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
  • Welfare state grows as self-sufficiency declines

    For the past 50 years, the government’s annual poverty rate has hardly changed at all. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 15 percent of Americans still live in poverty, roughly the same rate as the mid-1960s when the War on Poverty was just starting.
    After adjusting for inflation, federal and state welfare spending today is 16 times greater than it was when President Lyndon B. Johnson launched the War on Poverty. If converted into cash, current means-tested spending is five times the amount needed to eliminate all official poverty in the U.S.
    How can the government spend so much while poverty remains unchanged? The answer is simple: The Census Bureau’s “poverty” figures are woefully incomplete.

    August 1, 2014

  • Let laughter reign in Turkey

    This week, Bulent Arinc, the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, verbally chastised Turkish women for laughing in public. Before we take a closer look at these remarks — in the interest of full disclosure — I need to confess a personal bias. I love to hear my wife’s laughter. Sometimes, when I review the day’s highlights, the most pleasant thing that comes to mind is her laugh — it’s frequent, genuine, pleasantly-pitched, melodious, appropriately timed, infectious and charming.

    August 1, 2014

  • Is English getting dissed?

    Is the English language being massacred by the young, the linguistically untidy and anyone who uses the Internet? Absolutely.
    Is that anything new? Hardly.
    Many words and expressions in common parlance today would have raised the hackles of language scolds in the not-so-distant past. For evidence, let’s look at some examples from recent newspaper articles.

    July 31, 2014

  • 'Too big to fail' equals 'too eager to borrow'

    Four years ago this month, President Barack Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Act into law, promising that the 848-page financial law would “put a stop to taxpayer bailouts once and for all,” he said. But recently, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren told a Detroit crowd that “the biggest banks are even bigger than they were when they got too big to fail in 2008.”
    Who’s right?

    July 30, 2014

  • Sheltons travel for better life for family

    Some time around 1865 a mixed-race African American couple, William and Mary Shelton, made their way from Mississippi to east Texas. Nothing is known for certain of their origins in he Magnolia state, or the circumstances under which they began their new lives in Texas.

    July 29, 2014

  • Film critic Turan produces book

    Kenneth Turan, who is the film critic for National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition,” has written a book “Not to be Missed, Fifty-Four Favorites from a Life Time of Film.” His list of movies span the gamut from the beginnings of filmmaking through the present day.
    There are some surprising omissions on his list. While he includes two films, “A Touch of Evil” and Chimes at Midnight” made by Orson Welles, and one, “The Third Man,” that Welles starred in but did not direct. He did not however, include “Citizen Kane,” that was the first movie Welles made, that is  often cited by both film critics and historians as a favorite film.

    July 28, 2014

  • Logan County’s disputed zone

    Watchers of “Star Trek” may recall the episode from the original series entitled, “Day of the Dove.” In this episode, Captain Kirk and his crew are forced by a series of circumstances into a confrontation with the Klingons. The conflict eventually resolves after Kirk realizes that the circumstances have been intentionally designed by an alien force which feeds off negative emotions, especially fear and anger. Kirk and his crew communicate this fact to the Klingons and the conflict subsides. No longer feeding upon confrontation, the alien force is weakened and successfully driven away.

    July 28, 2014

  • Russell leads in Sun poll

    Polling results of an unscientific poll at www.edmondsun.com show that Steve Russell, GOP candidate for the 5th District congressional seat, is in the lead with 57 percent of the vote ahead of the Aug. 26 runoff election. Thirty readers participated in the online poll.

    July 28, 2014

  • Healthier and Wealthier? Not in Oklahoma

    Increased copays, decreased coverage, diminished health care access, reduced provider budgets and increased frustration are all the outcomes of the Legislature’s 2014 health care funding decisions. Unlike some years in the past when a languishing state economy forced legislators into making cuts, the undesirable outcomes this year could easily have been avoided.

    July 26, 2014

  • Medicaid reform a necessity

    Historically, education spending by the state of Oklahoma has been the largest budget item. This is no longer the case. In recent years, the state of Oklahoma spends more on Medicaid (operated by the Oklahoma Health Care Authority) than common education and higher education combined, according to the state’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report.

    July 25, 2014

Poll

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
Undecided
     View Results