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Crapo, Colleagues Honor Veterans with Gold Star Families Legislation

Washington, D.C.--U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tennessee) celebrated the Senate’s passage of the Sergeant First Class Sean Cooley and Specialist Christopher Horton Congressional Gold Star Family Fellowship Program Act.  The legislation will create a fellowship program in the Senate to offer an opportunity for Gold Star family members to participate in the system of government for which their loved ones gave his or her life.  The 24-month fellowship program is funded through legislative branch appropriations and would be conducted in a Washington, D.C., or state office, at no cost to either the family member or the accepting Member of Congress. 

“Gold Star families shoulder the heavy price paid for the defense of our freedoms and the safety of Americans at home and abroad,” said Senator Crapo.  “While being a Gold Star family carries a deeply profound honor, it is one no family wishes to have.  Our resolution gives Gold Star family members the opportunity to work in and experience first-hand the system of government for which their loved one bravely sacrificed his or her life.” 

“On veterans’ day, we pause and remember those that have served our country,” said Senator Blackburn. “Gold Star families are bonded by a common thread of loss, grief, and sacrifice. It is a privilege to have championed this legislation to honor the service of our fallen warriors. This fellowship helps members of Congress truly understand the costs of fighting for freedom.” 

“I am so incredibly excited and grateful for Senator Blackburn’s leadership in creating the Senate SFC Shane Cooley and SPC Christopher Horton Gold Star Family Fellowship,” said Jane Horton, Gold Star widow of Specialist Christopher Horton.  “Back in World War I widows were on the front lines serving as nurses and helping in any way they could--I have strongly felt like there were not that many opportunities for my generation of Gold Star families to serve.  There is nothing more healing than serving, and making this country that our loved ones fought, bled, and died for a better place for all.  To give Gold Star family members opportunities to create change in this country by inspiring and writing legislation and laws is one of the greatest gifts one could give my community.  The only qualification is that you have a high school diploma. This is a full-time paid job with benefits.  There are 40 openings currently on the House side.  This job can be done from your home state in your own district or at the United States Capitol in Washington DC.” 

The legislation, introduced by Senator Blackburn, was also co-sponsored by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Rick Scott (R-Florida), Bill Hagerty (R-Tennessee), Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona) and Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi).