Just because Gov. Murkowski, Sen. Murkowski and her challenger, Mike Miller, support turning the Palmer Pioneers' Home into a Veterans' Home doesn't prove their dedication to veterans' concerns and well-being, as John Vowell suggested on June 8. How can one facility be enough to help all our senior vets across Alaska?
Vowell neglected to mention that former Gov. Knowles' Pioneers' and Veterans' Home bill, which remains in statute, recognizes all six Pioneers' Homes as state Veterans' Homes. Having that regional access is an important part of meeting our veterans' needs.
Vowell also forgot to mention that the Murkowski administration has offered to give the remaining five Pioneers' Homes away to any community that will take them. Interviewed on radio some months ago, the mayor of Sitka rightly expressed the concern that the administration is trying to unload a state responsibility onto the communities.
Do Frank and Lisa Murkowski support the needs of senior veterans? No way. Their plan means that most Alaska veterans still won't get the care and treatment they need. The Murkowskis are content doing the minimal amount to ensure their political protection. Tony Knowles supports veterans 100 percent.
Jim Kohn, Pioneers' Homes Director 1993-2003