First, I am a veteran, but that does not mean I speak for all veterans. Similar to the general American population, each American soldier, sailor, marine and airman retains their own ideology. So I say again, I do not speak for all veterans.
In 2007, Representative Bob Nance (Republican, 36th Legislative District) co-sponsored HB 916. HB 916 gives a, two-tenths of one cent tax exemption to veterans whom purchase bingo cards. This bill, and others like it, diverts the attention of policy makers that have the ability to produce quality legislation, at no expense to tax payers, enabling veterans to call Missouri home.
In 2008, Mr. Nance voted in favor of HJR 71, producing a constitutional amendment that provides nothing for veterans at the expense of Missouri citizens. Another tax Missourians can ill afford to produce another level of bureaucracy veterans don’t need and don’t want. The tax also funds services that already have existing funding. When Mr. Nance and the Missouri Republican Party produce more red tape for veteran legislation at the expense of Missouri families, they are doing an injustice to both. Furthermore, Mr. Nance is diverting attention from the real problems veterans in Missouri face: Joblessness and homelessness. So, when Mr. Nance voted in favor of HJR 71, he voted against veterans and families.
Mr. Nance’s judgment concerning veterans’ affairs lacks common sense and fails to produce actionable objectives that enable veterans to settle down and spend millions of federal dollars in a struggling Missouri economy.
Now, here is an example of substantive veteran legislation. In 2010, Representative Rochelle Walton Gray (Democrat, 81st Legislative District) presented HCR 7. In a courteous display of quality judgment, Mrs. Gray described how women have increasingly and heroically answered the call to duty while receiving treatment at home that is unequal to their male counterparts. She described how the unemployment rate of female veterans is double that of the general population and how the bitter constraints of homelessness has inflicted so many of my female companions. At no expense to the taxpayers (I say again, no expense to the taxpayers), Mrs. Gray’s HCR 7 instructs and leads coordination efforts between existing state and federal entities in order to honor and assist Missouri’s female veterans during the critical moment they return home.
As a supposed leader and senior member of the Missouri House of Representatives, Mr. Nance should be involved in expediting HCR 7. Of course, he is not.
The last thing veterans want is to burden the people they have sworn to serve and protect. Our oath to the people and the constitution never ends, whether we are retained in the service or not. Mr. Nance wishes to burden his constituents with additional taxes in order to provide veterans with services that will simply never work or are not needed.
In September 2010, I personally reached out to Mr. Nance with legislative ideas to improve the retention of veterans in Missouri. One of the ideas was to improve the certification standards for veterans when they seek to cross-level their military skill craft to civilian employment. This would cost tax payers nothing, assist veterans during the critical moment and save employers (public and private) millions of dollars in training time and efficiency. That does not include the millions of dollars worth of federally mandated programs that the veteran carries in his or her kit bag that will be spent in a struggling Missouri economy. I was ignored by Mr. Nance.
No problem. Thanks to Mr. Nance I now save a penny on a game of bingo.