In the State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee, on which I serve, we have led many pro-veteran initiatives. Veterans issues are and will remain among my top priorities. While recent discussions about the veterans home at the Brainerd Regional Human Services Center site in the Brainerd Dispatch’s Open Forum section have implied that I do not support veterans, I have a proven pro-veteran record. Of course I would like to put a veterans home at the Brainerd Regional Human Services Center site, however the information that has been presented to me indicates that the Department of Veterans Affairs wants to consider other options. It is their goal to use the resources our state has available to reach as many veterans as possible. If putting a veterans home in Brainerd doesn’t best serve veterans in greater Minnesota I don’t believe that we should be disenfranchising veterans as a whole because it would be a good political victory for the legislator who brought the project home, so to speak.
I didn’t get elected to the Minnesota State Senate to play politics with our veterans and will not make a political issue out those who have given so much to serve us. Whether a veterans home is in Brainerd or in another part of greater Minnesota, I trust Gen. Shellito, the commissioner of the Department of Veterans Affairs to make the best decision on behalf of all veterans.
Assistant Majority Leader