A strong supporter of the military and veterans, Kirk has introduced over 120 pieces of legislation for the military, veterans, and their families—that’s more than 20% of the total legislation that he has introduced while serving in the House of Delegates.
Kirk’s efforts to support our military and veterans first started in 1993 and has spanned his entire career to date. He has addressed issues such as eliminating taxes on military death gratuity payments to survivors, giving veterans credit in the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) for their time in the armed forces, and passing Virginia’s Wounded Warrior legislation to provide support for veterans suffering from brain and stress related injuries.
In 1996, Kirk was one of the first legislators in the country to introduce legislation to provide tax relief to military personnel serving in Bosnia. That same year, he introduced landmark legislation to provide tax relief for junior military members from Virginia. Kirk’s efforts to provide income tax relief to lower ranking military personnel took four years to accomplish. Like our men and women in uniform, he did not give up until his mission was complete.
Kirk’s foresight provided authority for building, and later expanding, the Sitter & Barfoot Veterans Care Center in Richmond that enabled Virginia to take advantage of federal construction funds when they became available. In 2015, he successfully introduced legislation that provided authority for a 120-bed veteran care center in Hampton Roads and an additional center in Northern Virginia. In 2016, it was announced that the Hampton Roads center would be located in Virginia Beach and the Northern Virginia center in Fauquier County. Congressmen Forbes and Wittman, along with members of the House Armed Services Committee, came to the General Assembly in 2015 to stand in support of Kirk’s legislation.
Kirk is also a champion for fully funding and recognizing the Quartermaster Museum at Fort Lee. He introduced several bills and budget amendments to fund the expansion of the Virginia War Memorial into what is now the Paul and Phyllis Galanti Education Center.
To ensure veterans receive their earned benefits, Kirk successfully sponsored bills to increase the number of claims representatives in the Virginia Department of Veterans Services and to continue funding for the automated claims processing system, BENEVETS. As a budget conferee, he was instrumental in funding the Virginia Values Veterans (V3) program that helps veterans find jobs.
Based on his strong and continuing support, Kirk is recognized by his General Assembly colleagues as a leader for military and veteran affairs. Kirk serves as Chairman of the Virginia WWI & WWII Commemoration Commission and as Chairman of the Virginia Council on the Interstate Compact on Education Opportunities for Military Children. Kirk previously served as Chairman of the War of 1812 Commission and as a member of the Board of Veteran Services (BVS). During his time in the legislature, Kirk has worked alongside veteran service organizations such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and the Joint Leadership Council of Veteran Services Organizations (JLC).
Kirk has been recognized for his outstanding legislative achievements by the following:
- Department of the Army Public Service Award (1998)
- Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Award (1998)
- Selective Service Meritorious Service Award/Medal (2002)
- VA National Guard Medal of Merit (2004)
- State American Legion Distinguished Service Award (2005)
- State Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Support Award (2005 & 2007)
- Legislator of the Year: Virginia Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) (2006)
- Joint Leadership Council – Veterans Services Organizations Service Award (2006 & 2008)
- National Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) President’s Award (2008)
- VA Council of Chapters MOAA – Outstanding Service Award (2011)
- VA Chamber Military and Veterans Affairs Advocate Award (2014 & 2015)
Here in Virginia we are proud of our men and women who have served our nation. Nearly 800,000 veterans currently live and work in the Commonwealth, contributing to our communities and economy. The Virginia Department of Veterans Services has created a Virginia Veteran Resources Guide to help navigate all the programs and services they offer to our veterans. They stand ready to help all veterans continue their service as productive and honored citizens of the great Commonwealth of Virginia.