Heading to Olympia. “Thank you for your service” comes easily to politicians.
The reality? Once there, behind closed doors veterans issues are an inconvenience to be tolerated and ignored if possible.
Military spending is critical to the Washington economy but the “boots on the ground” we are hearing is “downsizing.” Veterans face an economy unprepared to provide them with jobs, real jobs with a future and the dignity owed those who wore the uniform of this nation. Jan Angel understood the urgency and introduced House Bill 1615 “Providing A Business And Occupation Tax Credit For Businesses That Hire Unemployed Veterans.”
Who would argue with that? Unemployed veterans want jobs not a handout. Their work ethic is what employers seek. Everyone benefits.
What happened? It was “buried in committee.”
Behind closed doors in the political bowels of Olympia, one individual can dictate the demise of legislation. More often than not, the response to “funding for vets” is “the sound of silence.”
Like Darth Vader, legislators are draped with the cloak of anonymity protecting them from “going on the record” with votes against legislation desperately needed by Washington’s veterans.
No vote, no accountability. At fundraisers and photo-ops on the Capitol’s steps they can still mouth the phrase but Veterans Issues are not now, and have never been, their priority.
When Jan Angel says, “Thank you for your service” — she means it.
She is running for the Washington state Senate and has earned the veterans vote.
Frederick Scheffler | Bainbridge Island