As a member of the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, I talked Tuesday for about half an hour with board members of the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund, who were meeting all day at American Legion Post 165 in Midland, of which I'm a member.
Each member of the board by law must be a veteran, and there are designated seats representing the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and a rotating seat representing the Marine Corps League, Disabled American Veterans, and other military service organizations.
(The chairman of the board, John James, is a former Apache attack helicopter pilot who spent two years in Iraq. When I told him I spent five years with a III-V platoon -- whose mission was to arm and fuel Apaches -- he lit up and said how much he appreciated the ground support guys. And we both trained at Fort Hood, Texas.)
The board considers and approves grants in excess of $1,500 from the taxpayer-financed trust fund for veterans in need of temporary financial help. Later in the day, the board conducted training for local volunteers from throughout the state who approve grants of less than $1,500.
The board also shared their thoughts about pending legislation to expand the eligibility for such grants to all veterans instead of only for those who served 180 days or more on active duty during a period of armed conflict.
Thanks to these veterans who volunteer their time and service (again) to give temporary assistance to our fellow veterans.