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VFW WELCOMES NEW LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR
Raymond Kelley brings an established record of advocating for veterans.
Raymond Kelley, the newly appointed Director of VFW’s National Legislative Service, is particularly fond of a quote from George Washington: “The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”
In his new role with the VFW, Kelley is charged with making sure our nation provides veterans the highest quality care and services possible.
Formerly the National Legislative Director for AMVETS, Kelley’s credentials as an advocate for America’s veterans are well established. Prior to that, he served six years in the U.S. Marine Corps. Upon receiving his Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Indiana University, East, Kelley served for three years in the Army Reserve where he conducted over 250 combat missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). Kelley is now enrolled in the MBA program at Indiana Wesleyan University and lives in Burine, Md., with his wife Rebecca and two sons, Tanner and Wyatt. Kelley’s vast experience has instilled a pragmatic approach to working with Congress on behalf of America’s veterans and active military.
“Making changes on Capitol Hill is sometimes a slow process,” he said. “We have to push for solutions in a changing climate—always adapting and evolving to find the best answers.”
As director, Kelley will advance VFW’s key advocacy priorities like enhancing the new GI Bill to include online universities, vocational schools and employee training programs for employed veterans. Addressing the VA workload is also at the top of the agenda.
“The VA is headed in the right direction,” said Kelley. “They’re asking the VFW and other VSOs to the table much earlier in the process and lots of pilot programs are underway. They’re being open and honest and seeking feedback on how they can best improve efficiency.”
Kelley knows America’s veterans are relying on him to carry their voices to our nation’s leaders. It’s a responsibility he takes very seriously.
“Without constant advocacy, veteran homelessness would be astronomical, suicide rates would be inconceivable and healthcare for our wounded, sick and injured would be third rate,” he explained. “We have asked so much from our service members, we owe them the very best.”