The Edmond Sun

Opinion

November 6, 2012

Veterans Day 2012: Honoring all who served

EDMOND — For more than 200 years, brave men and women have worn the uniform of the U.S. military in order to defend our freedom. These heroes have answered our nation’s call and served with honor and dignity. In return for their service, they deserve our respect, our gratitude and our profound appreciation for their dedication and sacrifice. That’s why, at the Oklahoma Capitol, working for our veterans continues to be a top priority. We can never fully repay the debt of gratitude owed to our veterans, but we can continue to pursue policies that recognize and honor their service.

Honoring our veterans starts with making sure they are properly equipped to do their job. That’s why we have personally visited Oklahoma National Guard facilities and troops preparing for deployment to ensure they have the best equipment and training possible to successfully carry out their mission. Besides physical equipment and training, we’ve also worked to provide our soldiers and airmen with the spiritual support they need before deploying and putting themselves in harm’s way. To do that, we’ve worked to spearhead a successful campaign to raise $2 million in private funds to build the new Thunderbird Chapel at Camp Gruber, a base that previously had been without a house of worship for decades.

Of course, when our veterans return from service, we want to ensure they are able to return to their jobs or find a new one. That’s why the state launched OKJobMatch.com, a website to connect veterans and other job seekers directly with employers. The site is a comprehensive employment resource for veterans. We encourage employers looking for highly motivated, skilled and dependable employees to visit this website and hire a veteran!

We’ve also worked with the Legislature to make students and dependents of military personnel who are from Oklahoma but stationed outside the state eligible to receive in-state college tuition. These initiatives will help our brave veterans to seek opportunities for educational advancement and find good jobs in Oklahoma.

When veterans return home with physical or mental injuries, the state of Oklahoma has made a promise to care for them and help them get well. To support that goal, this year’s state budget included a $1 million increase for the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs to improve patient-to-staff ratios at the state’s veteran centers. The governor’s office also requested an audit of the ODVA and has tasked the War Veterans Commission with actively pursuing reforms to improve the quality of services at ODVA and at veterans centers in particular. These steps will help us ensure the state of Oklahoma is properly caring for our veterans and offering high quality services in the most efficient manner possible.

Sadly, when men and women put themselves in harm’s way to defend our nation, it’s inevitable not all of them will return. Oklahoma has lost 121 brave souls in wars since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Our nation is grateful for their service and grieves with their families for their loss. We promise the memory of these heroes and their sacrifices will not be forgotten. As we celebrate Veterans Day this November, we encourage all Oklahomans to remember and honor the great sacrifice of our fallen heroes, as well as the service of the more than 350,000 veterans living in our state today. Our veterans deserve nothing but the best, and that’s what we aim to give them.

GOV. MARY FALLIN may be reached via her website at http://www.ok.gov/governor/. Rita Aragon, an Edmond resident, is Oklahoma secretary of Veterans Affairs and a retired major general.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • RedBlueAmerica: Is parenting being criminalized in America?

    Debra Harrell was arrested recently after the McDonald’s employee let her daughter spend the day playing in a nearby park while she worked her shift. The South Carolina woman says her daughter had a cell phone in case of danger, and critics say that children once were given the independence to spend a few unsupervised hours in a park.
    Is it a crime to parent “free-range” kids? Does Harrell deserve her problems? Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuk, the RedBlueAmerica columnists, debate the issue.

    July 24, 2014

  • Technology that will stimulate journalism’s future is now here

    To say technology has changed the newspaper media industry is understating the obvious. While much discussion focuses on how we read the news, technology is changing the way we report the news. The image of a reporter showing up to a scene with a pen and a pad is iconic but lost to the vestiges of time.
    I am asked frequently about the future of newspapers and, in particular, what does a successful future look like. For journalists, to be successful is to command multiple technologies and share news with readers in new and exciting ways.

    July 23, 2014

  • New Orleans features its own “Running of the Bulls”

    On July12, the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans were filled with thousands of young men who were seeking to avoid being hit with plastic bats wielded by women on roller skates as part of the annual “Running of the Bulls” that takes place in New Orleans.
    The event is based on the “Running of the Bulls” that occurs in Pamplona, Spain, that is  part of an annual occurrence in which a group of bulls rampage through the streets of Pamplona while men run from them to avoid being gored by their sharp horns. That event was introduced to the English-speaking world by Ernest Hemingway, who included scenes from it in his critically acclaimed 1926 novel “The Sun also Rises.”

    July 22, 2014

  • OTHER VIEW: Newsday: Lapses on deadly diseases demand explanation

    When we heard that the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had created a potentially lethal safety risk by improperly sending deadly pathogens — like anthrax — to other laboratories around the country, our first reaction was disbelief.

    July 22, 2014

  • Holding government accountable for open meeting violations

    A few weeks ago I wrote about the recent success of three important government transparency proposals which will go into law this year.

    July 21, 2014

  • GUEST OPINION — Oklahoma GOP voters want educational choices

    A Braun Research survey released in January showed that Oklahoma voters — Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike — favor parental choice in education.

    July 21, 2014

  • HEY HINK: IRS interferes with citizens’ rights of free speech

    The patient is gravely ill. We have detected traces of a deadly venom in the bloodstream. We don’t know how widespread the poison is, but we know, if not counteracted, toxins of this kind can rot the patient’s vital organs and could ultimately prove fatal.

    July 19, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • RedBlueAmerica: What should the U.S. do about illegal immigrant children?

    The crisis along the southern U.S. border has politicians and immigration officials scrambling. More than 52,000 children, mostly from Central American nations, have arrived so far this year. The Department of Homeland Security is running out of space to hold them all.
    President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $3.7 billion in borrowed money from taxpayers to cover the growing “care, feeding and transportation costs of unaccompanied children and family groups” when our own veterans are not taken care of. Texas Gov. Rick Perry criticized the president’s plan, saying more money should go toward securing the border.

    July 17, 2014

  • VA scandal highlights the need to change Pentagon spending priorities

    The ongoing Department of Veterans Affairs scandal raises an important question: When our veterans are being denied access to basic health care, why is the Pentagon squandering billions of dollars on programs that do not benefit our military forces? Is there a link in organization attitudes?

    July 16, 2014

Poll

If the Republican runoff for the 5th District congressional seat were today, which candidate would you vote for?

Patrice Douglas
Steve Russell
Undecided
     View Results