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[r25] Life after service
Start Date: 7/3/2013Start Time: 8:00 AM
End Date: 7/3/2013End Time: 8:00 AM
Entry Description

Being so close to Independence Day, I've been thinking a lot lately about service men and women and how much their sacrifices and bravery means to the people of the United States. Without them, who knows what kind of regime we would be under today. The outcomes of any of the great wars could have been completely different if our troops and leadership hadn't worked together to protect and serve. 

A recent study by the Indiana University Public Policy Institute for the Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention (CHIP) estimates that the homeless population in Indianapolis is somewhere between 4,800 and 8,000. Veterans make up a quarter of that population – 1,200 to 2,000. As a retired member of the National Guard, this statistic really hit home. 

I cannot imagine how hard it would be to come back from service and not be able to find a job, feed my family or feel like I have a place in the civilian world. This past session, the Indiana General Assembly passed several pieces of great legislation designed specifically to help veterans in many different areas. I know I've shared some of this information before, but I think it is beneficial for everyone to know what services are available to help our service folks. 

House Enrolled Act 1486 allows the Emergency Medical Services Commission to issue an emergency medical service provider license or a certificate to veterans who have comparable medical training. Not only will this address a shortage of emergency medical technicians in Indiana, it will also give qualified, unemployed veterans in Indiana a chance to use their skills.

Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 564 makes an Indiana veteran-owned small business (VOSB) eligible for the small business set aside procurement policy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for post- 9/11 veterans in Indiana is around 20 percent. SEA 564 addresses this high number because not only will veteran business owners be put to work, but veteran business owners tend to hire other veterans as well. With an estimated number of 71,000 veteran-owned and partially veteran-owned small businesses in Indiana, there are plenty of opportunities for Indiana to contract them for business.

If you are a veteran looking to go back to school, SEA 177 provides that qualified veterans are eligible for the resident tuition rate at a state university for up to 12 months after discharge. The difference between in-state and out-of-state tuition can be between $3,800 and $21,400, so allowing veterans to pay in-state tuition rates will hopefully be an incentive for them to take advantage of this opportunity.

I am incredibly proud to be an American and a Hoosier. Many of the freedoms I take for granted every day would not be possible without the service and dedication of our service men and women, and again I say thank you. 

-30-

State Rep. Don Lehe serves as Chairman of the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. He also serves on the Environmental Affairs Committee and the Public Health Committee.  Rep. Lehe represents portions of White, Cass, Carroll, Clinton and Tippecanoe Counties


Contact Information:
Name: Maggie Johnson
Phone: 317-232-9693
Email: majohnso@iga.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Alerts and Notification
  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Agency Name
    House of Representatives Republican Caucus

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