I love and respect all of my fellow veterans as only one who has served can truly appreciate those who have made the same sacrifices for America and our loved ones. To every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Coast Guardsman, & Marine, I express my heartfelt thanks for your demonstrated patriotism and your service to our great country. God bless you for preserving our great country and protecting all Americans.
I am a member of the American Legion, a life member of the Disabled American Veterans, and a life member of the Fleet Reserve Association. I believe there are many things that our state can do to respect the service and sacrifices of our veterans and that not enough is done to help our veterans return to South Dakota without the disadvantages currently associated with having left the state to serve our country.
I currently support the South Dakota Veterans Council legislation agenda to:
Require Honorable discharge qualifications for Director and employees of Division of Veterans Affairs and for county/tribal veterans service officers.
Support Veterans Preference in public, state, and federal employment.
and, I conditionally support their legislative agenda to:
Create a Department of Veterans Affairs and conduct studies of an East-side State Veterans Home and state and national cemeteries in South Dakota as long as we can do so by streamlining current programs and government agencies and utilizing volunteers from our Veterans Service Organizations.
I believe that legislation is needed to provide tax benefits to veterans serving or returning home to South Dakota as well as expand current veteran preference legislation to provide for the realities of military service and the difficulties in transitioning from a military contract to returning home.
Currently many South Dakotans serving a career in the military end up retiring in other states due to the benefit of retiring around a military base and taking advantage of their retiree benefits to be able to shop aboard military bases and receive medical care at military hospitals. As a result of only having Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota misses out on many of our loved ones, and other veterans, coming home to South Dakota. This separates families, and denies South Dakota of the wealth of their experience and the stability of their steady retirement income. We need to change that by making our state the most veteran friendly state possible, which will help with tourism, and allow us to fulfill our duties to those who have borne the burden of freedom...