Ben Cardin - Senator for Maryland

Veterans & Military

Every day, we honor the service of our men and women who volunteer to protect our nation, and their families who so willingly support them and endure the hardships of the military lifestyle. Maryland is home to nearly 30,000 Active, 16,000 Reserve and hundreds of thousands of veteran Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen.  These Marylanders have our utmost respect and appreciation. I remain steadfast in my commitment to provide our Nation’s military with the resources it needs to accomplish its mission, and to provide our military families with the first-class benefits, pay and healthcare that they deserve.

Maryland is also home to 15 military bases ranging from the U.S. Naval Academy, which trains our future officers, to the Aberdeen Proving Ground, which develops our future military technology.  We are proud of the home that we provide to our military, and we welcome the newest additions from the Base Realignment and Closure 2005 (BRAC) process.  

To provide for our military families, I have been a staunch advocate for and cosponsored legislation to protect military overseas voting, provide residency relief for spouses when families transfer, expand travel reimbursements for specialty medical care, improve TRICARE coverage for family members with autism, and protect food subsidy entitlements that support the families of junior enlisted service members.  The mental health of our service members continues to be a key priority for me.  With the continued strains of multiple deployments to a war that has lasted nearly a decade, taking care of our troops should be a primary focus of our armed services.  I will continue to advocate for the mental wellness of our troops and their families.

Key Facts

  • Maryland is home to over 30,000 military members and 465,727 veterans.
  • 51,000 Military Retirees call Maryland home.
  • There are 15 Military bases in Maryland.


What are Ben’s views on the conflict in Iraq?
As our military begins the drawdown in Iraq over this year, it is important that we support both the Defense and State Departments as they begin navigating this unchartered territory of military to civilian transition.  As the Chairman of the International Development Subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I am especially mindful of the process of assisting the State Department in ensuring they have the tools and support necessary to maintain the positive results that we have seen in Iraq.
What has Ben done to protect TRICARE?
Our service members and their families make enormous sacrifices for our nation and I am committed to ensuring that Congress keeps the promises that it has made to them. As a member of the House of Representatives I introduced legislation to improve TRICARE. As a member of the Senate, I cosponsored S. 604, the Military Health Care Protection Act, to limit the proposed fee increases in the pharmacy benefits program as well as certain fees under the TRICARE program. I also supported the FY2009 NDAA, which authorized $25 billion for DoD health care programs, $1.4 billion more than the President requested in his budget. It also prohibited any increase in TRICARE premiums, deductibles, and copayments. I will continue to oppose fee increases for TRICARE and will work to ensure that our military retirees are not required to bear any increased cost burden for care. 
How can I get information on my VA Benefits?
Check out our Veterans Resource Center!

What are good resources for Members of the Military and their families?
Where can I find U.S. Armed Forces Legal Assistance?
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