Mr. Kohn's letter on June 18 is factually incorrect. After Mr. Kohn's 10-plus years as Pioneer Home director (1993-2003) and at the conclusion of the Knowles administration, Alaska did not have a Veterans' Home nor could any veteran access veterans' home benefits in Alaska.
On June 15, 2004, Gov. Murkowski, at the Palmer Pioneer's Home, signed Senate Bill 301, designating the conversion to Alaska State Veterans' Home. This Veterans' Home was supported by Alaska veterans organizations such as the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans and the Veterans of Foreign Wars. They supported it because Alaska did not have a Veterans' Home. The State Veterans' Advisory Council unanimously supported the State Veterans' Home in Palmer. Gov. Murkowski made this happen because he supports veterans' needs.
Until June 2004, of the 50 states, only Alaska did not have a Veterans' Home. (Hawaii's is under construction.) Additionally, not one veteran had ever received VA state home care benefits in Alaska. The above is fact.
The Alaska State Veterans' Home is a reality because Gov. Frank Murkowski and Sen. Lisa Murkowski worked cooperatively with the federal Department of Veterans' Affairs and state veterans' organizations to support Alaska veterans 100 percent. Alaska veterans deserve the best and Gov. Murkowski is making it happen.
Alaska State Veterans' Affairs Coordinator