Videos & Speeches

I wish to speak for a few moments this afternoon on the topic of veterans and veterans affairs, knowing, or at least expecting a vote later today on a piece of legislation that has now been compromised between the House and Senate versions of the bill, and something that I look forward to supporting.

First of all, though, I wish to take a moment to honor a Kansas veteran, a veteran who dedicated much of his life to serving our country, whether that was on active duty in the Navy or advocating on behalf of other veterans, Mr. Herb Schwartzkopf from Ransom, Kansas.

Mr. Schwartzkopf's many selfless acts began when he served in the Navy in Vietnam. After separating from the service, he returned to Kansas and joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the VFW, which he has been a member of now for more than 35 years. He is considered a life member of the VFW.

Last year the Hutchinson News asked Herb about his life and dedication to serving his fellow veterans. His response was, “I will talk about the `V,' but I am not going to talk about me.” The V is Herb's beloved VFW Post, because he is a humble man who has accomplished much and his priorities in life have been taking care of his country and taking care of the veterans who have served his country.

The countless contributions Herb Schwartzkopf has made over 35 years of advocacy for veterans has earned him the highest honor bestowed by the VFW, the All-American Commander of Post 7972 in Ransom, KS. Herb's VFW post serves as a meeting place and a community service hub for the Lions Club meetings and Thanksgiving feasts for the 296 residents of his hometown. It is also a place for raising funds for local cancer patients and victims, helping fund annual Honor Flights to come see the World War II Memorial by Kansas veterans. The 160 members of Post 7972 complete more than 250 service projects and volunteer more than 4,000 hours a year.

His leadership at the VFW post has deservedly won the National Community Service Post of the Year award five times, including 3 years in a row for 2009, 2010, and 2011.

The Ransom VFW's success is a result of true selflessness. As Herb put it: “If something comes up and somebody needs help, we just try to rise to the occasion.” It seems only fitting that he has earned this prestigious award as All-American Post Commander.

I pay tribute to him, to his post, his service to our country, and his service to other Kansans, and thank him for that care and concern for other veterans across the country. So I say thank you for your selfless dedication. On behalf of all Kansans, we wish you well and we are fortunate to have you as a citizen of our state and a citizen of our nation.