America has to maintain a strong defense system. Defense is not a place to cut the budget. Yes, our procurement has to be monitored, but technologically we must retain our first-class status in the world. It is critical to continue to fund research and development so that our troops and the country are protected.

Members of the armed forces must be adequately compensated so that we remain financially competitive with the private sector. Those soldiers who have sustained injuries, both physical and mental, should have priority treatment to assist in integrating them back into society. Additional resources are needed for housing, especially for homeless veterans. A greater focus has to be given to provide supportive services to family members when soldiers are deployed.

Rev. dr. Janis c. Brooks for 18th Pennsylvania congressional district