Read Bob's comprehensive
Veteran Policy here:
Below is the condensed version
that you can use for letters to the editor, dissemination at VSO's and when going door to door or addressing folks in general:
Bob McDonnell: A Veteran Listening To and
Looking Out for our Military, our Veterans, and their Families
“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.”
~ George Washington, 1789
These sentiments apply just as strongly today as they did at the founding of our nation. For Bob McDonnell, a veteran himself, there is no greater obligation of a nation than support for the military, veterans, their families, and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Appoint a Senior Advisor to the Governor for the Military Community and Dependent Affairs
To further support our active duty military and to strengthen relations with the military community, Bob McDonnell will designate a member of his Cabinet with the responsibility to be the Senior Advisor for Active Duty Military Community and Dependent Affairs. This individual will report directly to the Governor on all matters pertaining to the military community.
Protect Department of Defense Assets in Virginia
The McDonnell administration will be proactive in identifying the appropriate strategies to retain the military and federal facilities located in Virginia and to identify operations and facilities that can locate and grow in Virginia. By Executive order, Bob McDonnell will assemble the most knowledgeable and capable advocates with the proven experience and relationships necessary to assist Virginia in this endeavor. We will make all of the resources of the Commonwealth available to reinvigorate this effort and will place high priority on these initiatives.
Establish a Virginia Compact with Veterans
On the first day of his administration, Bob McDonnell will designate representatives from the five boards and committees dedicated to veterans’ issues, including the JLC, and both Houses of the General Assembly to come together as an advisory group to recommend a Virginia Compact with Veterans to guarantee that Virginia leads the nation in its respect for service men and women, veterans, and their families. This compact will serve as a long term vision and commitment to make Virginia the friendliest state for veterans and their families.
Automated Claims Processing System
Bob McDonnell will work with members of the General Assembly to make this pilot software program permanent and fully implement the program statewide. Federal funds should be available to begin implementing a paperless claim processing system, and Bob McDonnell will aggressively seek support from the federal government for this program.
Statewide Coordinated Effort to Help Military Vets Find Jobs
As Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell will put additional resources toward helping our returning veterans obtain employment here in Virginia. He will consolidate existing efforts into one focused and effective effort and host an employment web site to match employers to our discharging service members. He will implement state hiring incentives for veterans, particularly disabled veterans applying for jobs, similar to those currently provided for federal employment. Bob will work with our colleges and universities to create college admission policies that will recognize our guard, reserve, and honorable discharged veteran’s service to our nation. Finally, Bob McDonnell will propose legislation to waive administrative fees for permits and applications for small business start ups by qualifying veterans.
Homeless Veteran’s Initiative
Bob McDonnell will assess and act on the veteran homelessness review being conducted by JLARC at the request of Delegate Kirk Cox. The Commonwealth will examine the current level of services provided to homeless vets in Virginia, identify gaps in service, and evaluate the need for and costs of additional services. Building upon the success in other areas, such as San Diego, Virginia will engage in a proactive Homeless Vet program and explore how Virginia can pursue federal grant money and work with the private sector to see that these veterans are provided for.
Continuation of the Wall of Honor
As Governor, Bob McDonnell will continue the tradition of the Wall of Honor by making the Thursday preceding Memorial Day an official statewide Day of Remembrance. The Wall of Honor ceremony will take place on this day and the wall will continue to be updated to honor those Virginians who have died in the Global War on Terrorism. Bob will also work closely with the Virginia War Memorial Board of Trustees to ensure that all the names of Virginia’s fallen will be enshrined at the Virginia War Memorial and continue to support their work in honoring our service members.
Burial Vault Funding for Virginia State Veteran’s Cemeteries
Bob McDonnell will pursue federal funds and other solutions to ensure that Virginia veterans and eligible family members are provided for in the same manner as in national cemeteries.
Real estate tax relief for disabled vets
This past General Assembly session, legislation Chief Co-Patroned by Republican Delegates John O’Bannon (R-Henrico) and Scott Lingamfelter (R-Prince William and Fauquier) passed that would amend the Virginia Constitution to require local governments to grant real estate exemptions for 100% disabled veterans. As Governor, Bob McDonnell will proactively support this legislation in the 2010 session and during the general election.
Support the Virginia Wounded Warrior Program
The establishment of this program to aid with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) was a true bipartisan effort. The legislation authorized about a $4.5 million program for two years. Bob McDonnell is concerned about our veterans returning from war with PTSD and TBI and will support the continuation of this program.
Honor and Remember Flag
Legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives to designate the Honor and Remember Flag as an official symbol to recognize and honor members of the Armed Forces who died in the line of duty. Congressman Randy Forbes introduced the legislation in February of 2009. As Governor, Bob McDonnell will propose similar legislation to the Virginia General Assembly to establish the Honor and Remember Flag as the official flag to remember Virginians killed in the line of duty.