RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) – At the Virginia War Memorial an old soldier remembered when he left Culpeper, Virginia and stormed the beaches of Normandy.
“I’m happy to be alive,” laughed retired Army Sgt. George Taylor. “I’m 89-years old, man.”
Taylor and five other military veterans from Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor’s district received the Congressional Veterans Commendation Award Tuesday morning in Richmond.
A congressional “super-committee” announced Monday evening it had failed to reach a deal to cut 1.2-trillion dollars from the federal deficit over 10 years.
Automatic spending cuts in 2013 would impact Virginia’s military installations and personnel.
“We’ve got to now see if they (veterans) can find jobs,” said Veteran Jack Ward. “Find a job they can go to and house they can pay for. We don’t need to cut veterans benefits.”
When asked about the inability of Democrats and Republicans to come to an agreement on bringing the deficit down, House Majority Leader Cantor (R – Virginia) said the parties need to put their differences off to the side.
“People have seen in this super-committee and White House talks before that, that it was the same divide,” said Rep. Cantor. “And instead of focusing on that divide we should instead focus on is job creation and economic growth.”
Sgt. Taylor was not thinking about himself on the day he received an award for his service. He thought about his friend at the VA Medical Center who is struggling financially.
“He was at the eye clinic, and I was at the eye clinic too,” Sgt. Taylor said as tears welled up in his eyes. “That poor man couldn’t afford to go to the cafeteria to get his lunch, he had to bring it in a bag with him. So the veterans today need all the help they can get.”
Congressman Cantor said he is unhappy with the failure of the super-committee.
Monday, Virginia Senator Mark Warner admitted candidly about the failure. “I think if we don’t get this solved, we ought to, all of us, get fired,” he said.