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AZ House Democrats form veterans caucus

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Thursday morning Arizona will become one of just a handful of states in the country to form a veterans caucus.

"I served in the United States Army for four years," said Cpl. Colin Day.

Day's military background matches that of thousands of Arizonans.

"I enlisted after 9/11 for obvious reasons. I was pretty upset at what had happened and I wanted to sign up and do my part," Day said.

He did a tour of duty in Ramadi, Iraq, and said he had a tough time when he came back to the states.

"That was a difficult transition, to transition back from military life to civilian life was not as cut and dry as they would have you believe," Day said.

People like Day are the inspiration behind a new group at your state capitol, a veterans caucus.

"Like most veterans, we feel we're uniquely qualified to look out for each other, we're part of that brotherhood," said Rep. Jonathan Larkin.

Larkin said he plans to look out for a group he's very familiar with, Arizona's veterans.

"I enlisted in the Marine Corps after high school. That was in 2003. I did two tours of duty in Iraq," Larkin said.

He will join several other House Democrats to really focus on issues that impact veterans, things like healthcare, education and employment.  And, Larkin said, this is an issue both parties can come together on.

"We don't like putting an R or a D on this. We're veterans coming together for a common cause and that's to take care of each other and look out for those who are coming home. And we feel very passionate about that," Larkin said.

House Democrats are working with Republicans and members of the state Senate to form the veterans caucus.  Larkin said they're already crafting bills to benefit veterans.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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