Nothing more basic

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Monday, May 20, 2002

We appreciate the respect brought to veterans by naming bridges in their honor. However, nothing is more basic than shelter and the Legislature needs to pass our top priority, the Pioneers' and Veterans' Home bill.

The veterans mortgage loan bond package is of great help for veterans but it is simply the continuation of an existing program, costs the state nothing, and ultimately rests in the hands of voters. The $125,000 memorial endowment was easy because the other half the funds have already been donated by public and private sources.

The Alaska Veterans Advisory Council bill is essential because the Council is the starting point for much of the good veterans' legislation proposed and thankfully passed by legislators. The council provides a good interface between all of Alaska's veterans and state government.

As far as the Pioneers' and Veterans' Home bill, Rep. Coghill and others are calling this a political bill. For their information, the American Legion's national constitution states we shall be absolutely nonpolitical and shall not be used for the dissemination of partisan principles.

The DAV, VFW and Legion are supporting this bill because of the good it will do for veterans in need. It is not a political bill in our eyes. If those House members who believe this would move to pass the bill by unanimous vote as the Senate did, then all parties should benefit and the veterans would receive a small part of the benefits Alaska owes them."

Dean Hill

Department Adjutant

The American Legion

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