Issue 1 supports Ohio’s veterans

Published 10:30 am Thursday, October 22, 2009

General William T. Sherman, an Ohio native, once said, “Some of you young men think that war is all glamour and glory, but let me tell you, boys, it is all hell!”

That means all wars, not just the popular ones, those with Roman numerals or those that politicians say weren’t really wars at all.

Ohio voters should take Sherman’s words to heart when they head to the polls Nov. 3 to decide on Issue 1, a state Constitution amendment that would allow the state to borrow $200 million to provide bonuses to soldiers who served in the recent wars in the Middle East.

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Servicemen and women who were involved in Afghanistan, Iraq or the Persian Gulf either recently or during Desert Storm would be eligible.

These men and women made huge sacrifices to protect the freedoms we all hold dear. We must repay that by treating them honestly and fairly, regardless of the shape of the economy and the state’s budget.

These soldiers didn’t make excuses when asked to do their duty and we as a state shouldn’t make excuses when asked to do ours.

Ohio implemented similar bonus systems for soldiers who fought in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam.

And how did the state pay for these? You guessed it, Ohio borrowed the money.

These bonuses aren’t exorbitant or excessive. A soldier eligible would receive up to $1,000 one time. Families of a soldier killed in action would receive $5,000.

The state of Ohio must make this a priority and voters need to realize how important even this relatively small bonus could be to these veterans and their families.

We hope to see Issue 1 pass with overwhelming support.

If not for our military personnel, we might not have the privilege of voting at all.