A MESSAGE FROM WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS ASSISTANCE SECRETARY THOMPSON Veterans Visibility Day at the Legislature
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – For more than two decades, members of the West Virginia State Legislature have shown support for West Virginia’s veterans and military personnel by dedicating one day of the regular legislative session as Veterans Visibility Day.
Each year, veterans convene at the State Capitol Complex to advocate for one another and present their ideas and concerns to lawmakers through a unified effort and a collective voice. Veterans from all branches of service and of all eras are represented along with their dependents, widows and community members. Ultimately, Veterans Visibility Day is an opportunity for members of the Legislature to honor and recognize West Virginia’s veteran community and to hear first-hand what matters most to these patriots.
I can recall many veterans came to me during my time as Speaker of the House of Delegates, with many of those visits falling on Veterans Visibility Day. Just as I do now as Cabinet Secretary, I relied heavily then on those one-on-one conversations with our veterans for guidance in the decisions I made. During my time as a delegate, with the support of Gov. Tomblin, we adopted nearly 30 pieces of legislation in support of veterans and their families.
Still, in looking back at Veterans Visibility Day, more than anything I recall the many decorated veterans I’ve had the honor of working with. Adjutant General James Hoyer and the Chief Executive Officer of the National Guard, Major General Gus Hargett, were two of our most recent keynote speakers. I am humbled by their dedication and the loyalty of all West Virginia veterans who, long after the completion of their military service, continue to lend a helping hand to their comrades. It is this commitment to one another that has brought issues such as homelessness, unemployment, suicide and reintegration to the forefront. By initiating conversations about these problems, we create the possibility of finding innovative solutions.
Each year, I look forward to Veterans Visibility Day because it not only serves as an opportunity to say thank you, but it also is a time to listen. For this reason, I encourage veterans from throughout the state to make every effort to attend this year’s event.
Veterans Visibility Day will take place in the State Capitol on Monday, February 16, at 9:30 a.m. For more information, visit www.veterans.wv.gov