighting for VA disability compensation.
Veterans who live in Rhode Island should consider attending Senator Whitehouse’s 11th Annual Veterans Breakfast and Resource Fair this coming spring. Resource tables and representatives from state and federal and non-profit agencies will be on hand to connect veterans with opportunities for employment, VA benefits and claims, continuing education, and other programs.