I am a member of The Military Order of the Purple Heart.
There is a nationwide program that is called the Purple Heart Trail, and there is a wide volume of data about it on the Internet. I worked on getting it established in Alaska, and my work has produced results. But it would have been impossible without the help of those serving in Juneau.
Alaska will now be a part of the Purple Heart Trail system thanks to the combined efforts of our elected officials in Juneau.
Special thanks to those who helped me get the bills introduced (House Bill 283 and Senate Bill 216), they are Rep. Berta Gardner, D-Anchorage, and Sen. Johnny Ellis, D-Anchorage.
But sincere appreciation is also bestowed upon the many co-sponsors as well as the entire Juneau legislative body because the issue received support from all levels of our elected officials in Juneau. I know of no one who voted against it at any level including the various committees.
My point is this: I am one person who was persistent with a good and worthy cause to honor our deceased and wounded combat veterans. I did not have big business supporting me. I did not have a single lobbyist assisting me. I just had the understanding compassion of the Alaska legislative body helping me, and nothing could stop that caring and devoted group from accomplishing something very special.
All who know someone or are related to someone who was wounded or killed in combat need to thank that entire body. This will stand as visual testimony to how much Alaska truly cares about its wounded and deceased warriors.
Our Alaska legislators should be proud to know that they participated in a decent and compassionate cause for those who paid in blood for our nation's freedom.
Good things do happen in Juneau. All it takes is a good cause and legislators to listen, and their actions proved it. Collectively they got it done - all I did was lay it on their workbench.
I now ask for the good citizens of Juneau to do me a favor. When you see any state senator or any representative during your daily activities, shake their hand and tell them Ron from Anchorage said thanks!
I don't know how many bills have unanimous support from both the House and the Senate including all the committees, but this one did!
Oh, and one more thing, thanks.