Blaine's Bulletin: Veterans Day 2023

Tomorrow is Veterans Day, an important commemoration of our servicemembers. It is a day of mixed emotions, spanning pride for our country’s heroes as well as mourning for their sacrifices. I implore you to take at least a moment to recognize and appreciate the selfless contributions brave men and women of the armed forces have made for our nation. 

At a time when global conflict surrounds us, the luxury of protection from the world’s greatest fighting force is top of mind. Unfortunately, some soldiers return from one fight only to find another at home. Whether they are starting a post-military career or struggling with their mental health, veterans deserve support from welcoming and grateful communities.  

There are more than 400,000 veterans living in Missouri. These are heroes who served in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan in the War on Terror, and in posts across the globe to keep us out of harm’s way. If presented with the opportunity, please thank them for their service and consider how you can help them out. It may be as simple as directing veterans you know to available services. 

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers many resources including health care, counseling, and support for veterans entering the workforce following their service. Of course, no government agency is perfect, so my office is here to act as a liaison between veterans living in the Third District and the VA should you or a veteran you know run into an issue. Please don’t hesitate to give my office a call – we’re here to advocate for you. 

The Missouri Department of Public Safety Veterans Commission is another place to turn for assistance with things like benefits, connecting with your local military community and enrolling in VA health care. A list of helpful resources can be found on their website,  

Getting involved with the local American Legion is another way for interested veterans to get involved and meet with Missourians who may have shared similar experiences. More information can be found on their website,  

Still, there is plenty of work Congress must do to ensure veterans receive the support and benefits to which they’re entitled.  

Last summer, I introduced House Resolution 612, directing Congress to refrain from imposing additional fees or costs on benefits earned through military service. We owe our veterans support, gratitude, and at the very least, the financial benefits they’ve earned through their years of service. Applying additional fees impedes the purpose of helping to level the playing field for service members who missed opportunities to save, pursue college, or otherwise get ahead professionally and financially. 

Veterans often return home to continue serving their communities as small business owners. The military creates opportunities to acquire skills and instills the grit required to be an entrepreneur.  

Recently, I began sending out a monthly Made in the 3rd Small Business Spotlight to highlight local entrepreneurs. Tomorrow, subscribers to my email updates will get to read about U.S. Air Force veteran Mike Hunsberger of St. Charles, Missouri. Mike owns and operates his own business helping veterans with their finances.  

I hope you all have a safe and relaxing weekend, but please consider the purpose of the holiday and join me in thanking a veteran. We owe everything to the brave men and women who selflessly stood up to defend our freedom and prosperity.

CONTACT US: I encourage you to visit my official website or call my offices in Jefferson City (573-635-7232) or Cottleville (636-327-7055) with your questions and concerns. If you want even greater access to what I am working on, please visit my YouTube site, and Facebook page, and keep up-to-date with Twitter and Instagram.