Dr. Boozman's Check-up

I grew up in a military home. As the son of an Air Force Master Sergeant who served for more than 20 years, I learned at an early age about how military service is a family affair.

I’m proud to join my colleague Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to introduce a resolution designating April as the Month of the Military Child to recognize those whose parents serve in uniform and acknowledge their unique experience.

Month of the Military Child is observed each April to honor and celebrate military children and youth for their service, commitment and sacrifice in support of the Department of Defense’s mission. The observance reiterates a commitment to provide these children the positive development and best care they need for a bright future.

It’s a privilege to support military families and improve policies to better meet their needs. Last month, I introduced the Helping Heroes Act of 2023. This legislation recognizes the work done by the approximately 2.3 million children living in homes with a disabled veteran and seeks to provide critical support and assistance to connect these young caregivers with additional resources so we can help them at every stage. We’re working to incentive hiring military spouses who face challenges in finding meaningful employment as a result of frequent moves for new military assignments. I’m also championing bipartisan legislation to update the Dependence and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits for military survivors. The Caring for Survivors Act of 2023 would bring payments to DIC recipients in line with payments to surviving spouses of other federal employees as DIC benefits currently lag behind other programs’ payments by nearly 12 percent.

Through these proposals and others, I’m proud to advocate for military kids and families so we can improve their quality of life and address the specific needs that come with being an extension of our nation’s Armed Forces.

As the city of Bentonville marks its 150th anniversary this year, I’m proud to help recognize such a significant milestone. I recently submitted remarks to the Congressional Record, the document of the official proceedings of Congress, highlighting this occasion and praising some of the features that make this community so unique, dynamic and successful. As a resident of Northwest Arkansas for several decades now, I’ve seen firsthand the impact of the city’s growth on the entire region and its ability to attract visitors and new residents alike for the enhanced quality of life and opportunities it offers.

I was pleased to present Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman with a signed copy of the Congressional Record as part of the State of the City Community Recognition program celebrating its past, present and future.

Presenting the Congressional Record to Bentonville Mayor Stephanie Orman

The following remarks are printed in the Congressional Record:

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of Bentonville

I rise today to recognize Bentonville, Arkansas’s 150th anniversary.

Founded in 1873, Bentonville has a long and vibrant history. In 1837, a site was designated as the county seat for Benton County. Then in January 1873, residents filed a petition with Benton County to incorporate as the Town of Bentonville. On March 28, incorporating documents including a petition, map, and transcripts of the court hearing were certified, and in April, the certified incorporating documents were officially filed with Benton County.

The county and the town, which became the county seat, were named in honor of Senator Thomas Hart Benton, from Missouri, in recognition of his advocacy for westward expansion of the United States that resulted in Arkansas’s admission to the Union.  

Over the years, this community has grown and flourished, becoming a hub of commerce and culture in the region. It officially became a city in 1905 and was known most for the agricultural activity that characterized its economy and lifestyle. Just a few decades later, its economic footprint began to change. By 1950, Sam Walton had opened the original Walton’s 5&10 store on the Bentonville Square and helped transform the city as the company continued grow, expanding its influence both locally and globally. 

Bentonville is also home to the stunning Crystal Bridges Art Museum, which houses a world-class collection of American art. The museum's architecture and natural surroundings make it a must-see destination for art lovers throughout the U.S. and around the world. 

The Natural State is blessed with over 100,000 miles of streams and rivers, 600,000 acres of lakes, hundreds of miles of trails and over 3.2 million acres of public land, and Bentonville is a great example of a community that embodies the opportunity these outdoor amenities hold. The city has become a premiere cycling destination with over 181 miles of dedicated trail across Bentonville and neighboring cities in the county. These paths have become a key cultural and economic driver and represent the strong recreational quality of life that thrives in the region.

Given its rapid growth, I’ve been proud to work with local leaders and support their efforts to improve infrastructure and allow citizens to enjoy these trails or access the unique opportunities available in the community and throughout Northwest Arkansas. 

Congratulations to the entire Bentonville community on the milestone of 150 years and counting. I applaud the City of Bentonville Public Art Advisory Committee members for their hard work and dedication in organizing the celebratoryevents. They have brought pieces of the past together in a commemorative logo that defines the history, small-town feel and culture that is Bentonville. The state flower of the apple blossom shares the story of the city’s history as a one-time top apple producer. I’m pleased to see the excitement in recognition of this occasion and wish the community the very best as it continues to grow, help define Northwest Arkansas and serve as wonderful place to live, work and explore.

As someone who grew up in Fort Smith, I know how much of a gamechanger this is for the community and our state as it will enhance economic development and opportunity in the region and strengthen Arkansas’s role in defending our national security. The Arkansas Congressional Delegation has worked tirelessly along with state and community leaders to demonstrate to the Air Force what we all knew – Fort Smith is the best location for this mission.

Here is some coverage of the excitement surrounding the selection in the River Valley and beyond:

KFSM: Officials say the military pilot training could possibly have an economic impact on the region as high as $1 billion a year. 

SWARK Today: Since 2021, when the U.S. Air Force announced Ebbing Air National Guard Base as its preferred location for these missions, members of the delegation have worked to strengthen relationships with Singapore leaders and allies who have an interest in enhancing their air power with the F-35 in addition to recently securing $28 million to support the F-35 FMS program.

KATV: Ebbing ANGB will become the new location for the 425th Fighter Squadron, a Republic of Singapore F-16 Fighting Falcon training unit, currently based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.

KAIT: State leaders have delivered critical funding in support of an expanded runway and community leaders have demonstrated their commitment to investments in this project, warm welcomes to foreign dignitaries, and a widespread embrace of the project at public comment events.

Stars and Stripes: Ebbing ANGB was selected to host this mission based on factors related to mission, infrastructure capacity, community support, environmental considerations and cost.

Dem Gaz: “We're very excited for all that this means for Fort Smith and the region. We are ready and willing to welcome these military members and their families to our community and show them the true meaning of Fort Smith hospitality. This is a big achievement for the area and one that will pay dividends for decades to come." 

Talk Business: This new training center will bring about 900 military members and their families to the Fort Smith region, the chamber noted. The U.S. Air Force anticipates moving approximately 230 personnel to the base, and the Republic of Singapore will have 300 military personnel with 300 dependent families in the region.

Arkansas Business: Boozman called the announcement a "gamechanger" for Fort Smith. "The Arkansas Congressional Delegation has worked tirelessly along with state and community leaders to demonstrate to the Air Force what we all knew — Fort Smith is the best location for this mission," he said.

Deltaplex News: Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, U.S. Senators John Boozman and Tom Cotton and Congressman Steve Womack applauded the U.S. Air Force’s selection of Ebbing Air National Guard Base in Fort Smith as the home of the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) mission that will bring F-35 fighter planes and a Republic of Singapore F-16 squadron to the installation.

Times Record - It became official on Wednesday. Ebbing Air National Guard Base will be the location for the U.S. Air Force foreign jet fighter training program.

With an economic impact to the Arkansas River Valley anticipated to be about $1 billion a year, foreign pilots are expected to start training sometime between September 2024 and September 2025, the Air Force's fiscal year.


WASHINGTON – The Rural Community Assistance Partnership Incorporated (RCAP) honored U.S. Senator John Boozman (R-AR) with its 2023 Congressional Champion Award for his outstanding service, dedication and tireless advocacy on behalf of rural community and small towns in Arkansas and across the nation. 

“As a rural state, Arkansas has unique needs that I’ve been proud to champion including expanded broadband, improved access to health care and modernized delivery of safe drinking water along with reforming how small communities can afford to update water and wastewater infrastructure. I’m honored to receive this recognition and will continue to advance causes important to residents who call these communities home as well as provide them with critical resources. As we craft the next farm bill, I am committed to enhancing policies that preserve the rural way of life,” Boozman said.

 Senator Boozman was honored with the RCAP Congressional Champion Award.

RCAP’s congressional award is given to lawmakers who have gone above and beyond in backing policies that support small communities and take action on their behalf. RCAP Congressional Champion Award recipients have shown themselves to be exceptional allies of the RCAP network and the needs of rural America.  

Senator John Boozman (R-AR) submitted the following remarks into the Congressional Record, the official proceedings of Congress, recognizing Bentonville residents Dave and Jenny Marrs and their advocacy of adoption:

I rise today to recognize Dave and Jenny Marrs of Bentonville, Arkansas, on being named National Angels in Adoption honorees by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute (CCAI).  

The CCAI is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and I was honored to nominate Dave and Jenny for their work to support and promote adoption and other critical services for children in Arkansas and around the world.  

Since 2001, the CCAI has played a vital role in eliminating barriers standing between orphaned and foster children becoming part of a loving family. As the CCAI’s signature public awareness program, Angels in Adoption annually recognizes outstanding individuals, families and organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to adoption and child welfare.

Dave and Jenny are the parents of five children, including Sylvie whom they adopted from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They had always known they wanted to adopt and, in 2012, began the process to make Sylvie part of their family. It only took a few months for Sylvie to legally became their child, but the couple had no idea how difficult it would be to bring her home to Arkansas when international challenges brought the process to a halt. Shortly after their visit to the Congo, the Congolese government shut down adoptions. Dave and Jenny were devasted, but the hardships only strengthened their resolve to rescue their daughter. It was during that process that my office first met the Marrs family and I am pleased we were able to advocate for them with the U.S. State Department and Embassy officials. After more than 600 days, their Sylvie finally arrived home.  

Inspired by their newest addition to the family, Dave and Jenny developed a passion for orphan care, family preservation and adoption. The family started a nonprofit blueberry farm in Northwest Arkansas as a way to help fund a program to educate orphaned and at-risk teenage boys in Marondera, Zimbabwe. They also advocate for children in need, including working closely with the philanthropic organization Help One Now to empower families in developing nations through capable local leaders.  

The Marrs family has traveled the world to see firsthand the extreme poverty and truly dark circumstances facing parentless children around the globe. While visiting the Congo, the couple witnessed extreme starvation in the orphanage where their daughter Sylvie was living. This shocked Dave and Jenny, launching them into action. They organized an online raffle to raise money to feed the kids and their program was so successful it was able to feed three orphanages for an entire month. The Marrses have also used their platform on their hit HGTV show “Fixer to Fabulous” to help spread awareness about adoption and share their journey with viewers. 

It was a privilege to nominate Dave and Jenny for their exemplary work that led to this well-deserved national honor, and I believe I speak for all Arkansans when I say they have made our state incredibly proud. They join influential and deserving members of this community, including Mohammed Ali and First Lady Laura Bush, as recipients of this important recognition. I am grateful for the life-changing efforts Dave and Jenny Marrs – as well as their wonderful children Nathan, Ben, Sylvie, Charlotte and Luke – have contributed to shine a light on this truly worthy and necessary cause.