Navy Presents Larsen with Highest Civilian Honor

Jan 4, 2017 Issues: 114th Congress Accomplishments, Supporting our Naval Bases, Veterans

WASHINGTON D.C.—Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02) today was presented with the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Navy’s highest civilian honor. Recipients are recognized for courageous or heroic acts, or outstanding service of benefit to the Navy or Marine Corps. Rear Admiral Craig Faller presented Larsen with the award in a ceremony in Larsen’s Washington, D.C. office.

Click HERE for high-quality photos of today’s event.

“This is a great honor and I really appreciate it,” said Larsen, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee. “I want to thank Secretary Mabus and the Navy-Marine Corps team who are out there right now, every day and into the future protecting all of us.”

"This award was presented to recognize Representative Larsen's tremendous support for our Sailors and Marines and his forceful advocacy for the resources needed to maintain a strong Navy and Marine Corps,” said Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus. “We are fortunate to have such a dedicated leader in Congress."

Larsen has been a consistent champion for the U.S. military, servicemembers and veterans.

Larsen successfully fought to keep open the Women, Infants, and Children office on Naval Air Station Whidbey Island – which hundreds of military families rely on for food assistance. He also secured language in the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act to allow Women, Infants, and Children offices to operate on all military bases throughout the country.

Additionally, Larsen has advocated for a strong Navy presence in Everett, WA. Larsen worked to bring three new destroyers to replace decommissioned frigates at Naval Station Everett, and pushed the Navy to avoid a gap between retiring the frigates and the new destroyers.

In 2015, Larsen pressed the VA to change the Veterans Choice Program to better meet the needs of veterans in the Pacific Northwest. Many Whidbey veterans are now eligible for local health care instead of facing an hours-long drive across Deception Pass to Mount Vernon or a ferry to Seattle to reach a VA doctor. And in September of 2016, Larsen succeeded in helping circumvent a 1992 ban on the VA providing in vitro fertilization services for veterans – which had previously forced veterans with service-connected infertility to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket.