Rep. Arnold: Working on behalf of Hoosier veterans

Posted by: Peter Hoffman  | Tuesday, March 1, 2016

As a veteran of the Iraq War, I have always felt an obligation to bring attention and support to our state’s veterans. Working to ensure that those Hoosiers who honorably served our country are taken care of is a responsibility all of us as state representatives have. I co-authored two bills this session that would combat challenges our veterans face here in Indiana.

House Bill (HB) 1089 would hold our veteran’s services more accountable by requiring the Indiana Veteran’s Commission to submit an annual report to the governor and legislature about the welfare of our veterans. It allows decentralized assistance to these vets by employing county service officers while also giving city mayors the ability to appoint their own veteran service officers. These positions are very important because they engage the community and raise awareness of the programs available to veterans and military families.  The bill would also request a study committee on the work and effectiveness of these service officers. Their findings would help improve the assistance and support our local heroes deserve.

HB 1089 passed the House unanimously and is currently being heard in the Senate. I believe this bill would greatly improve the lives of veterans in our district, and across the state.

I also co-authored HB 1187, which makes “stolen valor,” or impersonating a veteran to acquire favor or free services illegal. Under this bill, if an individual fraudulently claims to be an active service military member or veteran in order to receive money, property or other benefits that another person or business confers upon active members or veterans, they would be charged with a Class A misdemeanor.

There is no excuse for those who selfishly take advantage of others by pretending to be veterans. This is not only fraud, but steals from the glory and accolades that only true heroes deserve. HB 1157 passed both the House and Senate unanimously and is heading to the governor.

As a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, I will continue to work on behalf of Hoosier veterans because it is crucial that we take care of those who dedicated their lives to serving our country and protecting our freedoms.

As always, please contact me with questions or input at (317) 232-9793 or by email at h74@iga.in.gov. I am eager to help and always appreciate hearing from you in order to better represent our district at the Statehouse. 

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Rep. Arnold (R-Leavenworth) represents portions of Spencer, Dubois, Perry, Crawford and Orange counties.