WASHINGTON, DC – Six months into her term as the first female senator from Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema explained her approach to governing, promise to Arizonans, and support for service members and veterans in her 15-minute maiden speech.
A senator’s maiden speech, or first speech to the U.S. Senate body, is a landmark moment, and Sinema spent hers urging Congress to pass stronger protections for military service members and veterans. This speech comes after Sinema recently secured her bipartisan Sgt. Daniel Somers Network of Support Act.
Her latest piece of legislation, the Sgt. Daniel Somers Network of Support Act, requires that each new service member be asked for the names of loved ones he or she considers to a be a part of a network of support. The goal is to keep families and loved ones involved in the service man or woman’s life from the beginning, to help them understand military life, and to teach them how to assist.
Daniel Somers was an Arizona Army veteran who served two tours in Iraq. Upon returning home, Somers was diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries and PTSD before ultimately losing his life to suicide in 2013.
Sinema worked with Sgt. Somer’s parents, Howard and Jean Somers, for five years, hoping to create legislation that ensures all veterans get the care and support they need.
“I’m proud of this accomplishment, and we have more to do,” Sinema said.
Nearing tears at the end of her speech, Sinema spoke about the late Senator John McCain.
“I hope that we’re making Senator McCain proud with such important work,” Sinema said.