SHARECOMMENTMORE

U.S. Sens. Lamar Alexander and John McCain participated in a Purple Heart ceremony at Fort Campbell on Sunday.

McCain, an Arizona Republican and five-term senator, awarded the Purple Heart to Capt. Perry S. Cloud, who was wounded in Afghanistan.

"The men and women serving at Fort Campbell demonstrate every day the unwavering dedication and professionalism of ourarmed forces," McCain said. "I was deeply impressed and inspired to spend time with our men and women in uniform, who represent our nation's finest."

The two lawmakers also toured the military base and were briefed by Brig. Gen. Mark Stammer. Their trip was in advance of the Senate's consideration of the 2014 Defense Authorization Act, which would fund military pay and benefits along with weapons programs.

"The National Defense Authorization Act is the most important legislation affecting themilitary, and this visit gives Senator McCain and me firsthand information about Fort Campbell's most pressing needs," Alexander said. "We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have worn the uniform of our armed services that we couldn't possibly repay, and it was an honor to be reminded of the bravery and the sacrifice of our soldiers."