It was a touch of home that Vermont soldiers really appreciated. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vermont) visited Vermont soldiers serving in Iraq during a recent trip to the Middle East. Welch hand delivered maple syrup which came from from Richardson's Farm in Woodstock. Welch also told soldiers that he supports legislation to expand small business opportunities for veterans and help military reservists keep their businesses afloat during and after deployment. An estimated 40 percent of reservists lose income when called up to active duty, and the rate is higher, 55 percent, for reservists who are self-employed. The Military Reservist and Veterans Small Business Reauthorization and Opportunity Act, H.R. 4253, strengthens federal efforts to expand opportunities for veteran-owned businesses, provides new small business loans, and expands outreach to veteran-owned small businesses. The bill passed with bipartisan support.