State Reps. Josh West and Kevin McDugle, along with other lawmakers, announced this week they are forming a joint House and Senate Veterans’ Caucus.
“There are a number of military members and veterans in our Legislature,” said Rep. West, R-Grove. “While Oklahoma is one of the friendliest state in the nation in regards to veteran issues, there are still some serious concerns that deserve to be addressed. As veterans, we need to be pro-active on matters that concern other veterans and in securing adequate funding for our veterans’ programs. ”
McDugle said a veterans’ caucus has been needed for a long time in the state.
“We have a lot of issues that affect our veterans,” said McDugle, R-Broken Arrow. “This will give us an opportunity to get a large number of lawmakers in the room and discuss some of these concerns. It also will help us recruit veterans to run for public office. Veterans have proven they are willing to sacrifice for something larger than themselves, and that quality is greatly needed in state government.”
West, an Army veteran, and McDugle, a Marine, said a number of the legislative colleagues are veterans of various branches of the military.
“The purpose of this caucus is to ensure that Oklahoma veterans are a top priority at the Capitol,” said State Rep. Randy McDaniel, R-Edmond, a veteran of the Army National Guard. “As a military veteran and a representative, I feel that I have a responsibility to ensure that the state is following through on its promises to America’s heroes.”
The veterans’ caucus is scheduled to meet at least once a month to address future legislation and funding issues surrounding veterans programs.