This week, we observed Veterans Day — one of the most significant holidays each and every year across this great nation. On this occasion, we pay our respects to those who have served, and we stand united behind our veterans and their families.
In recent years, my colleagues and I have fought to honor these courageous men and women who have made tremendous sacrifices to protect our freedom by creating new educational and private employment opportunities for them. We have also reduced the amount of property tax owed by our veterans, and we have recently created a monument to honor America’s Prisoners of War (POW) and those Missing in Action (MIA).
As part of the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget, we allocated $363,000 to fund five new veterans’ resources coordinator positions within our Department of Veterans Services. These positions will be stationed across Tennessee to better assist our veterans in securing critical resources needed to achieve successful futures.
We also removed burdensome licensing regulations for our armed service members and their spouses, and provided a 60-day grace period to active duty military personnel stationed outside of Tennessee to renew their handgun carry permit when they return home.
Additionally, we reduced recreational fees at state parks for our 100 percent service-connected disabled veterans. Finally, we authorized military and memorial vehicle license plates to be personalized at no cost to the courageous men and women who defend our flag and our many freedoms.
For 244 years, the United States has served as a beacon of hope for civilizations around the world because of the sacrifices made by generations of our military heroes. Their courage, honor, and the dignity with which they have served this country deserve our respect and admiration.
On Veterans Day, and every day, we should all be inspired by our veterans, our military members and their families to fight for the betterment of Tennessee and the United States. I am proud to stand with our veterans, our military service members and their families, and I will never stop fighting for the men and women whose selfless sacrifices and lasting contributions have made this country the greatest this world has ever seen.
God bless these important groups, our great state, and the United States — on Veterans Day and the remaining 364 days each year.
William Lamberth is the House Majority Leader for the 111th Tennessee General Assembly. He is also a member of the House Finance, House Government Operations, and House Calendar & Rules Committees, as well as the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee. Lamberth lives in Portland and represents Tennessee House District 44, which includes part of Sumner County.