News from Representative Tom Emmer

Dear Friend, 

Today, Memorial Day, serves as a reminder that freedom is not free. Over one million Americans have laid down their lives in service to our nation.

Many never return home.

Thousands of service members missing in action (MIA) or taken as prisoners of war (POW) will never reunite with their families on earth and many may never be buried with their loved ones. 

Recently, my family received some amazing news. The B-24D aircraft - of which my great uncle John W. Emmer Jr., a photographer, and staff sergeant during WWII, was a crew member -was recovered off the coast of Papua New Guinea, where it was shot down over 70 years ago. A group called Project Recover discovered the aircraft. 

Watch the FOX9 story of my great uncle, staff sergeant John W. Emmer Jr. here

Watch Project Recover’s full video of their discovery of “Heaven Can Wait” here

The B-24D was called “Heaven Can Wait” and was part of the 320th squadron of the “Jolly Rogers” 90th Bombardment Group. The crew was on a mission to bomb Japanese anti-aircraft batteries around Hansa Bay, New Guinea on March 11, 1944 when their B-24 was hit, and plummeted to the ocean below. The crew has been declared missing in action for over 74 years, but with the discovery of the aircraft, hope has been restored to recover the remains of the missing crew members, including members of my family. 

In Washington, Congress has been doing its part to take care of our active duty service members and veterans. A major legislative reform has occurred to the VA Choice Act. Last week, I was proud to vote for the VA Mission Act. This bipartisan agreement includes streamlining of community care programs, expansion of VA caregiver programs, investment into the Veterans Choice Program, and a non-partisan review of the VA’s aging infrastructure. It was endorsed by major Veteran’s Service Organizations, such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion.

The House, last week, also passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2019 to ensure our men and women in uniform have the tools and resources they need. This important bill provides a 2.6% pay raise for our military as well as sorely needed funding for the equipment and training to improve readiness and ensure our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines are able to perform their missions effectively.  

I will continue to fight for our service members and their families. On this Memorial Day, we are grateful for the men and women who serve, and remember especially those who never made it home.


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