A contrarian view on Issue 1

Issue 1 is a vote to add a Constitutional Amendment to issue $200 million in debt to pay veterans for their service in Afghanistan and Iraq. I’m a veteran, and highly supportive of veterans issues- but, doing this because we’ve done if for vets from WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do now.

Here’s why. In those other conflicts- the people we were rewarding were conscripts, draftees. They were uprooted from their lives to go serve, whether they wanted to, or not.

The current military is all volunteer. It’s a career choice, and one where we’re already paying large bonuses for reenlistment and for serving. Granted, there is no amount of money that can adequately reward these troops for their duty- but, it is a different situation.

The real way Ohio could honor and reward our veterans is doing something the current legislature refuses to do: recognize veteran owned businesses and especially service disabled veteran-owned businesses as a preferred class when competing for State work. Ohio has nothing on the books or in the works, whereas Washington, Oregon, California, Missouri, Texas, Alabama, Michigan, West Virginia, Florida, Georgia, Maryland and Virginia all have State programs. Minnesota is the 14th and newest state to pass this type of legislation. Source: NaVoba State Tracker Ohio has no problems recognizing minority business owners, but is unwilling to recognize veterans for their service.

While this seems like a feel-good vote, it’s really just more sidestepping by the legislature, dumping the responsibility to take care of the veteran community in the easiest way. I’m voting no on Ohio Issue 1.

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7 Responses

  1. Roger October 30, 2009 / 10:14 pm
    thank you for saying this.
    I am voting no on this for pretty much the same reasons… but since I am not a vet, I have been hesitant to speak out on it.
    For that matter, I am in agreement with all your endorsements on the issues 1-4 & 40
  2. David Esrati October 31, 2009 / 9:22 am

    @Roger you don’t have to be a veteran to have an opinion on this issue. Glad to hear we agree on somethings.

    I’m still waiting to see positions from the incumbents…. but, that would be too difficult for them, to publicly take a stand, without a private illegal meeting, followed by a group hug and and a 5-0 decision.

  3. Sammy76 October 31, 2009 / 2:31 pm
    As a non-native Ohioan (and active duty military), I completely don’t understand this desire by the state to provide a cash bonus to vets.  It makes no sense why the state should be rewarding for federal service (I can see perhaps National Guard or Reservists), particularly when the modern military provides a lot of tangible and intangible benefits designed to accomplish the same thing.  There are tax advantages, combat pay, re-enlistment bonuses, GI bills (Montgomery and Post 9/11), the list goes on.  When a state is as broke as Ohio, why is this a priority?  And it will be  a tax, as eventually public coffers will pay back the bonds, and if there isn’t money, taxes will go up.
  4. Veteran November 1, 2009 / 7:44 am
    I totally disagree with you.  Veterans that were drafted deserve NOTHING, they weren’t willing to volunteer, and had to be forced to serve. 
  5. David Esrati November 1, 2009 / 8:13 am

    @Veteran

    We’re each entitled to our opinions. Draftees didn’t get signing bonuses, or reenlistment bonuses like today.

  6. Roger November 1, 2009 / 2:15 pm
    “Veteran”
    By your reasoning, anyone who died in service to his country, but was a draftee, is deserving of scorn.
    {editors note- I’ve removed the personal attack on another commenter- you may attack me- but not each other)
  7. Bruce Kettelle November 1, 2009 / 11:51 pm
    I’m voting no because the authors did not include a revenue stream to repay the borrowed money.  The legislature will have no choice but to take it from the already dwindling general fund.  I hanve the utmost respect for our veterans but lets know how we will pay for something before we spend it.

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