Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 10, 2015
Sen. Frank Simpson
Senate approves measures to help Oklahoma veterans
On Tuesday, the Senate passed two bills to provide
more services for Oklahoma veterans and their families. Senate Bills
398 and 713 seek to help veterans both living and deceased. Sen.
Frank Simpson, a retired Navy veteran and chairman of the Senate
Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, is the author of the measures.
“The federal V.A. has dropped the ball when it comes to looking
out for our veterans. They’re not receiving the help they
need financially, emotionally, mentally or physically,” said
Simpson, R-Springer. “We have so many veterans who are unemployed,
homeless, struggling with addiction and so many other issues from
the trauma they suffered while serving their country. Even worse,
we have homeless veterans dying who aren’t getting a proper
burial. Our veterans deserve to be treated with more dignity while
alive and after they’ve passed by their government for whom
they have given so much.”
SB 398 would require the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs
(ODVA) to establish a program to provide assistance for a proper
burial for homeless or indigent honorably discharged veterans. The
program would aid in obtaining any available burial benefits from
the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or through private organizations.
The program would also provide a burial grant for any indigent veteran
or anyone who qualifies for financial assistance as determined by
SB 713 would allow for the establishment of veteran drop-in centers
around the state to provide counseling, job placement and family
services for Oklahoma veterans. The centers would be jointly administered
by the ODVA and the state Department of Mental Health. Nonprofits,
with expertise in assisting veterans, would be allowed to apply
to provide services at the centers.
Both measures received unanimous approval from the Senate and will
next be considered by the House.
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