Legislative column: Taking pride in our military

This week in the West Virginia Senate we were honored to have visit on Monday a large group of West Virginian military veterans during Veteran Visibility Day at the Legislature.

Veterans Visibility Day was recognized by the Senate upon adoption of Senate Resolution 31. Among the veterans there to accept the resolution, World War II Medal of Honor recipient Woody Williams, one of seven living Medal of Honor recipients from World War II, was in attendance.

The resolution designating February 17, 2014, as Veterans Visibility Day stated that since the Revolutionary War, which gave America its identity as a free and democratic nation, to this moment, America’s men and women have always risen to the call of duty in order to defend and preserve our freedom and help maintain freedom throughout the world.

As we often quote, West Virginia has sent more of its citizens, per capita, to serve in our nation’s armed forces than from any other state. We are extremely proud of all of our citizens who, despite danger, have done what they must for peace and freedom. Through wars, conflicts and the threat of terror, thousands of West Virginians have paid the ultimate price for freedom with their lives and thousands more have been wounded in battle and returned with the scars of war.

The Senate was and is every day proud to honor those currently serving in harm’s way in Iraq, Afghanistan and in other countries all over the world to protect democracy from the threat of terror and we recognize just how important it is that we honor the many brave West Virginians who have faced the enemy, been wounded and even given their lives not only for our freedom, but for freedom around the world.

One bill will be discussed for passage this week which relates to the Military and Military Affairs. Senate Bill 315 would clarify the use of certain funds under Military Authority Act.

This bill expands the list of entities that the West Virginia Military Authority has the power to accept and use funds from to include any state, U.S. territory or the District of Columbia and their agencies.

This would broaden the ability of this entity to accept and use more funds for the betterment of all citizens in West Virginia for whom the West Virginia Military Authority oversees through its various programs and mechanisms.

I am proud to be the vice chair of the Military Committee in the West Virginia Senate and through my service here and my own experiences with the United States Army Reserves, hope we honor all these honorable men and women representing a storied history West Virginian military involvement.

If you should have any questions or comments regarding any issues on any other pieces of legislation when they come before the Legislature, please contact me at my Charleston office. My address is: Senator Jack Yost, State Capitol Complex, Building 1, Room 214W, Charleston, WV 25305. My telephone number is (304) 357-7984 and my secretary is Wanda Casto. When calling the toll free number 1-877-565-3447, ask to be transferred. I encourage my constituents to remain active and part of the legislative process. I look forward to hearing from you.

(Yost, a Democrat from Wellsburg, represents the 1st Senatorial District in the West Virginia Legislature)