Iraqi security forces on patrol; the Iraqi government has tightened security measures in recent weeks. (AP)
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nine veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be part of next year's freshman class in the House of Representatives.
Their numbers give veterans' groups assurance that Congress will still have important advocates in their corner.
But the overall number of veterans in Congress has been declining. For example, Congress in 1977 and 1978 had more than 400 veterans among its 535 members. About 100 veterans will serve next year in Congress.
Tom Tarantino is chief policy officer at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America. He says the freshmen vets have wide-ranging political views, but their shared experiences can help overcome differences in dealing with issues like high unemployment rates among younger vets and access to education and disability benefits.