Welcome! Read about Jim Crary’s service in the Army, and below you can also find more info about Jim’s stances on veterans issues, resources for veterans and their families in CD2 and events he has attended.
In the Fall of 1971, I enlisted in the Army. I began basic training in January of 1972 at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. My advanced individual training was Military Police and Correctional Specialist schools at Fort Gordon near Augusta, Georgia. Upon graduating from Correctional Specialist school, I was promoted to E-4. I was honorably discharged in October of 1973 at Fort Lewis, Washington.
The military motivated me to a better student, and helped, through the G.I. Bill to pay for college and law school. I am proud to have served in the Army and I will be equally as proud to serve in Congress.
My service was between attending Creighton University, in Omaha & Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, where I earned my BBA.
Instead of just putting my arm around veterans and smiling for the camera, I have listened and will continue to listen to our veterans and push for change.
Limiting War & Conflict
Let me be clear: supporting our veterans for fighting for us does not mean condoning every war America has been a part of over the past century. These wars are expensive, both financially and in terms of lives, and often create more problems. We need to find solutions to these conflicts before they escalate to war.
Transitioning to Civilian Life
Last spring, out in Baker City, I talked with a Marine combat veteran who served in Iraq. He talked about how difficult his transition back to civilian life had been. He also said that the Marines did not really help as they did not give him sufficient time to allow for a smo
oth transition. Why not have a program called “Project Transition” that would help service personnel more easily “transition” back to civilian life. Here are my ideas for such a “Project Transition”:
In the last 90 days of an active duty military person’s service every individual getting out of the military would be placed into the Project Transition program. As part of Project Transition the person would be:
1) Automatically be enrolled into the VA system so that there would be no need go through another bureaucracy to start getting VA benefits or services; rather it would be a seamless handoff between being active duty and the VA.
2) Connected with a veteran, from a Vet Center, who would be a resource/mentor to help the service member’s transition back to civilian life. This idea came from a Vietnam combat veteran friend.
One of the best ways to honor our veterans is to ensure that they get the best healthcare our country can provide. Walden has clearly failed veterans and their families in regard to healthcare. My plan is to move the country to a Medicare for All
system. Walden’s healthcare bill and attempt to repeal the ACA would have hurt veterans in CD2. I promise to fight for coverage, but also full access to mental health services.
Walden voted to cut veterans benefits, which is a part of why the Veterans Administration has failed so hugely in recent years. We need to invest more into the VA and other programs to help the men and women who protect our way of life. You can see more info about Walden’s voting record here.
Negotiating Drug Prices
Both the VA & DOD require lower pricing from pharmaceutical companies, and they are able to negotiate those prices down. This is a step we need to make in our overall healthcare system to bring costs down for patients. You can read more about my plan for healthcare here.
With skyrocketing drug prices and industry influence on Congress, it is now more than ever that we must achieve campaign finance reform. The American people agree, now it is time for Congress to get on the same page. Everyone knows and acknowledges that price negotiation would dramatically lower the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare’s elderly beneficiaries yet the majority of our elected officials in Congress, Mr. Walden among them, refuses to “do” it. I spent my career negotiating contracts, and I am ready to do the same in Congress to ensure that District 2 is treated fairly.
Student Veterans & The GI Bill
Our country benefited tremendously from the GI Bill, and I would support expanding the current version. In Congress, I plan to support student veterans through their time in college or trade school. I would be honored to help those who have served by funding their education. Many institutions (like OIT) in Oregon work to support their veterans, and I would support them in doing so.
LGBTQ+ Service Members & Veterans
Transgender soldiers and veterans put their lives on the line in defense of our country. They deserve our respect and support, not to be banned because of prejudice. If elected, I will fight against Trump’s egregious ban and for full rights and inclusion for LGBTQ+ people. Oregon veterans have made it clear that they support all who protect our country, and I will represent this inclusion in Congress.
Women Service Members & Veterans
With the number of women serving in the military increasing, we need to ensure that they are support and have their needs met. 10% of veterans now are women, and studies show that they often suffer from gender specific issues. The National Veterans Foundation studies show that
“As more women serve in the military, the rates of PTSD in women veterans continue to keep pace with male statistics. Although some of it is caused by combat or related stress, the effects of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) have an outsized effect on women.”
If elected, I would support the expansion of support infrastructure for women veterans at every level.
Veterans & Gun Safety
I am a life-long hunter (who still hunts) and who owns two rifles and a shotgun. I am also an Army veteran who qualified with the M-16, the civilian version of which (the AR-15) has been the overwhelming choice of the shooters. So, I am a person who has used firearms most of my life, who owns firearms, who is comfortable with firearms and who is in total agreement with anyone who wants to own a firearm to hunt with or to have for personal protection. But, I also am in favor of universal background checks for all gun purchases; an assault weapon ban; restrictions on the number of rounds that can be carried in a clip; outlawing armor piercing rounds; and outlawing bump stocks.
Read more on gun safety.
Resources & VA Offices in CD2
Veterans Events on the Campaign Trail
I have made it a point to visit with veterans all over CD2 during this campaign. I appreciate the service of every single veteran, who has so honorably and courageously served. It is unacceptable that veterans have been let down by Congress and Greg Walden. Through listening to their concerns and having served myself, I understand their needs and the urgency that these issues deserve.
You can read about and look at pictures from a few of my stops this campaign below! If you would like to schedule an event, click here.
Band of Brothers (Bend)
I really enjoyed the opportunity to speak at the Band of Brothers and all the veterans! One of the ideas we briefly discussed was easing the transition from military life to civilian life. I know how hard it is for many leaving the military to become a civilian again and I would like each veteran to be enrolled in the VA, before they leave the military, so they can seamlessly access the benefits they deserve from the VA.
VeteRUN (Southern OR)
I attended the VeteRUN in October, it was the first annual event in the Rogue Valley. We had a great brisk morning, and I was able to meet the organizers and some new voters. The funds raised went to support wonderful local veterans programs, and I would be proud to continue supporting them in office.