Military and Veterans

Northeast Florida is proudly home to thousands of veterans, active duty servicemembers, and their families. Our critical military installations such as Naval Station Mayport, NAS Jacksonville, USMC Blount Island Command, and the 125th Fighter Wing are key to America’s national security. In Congress, one of my top priorities is to continue rebuilding our military and ensuring our veteran community has the resources they need to successfully transition into civilian life. You may be interested to know some of the following legislative actions I’ve taken in this regard: 

  • Introduced and passed the Veterans Armed for Success Act, which would create a grant program for outside organizations that provide transition assistance and wraparound services to newly separated veterans.
  • Introduced and passed legislation to name the St. Augustine VA clinic after Leo Chase, Jr., the first person in St. Johns County to die in the Vietnam War.
  • Worked to improve transition assistance for women veterans as they return to civilian life.
  • Introduced H.R. 3103, the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act, which creates a grant program through the VA to pair servicemembers suffering from PTSD with service dogs.
  • Increased oversight for VA’s community care program to ensure that veterans have adequate choice in their health care.
  • Introduced H.R. 4446, the National POW/MIA Memorial and Museum Act, with Rep. Al Lawson to establish the Cecil Field project as the “national” museum.
  • Supported legislation to extend service connection eligibility for Vietnam veterans impacted by Agent Orange.
  • Cosponsored H.R. 663, the Burn Pits Accountability Act, which would require the Department of Defense to evaluate and track the exposure of U.S. servicemembers and veterans to open burn pits and toxic airborne chemicals.
  • Successfully advocated to bring the F-35 program to the 125th Fighter Wing in Jacksonville.
  • Worked to increase the number of ships homeported at Naval Station Mayport.
  • Fought to protect the workforce at the Fleet Readiness Center Southeast in Jacksonville.
  • Worked with the Navy and private industry to improve ship repair planning

More on Military and Veterans

September 17, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, on National POW/MIA Recognition Day, Congressman John Rutherford (FL-04) and Congressman Al Lawson (FL-05) reintroduced the National POW/MIA Memorial and Museum Act of 2021. This legislation would designate the POW/MIA Memorial and Museum at Cecil Field as the National POW/MIA Memorial and Museum to honor all former prisoners of war and those still missing in action.

May 13, 2021 Press Release

Rutherford, Lawson, Watson Coleman, Katko Introduce the HELPER Act

March 3, 2021 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman John Rutherford (R-FL-04) announced the reintroduction of H.R. 1022, the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act of 2021, which will increase access to Service Dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The PAWS Act establishes a competitive grant program through the Department of Veterans Affairs for organizations, such as K9s for Warriors in Ponte Vedra, to pair Service Dogs with veterans suffering from PTSD.

December 1, 2020 Press Release

JACKSONVILLE, FL – Last night, Representative John Rutherford (FL-04) announced this year’s nominees to the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA), United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), United States Military Academy (USMA), and the United States Naval Academy (USNA). Rep. Rutherford congratulated the 34 nominees at the Allen D. Nease High School Performing Arts Center and wished them success in their final selection process.

September 23, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed legislation, first introduced by Congressman John Rutherford (FL-04) and Congressman Michael Waltz (FL-06), to name a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) clinic in St. Johns County after Army Private First Class Leo C. Chase, Jr., the first man from St. Johns County to be killed in the Vietnam War. The new VA outpatient clinic will be designated as the “Leo C. Chase, Jr. Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic.’’

September 8, 2020 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Rutherford applauds President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will officially close federal waters off the coast of Florida to offshore drilling through 2032.

November 21, 2018 Press Release

Jacksonville, FL – Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded $46 million for the Jacksonville Harbor deep draft navigation project in its FY 2019 Work Plan. This comes in addition to the $50 million in federal funding directed to JAXPORT for the project over the past two fiscal years, representing a substantial federal investment in growing commerce and trade in Northeast Florida.

November 19, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Rutherford (FL-04) recently wrote an op-ed for highlighting the House’s work on improving transition assistance for servicemembers in their return to civilian life. Rutherford currently serves on the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee and is a former member of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee.

November 19, 2018 In The News

Veterans Day is an especially important occasion in Northeast Florida, home to one the most heavily military and veteran populations in the country. It is an honor to serve this community in Congress, and on Veterans Day, our citizens came together to pause and honor the many brave and selfless men and women in our community who served our nation at home and abroad.

September 26, 2018 Press Release


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6157, legislation that allocates funding to the Departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019.  The measure, which passed the Senate last week, now heads to the President’s desk to be signed into law. Upon passage of the bill, Congressman John Rutherford released the following statement: