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During a trip to San Antonio this week, I got to know a group of amazing veterans who, after serving their country valiantly, have decided to continue to serve the American people by transitioning into a civilian position with the Federal government.

I also was able to visit some cutting edge facilities in San Antonio that help our returning heroes successfully return to civilian life.

I toured the Center for the Intrepid. The CFI helps service members with severe injuries and amputations maximize their ability to lead full and productive lives.  They do truly crucial work, assisting not only these service members but also their families and support systems.

I also had the chance to visit the Warrior Family Support Center. The center provides a friendly, comfortable and safe environment for wounded warriors and their families to connect with other military members, to get emotional, educational and social support that can help them better make the transition to civilian life.

I was so impressed by the teams at these centers and am thankful that we have them working to help our injured service members.

One of the most memorable moments for me was my time with five transitioning service members at Ft. Sam Houston.

Sergeant Rafael Acosta, Staff Sergeant David Merchant, Master Sergeant Aileen Philips, Specialist Jared Werner, and Specialist Miriam Martin together have given more than 67 years of service to their country in the Army and the Marines. They are five examples of the great men and women who are beginning the transition from military service to civilian service. It is a testament to their commitment to service that they will continue to work for their country by joining the Federal workforce.

They are among a growing number of veterans who are doing that. Preliminary data for fiscal year 2013 shows that more than 30 percent of new federal hires will be veterans. That’s a statistic I’m incredibly proud of and that I know can and will continue to grow. is a great resource for veterans who are looking to enter the civilian federal service. There is also a special veterans section on USAJOBS.

We should all honor the incredible work that all our service men and women do for us each day. And we are equally honored that when it’s time for these brave warriors to take the next step in their careers, they choose to join the civilian Federal workforce.

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