Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, visited Fort Hood to receive an update on operations and training on the installation and units deployed around the world, on Friday.
Cruz, who is up for re-election this November, is on a statewide tour of military installations. Speaking to reporters outside the gates, Cruz said he spent the day meeting with senior Fort Hood leaders and meeting with soldiers.
“Fort Hood is one of the great resources that Texas has in terms of our military capability,” Cruz said.
“There is no state in the union like Texas, in terms of the support that the state of Texas gives for the men and women of active duty military and our veterans.”
Cruz said he helped secure more than 30 provisions that were included in the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act of 2019, including $150 million in military construction funds for Texas installations alone.
“One of the most important (provisions) was focusing on updating and modernizing M1 Abrams tanks, Bradleys and Strykers,” Cruz said. “Another element I worked closely with Fort Hood on was to modernize the motor pools.”
Part of the visit was spent viewing barracks renovations. Cruz said service member living quarters were an issue he has seen on several installations as many of them were built in the 1950’s and 1960’s and have problems with mold, plumbing, and heating and cooling.
“You’ve got 19 barracks that are being renovated right now to ensure our soldiers have living conditions that are safe, that are of a quality we would expect our fighting men and women to be housed in and deserve,” Cruz said. “So, I’m glad to see the progress we’re making in terms of renovating the barracks,
but we need to do substantially more.”
Cruz also spoke about veterans and veterans’ health care issues. Texas is home to more than 1.7 million U.S. military veterans.
“I started the day having the wonderful opportunity to present a brand-new home to a wounded warrior,” Cruz said. “That was a wonderful way to start the day, thanking a veteran, thanking him for his service, his sacrifice, thanking his wife and thanking his two boys.”
Cruz participated in the ceremony hosted by ‘Helping a Hero’ to honor U.S. Army Sgt. James “Shane” Ray, U.S. Army and his family, by presenting them with the home. Ray was wounded in combat and lost a leg.
“When it comes to veterans needs, the one that is front, and center is the Veterans Affairs and improving the quality of healthcare that is delivered to veterans,” Cruz said. “I think the essential tools for improving the quality of healthcare through the V.A. are accountability and choice.”
Cruz shifted gears and spoke a little about his re-election. A recent poll from Quinnipiac University shows his opponent Democrat Rep. Beto O’Rourke, just 6 points behind Cruz. According to the poll Cruz leads O’Rourke 49-43 in the Texas senate race.
“This is a remarkable time in our country’s history,” Cruz said. “We have a Republican president, we have Republican majorities in both Houses of Congress, and I think we’re accomplishing a great deal for the state of Texas.”
Cruz claimed the “far left” dissatisfaction with President Trump is sending millions of dollars flowing into Texas by liberals across the country, which Cruz said could result in record democratic turnout in the November election.
“The good news is in Texas there are a whole lot more conservatives than liberals,” Cruz said. “So, politically the task we have is turn out conservatives.”