As Americans, it is important to honor our military service men and women who have made great sacrifices to defend our country’s freedom.
While we owe this debt of gratitude each and every day, Veterans Day provides a special opportunity each year to show our support for those individuals who have selflessly served our country.
The history of Veterans Day goes back to November 11, 1918, when a cease-fire between Allied nations and Germany marked the end the World War I. This event is known as the end of “the war to end all wars.” A year later, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 as the first Armistice Day to commemorate America’s fallen heroes and show gratitude for their ultimate sacrifice.
In Indiana, serving our nation is ingrained in our Hoosier heritage. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, there are more than 476,000 veterans living in Indiana.
During this year’s legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several measures to support our Hoosier veterans.
Senate Enrolled Act 295 opens the Military Family Relief Fund to any veteran of any national conflict or war who is also an Indiana resident, and a current or honorably discharged member of the armed forces or National Guard. Access to this fund, which helps veterans and their families with basic needs like food, housing and utilities, was previously limited to post-9/11 veterans.
Senate Enrolled Act 304 increases the assessed value limit for the state’s disabled veteran property-tax deduction from $143,000 to $175,000. This is estimated to allow approximately 3,300 more Hoosier veterans to claim the deduction, saving them about $1 million collectively.
House Enrolled Act 1312 allows veteran-owned businesses to register directly with the state of Indiana instead of the federal government. This registration helps veteran-owned businesses to receive greater consideration during the state’s contracting and procurement process.
As the General Assembly looks ahead to the 2017 session, we will continue to seek ways to help Hoosiers returning home after bravely serving our country.
May we never take our freedom – and the incredible sacrifices required to secure it – for granted. I hope you will join me this Veterans Day in thanking our American heroes.
As always, I welcome your thoughts and ideas concerning these and other topics. My office can be reached at 800-382-9467 or by email at Senator.Long@iga.in.gov.
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