Lest We Forgetby Michael Patrick Brewer on Jun. 02, 2010, under Media, Uncategorized, Veteran Legislative Update, Veterans Benefits, Veterans Global, Veterans' Spouses, Partners & Families
The Arizona Immigration Legislation has cast a long shadow over the working of our State. It’s merit will most likely find its own level. Since its enactment, I detect nothing in the MSM about the passing of the following very fine piece of legislation that is only being spoken of in small group conversations. Very few Veterans know of its passing. I guess it is just not sensational enough to garner attention.
The journalistic cliche marches on, “you cannot tell a story about- there was no plane wreck today.” Veterans affairs frequently fall into that column. Lip service on Holidays and then 360 days of dreary news.
I want to say thanks one last time for the effort and the assertiveness it took to get this bill passed. These college educated veterans are the ones who will be leading us out of the morass created by decades of political narcissism and phony polarities. They did not fight for that!
The following is the presentation made by David Alegria to the Arizona House of Representatives.
Arizona House Bill 2350 Purple Heart; Tuition Waiver Becomes Law
April 23, 2010
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed historic legislation granting tuition waivers to Veterans who
were awarded the Purple Heart Medal, are 50% or more disabled, were residents of Arizona or
stationed in Arizona when they were wounded, and are otherwise qualified to attend a State
Community College or University.
The passage of House bill 2350 is historic because this is the first bill that has been passed by the
Arizona State Legislature that provides a State benefit specific to Combat Wounded Veterans.
While every politician finds it politically correct to proclaim support for the military soldier and for
veterans’ issues, the Governor and the Arizona State Legislature bellied up to the table and showed
their support in a concrete manner. The law now requires all State Community Colleges and
Universities to waive the tuition for all veterans meeting the criteria of this law.
In the forefront of this historic event was State Senator Frank Antenori. Senator Antenori introduced
the legislation as a member of the Arizona House of Representatives prior to his appointment to the
Arizona State Senate. Senator Antenori is a Gulf War Veteran and the leading advocate in the
Arizona Legislature for issues affecting members of the military and veterans. Military Order of the
Purple Heart Commander of the Tucson Chapter, David Alegria was the lone member of veterans
organization providing testimony before the House Education Committee and the Senate Committee
on Veterans and Military Affairs. There was not one vote cast by any legislator against this bill
during the committee hearings and roll call votes in both Chambers of the Arizona State Legislature.
Governor Jan Brewer, a staunch supporter of veterans issues, signed the bill into law without
The passage of House Bill 2350 is important for a number of reasons:
• Combat Wounded Veterans are having a difficult time collecting on the much promised
education benefits of the NEW G.!. Bill. The Veterans Administration says it is doing
the best it can, but processing problems still remain. Some of these veterans have
mobility issues due to their injuries and find it difficult to chase after the VA. Others,
just don’t want to take up another fight. Most of these veterans are part-time patients,
spending most of their free time at the veterans administration hospital clinics.
• Combat Wounded Veterans having difficult financial hardships will use the proceeds of
the NEW G.1. Bill to help house and feed their families. They then pay for their
education by taking out student loans.
• The NEW G.1. Bill permits veterans to transfer their education benefit to one of their
dependents. So far, 100,000 veterans have transferred their G.I Bill education benefits
to dependents. These wounded warriors are still looking out for others before
Our student veterans deserve this benefit and the State of Arizona has stepped up and provided the
necessary assistance. All of these veterans already paid for this benefit with their blood in some far
House Bill 2350: Purple Heart; Tuition Waiver
Tucson Citizen Article by Blogger/Writer Mike Brewer