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Vets Cheer Larsen Amendment To Curb Spending on Europe Nukes

 ·, Press Release Cheers Larsen Amendment To Curb Spending on Europe Nukes

Bellingham, WA – The largest group of progressive veterans in America,, representing over 360,000 supporters, today praised Congressman Rick Larsen’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), limiting the amount of funding for an update of nuclear weapons based in Europe.  The House is considering the bill, which will spend millions of dollars on the program to buy new B61 nuclear bombs, to be based in Europe, and designed to defend Europe from a Soviet threat that no longer exists.  The total cost of the program is nearly $12 billion.  Rep. Larsen’s amendment would require NATO to foot 50 percent of the cost, before the US spends money on the program.

“Congressman Larsen is doing what’s right and smart,” said Rick Hegdahl, an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran from Washington State.  “These nukes are designed to fight a Soviet threat that hasn’t existed in more than 20 years.  If our European allies still see the Soviet Union as a threat, then they can foot half of the bill, and we can pay the rest.  If they don’t think the USSR is a threat anymore, and don’t want to pay, then there is no reason for us to invest billions in a wasteful, global boondoggle.”


In these tough economic times, Congress is considering capping pay raises for the military, at 1 percent for the next three years.  But, for the cost of the upgrade this year alone, the US could avoid cutting back pay raises for our troops and still have money to spare.  Down the road, the US can use savings to pay our troops what they deserve, and alleviate sequestration cuts that affect the services provided to our troops and veterans  - services that they have earned through their sacrifice.


“We understand that, at a time when the budget is stretched to the breaking point because of poor decisions like the sequester, choices need to be made.  If the choice is between taking care of our troops and veterans or protecting Europe from a ghost, it should be an easy choice to make,” said Hegdahl.  “It’s great to see that Congressman Larsen has done just that.  Our troops and veterans thank him.”

Founded in 2006,  and backed by over 360,000 members, the mission of is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home. also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives. is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America.  While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.