The New Jersey State Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) has named Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ4) its 2015 Legislator of the Year.
VFW State Legislative Director William F. Thomson presented Smith with the award Monday in Hamilton, Mercer County. VFW State Commander Jack Kane announced the honor on June 19 at its annual convention in Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood, N.J.
“The men and women in uniform make tremendous, selfless sacrifices for our nation,and they must know that when they come home they will receive the care and assistance they earned,” said Smith, who chaired the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee from 2001-2005 and authored more than a dozen veterans’ laws. It is an honor for me to accept this award, but it is more of an honor to work for our veterans.”
The award reads: “Congressman Chris Smith: 2015 Legislator of the Year. In recognition of your years of service and your outstanding support of America’s military service personnel and veterans. As a champion of veterans issues, ensuring that service members receive the necessary support and resources upon completing their service: you have continuously lead the challenge to keep America’s promise to our veterans.”
A tireless advocate for veterans throughout his career which included a term as the chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Smith is currently working on a bill to enhance the Homeless Veterans Comprehensive Assistance Act, which he authored. Earlier this year, Smith cosponsored the “Clay Hunt Suicide Prevention for American Veterans Act,” named in the honor of the late Iraq and Afghanistan War veteran and suicide prevention advocate.
“Congressman Smith has been there for veterans for many years,” Thomson said. “He could receive this award every year.”