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Press Release

October 23, 2012

No. 11-21

Mokie Porter
301-585-4000, Ext. 146

Alaska's Wielechowski Named
VVA "State Legislator of the Year" 

(Washington, D.C.)--Alaska State Senator Bill Wielechowski, a strong supporter for veterans as well as active duty military, has been named "State Legislator of the Year" by Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA).

"As Co-Chair of the Joint Armed Services Committee for six years, Senator Wielechowski has worked tirelessly to ensure veterans and service members and their families have a voice. Through his committee, he has continued to initiate town hall meetings and listen to military and veteran groups to ensure there is support for our veterans, service members, and their families. "As a result, he is the best-informed member of our State Legislature on active service and veterans issues," said Ric Davidge, President of VVA Chapter 904 and Chairman of VVA's national Government Affairs Committee.
"Senator Wielechowski and his staff put out a call in advance for any legislative issues veterans or service members would like to have considered. Then we all work together to outline, craft and prune these items into a group of bills that are defensible as well as politically doable.
"As a result, Bill Wielechowski has taken our ideas, and he has initiated and passed more veteran and service member issue-related legislation and budget items in the last 6 years than any other member of the Alaska State Legislature," Davidge said.

Recent legislation includes a bill that ensures that service members who make the ultimate sacrifice are ensured that their remains will be disposed of by the person of their choosing; and a bill that provides for a $2,000 corporate income tax credit for each unemployed veteran hired by a business -- $3,000 for a veteran who is disabled, and with a separate provision allowing the Division of Motor Vehicles to add "VETERAN" to the front of state driver's licenses and state ID's, making them a statewide universal veterans ID.

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is “Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”


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