AITKIN – A pair of bills Rep. Dale Lueck, R-Aitkin, led to enactment to assist veterans are now state laws as of Aug. 1.
A bill Lueck authored and carried forward (H.F. 3507) adds a “yes or no” veterans’ status box to voluntary state board, commission applications. The state already had been collecting statistical data on a voluntary basic information about applicants that apply for appointments to Minnesota’s over 200 state-level boards, councils, commissions and task forces. Veterans’ status now joins categories such as sex, political party, disability, race and national origin on the nomination forms.
“The goal of this new law is to help us gain insight as to where and how our veterans continue to serve once they come home to Minnesota,” Lueck said. “This is voluntary information, but participation will be helpful in generating data that will allow a better understanding of the important role our veterans play as they continue to serve their fellow Minnesotans and our country.”
Another veterans-related law Lueck led to enactment honors Minnesota native Gen. John Vessey. Going forward, June 29 – the late Vessey’s birthday – is now designated as Gen. John Vessey Day in Minnesota.
Over his 46-year Army career, Vessey advanced through the ranks from a 16-year-old Minnesota Army National Guard enlistee to a four-star general. He was selected by President Ronald Reagan to lead the nation’s military forces as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Vessey’s very distinguished military career that spanned World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the Cold War.
Vessey and his wife, Avis, returned to Minnesota after he retired from the military, making their home near Garrison. Even after retirement the general remained on call. He led negotiations with the government of Vietnam to account for missing U.S. servicemen in that country.
“Gen. Vessey is a true American hero and I am proud we were able to set aside a special day to honor him,” Lueck said. “It is well-deserved recognition. As a veteran myself, I was extremely honored to carry this bill into law.”