As politicians head to Olympia, “Thank you for your service” comes easily.
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 real jobs with a future and the dignity owed to those who wore the uniform of this nation.
Rep. 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 sounds of silence.
Like Darth Vader, legislators are draped with the cloak of anonymity that protects them from “going on the record” with votes against legislation that’s desperately needed by Washington’s veterans.
No vote equals no accountability.
At fundraisers and photo-ops on the capitol steps, they can still mouth the phrase, but veterans’ issues are not now, and have never been, their priority.
When Angel says “thank you for your service,” she means it. She is running for the state Senate and has earned the veterans’ vote.