Elected to Congress in 2008, Gary Peters served as a Lieutenant Commander and a Seabee Combat Warfare Specialist in the United States Navy Reserve. His reserve duty included time in the Persian Gulf supporting Operation Southern Watch, and he served overseas during increased military activity following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. During his service he received numerous awards and citations, including the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
Elected to the State Senate in 1994, Peters was voted by his Senate colleagues to serve as Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. While in the Senate, he served as the ranking Democrat on the Finance, Education, Judiciary, Natural Resources, and Families and Mental Health Committees. He later was appointed by the Governor to run the Michigan State Lottery. Prior to his appointment as Commissioner, Lottery revenues were in a four-year slump and sales had declined by nearly $50 million per year. Under Peters’ leadership, the Lottery experienced a dramatic turnaround.
In Congress, he’s been a true friend of the veterans’ and military families’ community. He’s fought for fully funding veterans’ health care, expanding many VA benefits to the Guard and Reserve, and ensuring survivors of the fallen receive their full benefits. He’s kept our military strong, by supporting a full repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, as well.