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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.

Letter to the editor: Invest in veterans

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Friday, March 03, 2017 05:01 am
Our Hoosier veteran service organizations are attempting to convey the value of veterans in Indiana. A veteran scratch-off lottery ticket became a funding source idea after organizations were unsuccessful to accrue additional appropriated program funding. Many Hoosiers are sure to support this lottery ticket in a big way as they did for our vehicle license plates. Unfortunately we were told there was a contractual issue with creating a new ticket for veterans, we thought that was resolved, they retracted, but we are now being told the same thing again.

Three bills centered on using this funding mechanism; HB1508, SB517, and SB454. House Bill 1508 passed Public Policy Committee then died in Ways & Means Committee. Senate Bill 454 passed Veterans Affairs, and then parts were merged into SB517 in Tax & Fiscal Policy. Senate Bill 517 was significantly changed in Tax & Fiscal Policy committee in key areas without cause; after veteran organizations unanimously agreed what revenue percentages should be specified. We will no longer be marginalized.

Compensated and pensioned Hoosier veterans contribute approximately $1.3 billion into Indiana annually through federal benefits. This creates tens-and-tens of millions of tax revenue dollars. We need to rehabilitate Veterans and help those suffering TBI and PTSD, increase outreach with county veteran service officers working for veterans, and eliminate veteran homelessness.

It’s all about priorities, and our priority is service to veterans and their families. We will never quit, or leave our brothers and sisters behind.

Big Four Committee: 

Jerry Blake, State Commander, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Department of Indiana, Big Four Committee Chairman

James May, State Commander, The American Legion, Department of Indiana

Jerry Fivecoate, State Commander, Disabled American Veterans, Department of Indiana

Randy Rouse, State Commander, AMVETS, Department of Indiana

Ron Martin, Chairman,

The Military / Veterans Coalition of Indiana

Lori Turpin, President,

Indiana Veteran Service Officers Association


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