Honoring Our Veterans

Kraus - Statement - 031213

Legislative Column for the Week of Nov. 2, 2015

Honoring Our Veterans

Nov. 11 is Veterans Day, a holiday we should all view as an opportunity to honor the men and women who have given so much in service to their country. Since the founding of our nation, brave men and women have made tremendous sacrifices to keep America safe and free. Our veterans have risked their lives and missed Thanksgivings and Christmases with their families. They must often relocate as they are stationed around the country and the world.

Many have sacrificed their physical and mental health, and faced hardships as they returned to civilian life. Some have even given their lives. It is because our veterans were willing to make these great sacrifices that we are able to live in a safe and free United States. Every citizen’s debt to veterans is great, and we should take this opportunity to sincerely show our gratitude for all they have done for us and our country.

Originally known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day was first recognized by President Woodrow Wilson in order to commemorate the end of combat in World War I. It was declared a nationwide legal holiday in 1938, and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 following World War II and the Korean War in order to honor veterans of all American conflicts. Today it is celebrated as a way to honor and thank all those who have dutifully served our country.

As a veteran who served overseas in Iraq, creating policies to assist military members and veterans has always been a priority of mine in the Legislature, and I am proud that I have introduced several successful policies regarding veterans in past years. I believe these pieces of legislation are the least I can do to recognize and honor the great sacrifices these men and women have made.

A major success was Senate Bill 118, which became law in 2013, establishing and structuring Veteran Treatment Courts. These courts are aimed at rehabilitating veteran offenders by offering assistance with problems common to veterans. Other successful policies I’ve introduced in the last two years include making it easier for deployed military members to vote, allowing the children of military members to remain in a school district with another relative if the parent is stationed out of state, and helping veterans receive in-state tuition at Missouri colleges. I intend to push for veteran-friendly policies in the upcoming legislative session as well.

I sincerely want to thank any veterans reading this for their inspiring service. Without men and women like you, our country and our lives would not be what they are today. This Veterans Day, I encourage everyone to take the time to attend a special ceremony, complete a service project or personally thank the veterans they know. I sincerely hope we can all remember our appreciation and gratitude for veterans, not just on Nov. 11, but throughout the entire year. These men and women deserve it.

Veterans Day Deals

Many restaurants and retailers offer discounts and free items for veterans on Veterans Day. Most establishments require a military ID or proof of service, and offers vary by location. You can view a list Veterans Day discounts athttp://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts/.