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Letter: Hazlewood Survives – Nelson, Parker on notice!

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This is in response to both Senator Jane (R) Flower Mound & Representative Tan Parker (R) Flower Mound initial votes of “YES” to deprive the young combat and disabled veterans of the ability to pass on education benefits to their children! (Parker’s Chief of Staff, Rick Dennis was very helpful in dialog and returning phone calls, Senator Nelson’s staff, NOT AT ALL!)

Senator Nelson responded on another Op-Ed with her defense of Senator Birdwell, the author of this ridiculous bill, with saying “there is much misinformation circulating.”  I am here to explain in more detail what “misinformation” is!

1. Requiring a veteran to serve SIX YEARS! It is currently 180 days and yes, a bump in the minimum is acceptable but NOT SIX YEARS!  Way too many young combat and disabled veterans HAVE to leave the service because of injuries and can’t fulfill that commitment and are left to try and provide for their families.  HAD THIS BILL PASSED, OVER 240,000 TEXAS VETERANS WOULD HAVE RECEIVED A SLAP IN THE FACE!!

2. Benefits EXPIRE after 15 years! Young veterans may not even start to think of a family until well after their return thus eliminating their ability to pass on their educational benefits when their children reach college age!

3. ONLY allowing 60 credit hours to be passed!  Currently, 120 hours are allowed which will help a college student complete their bachelor’s degree.   The 60 credit hours cater to the Higher Education Lobbyist who will benefit from a financially struggling student to try and complete their degree or worse, quit because of the financial burden.

Please note, had this bill passed, it would have no effect on me personally because I’m both a retired and disabled veteran, just like Senator Brian Birdwell.  The difference between Birdwell and I is that I don’t claim the “COMBAT” veteran status.  It’s not because I can’t, it’s because I CHOOSE not to.  You see, there’s a big difference in a “DESERT STORM” veteran compared to an “IRAQ/AFGHANISTAN” COMBAT WAR VETERAN. These are/were much different “COMBAT” engagements.

Senator Nelson also noted Birdwell “was injured in the Pentagon when it was attacked on 9/11, and is still recovering from the burns.” Ma’am, there are MANY veterans who, like myself, are STILL RECOVERING from the results of our service to this great nation!

Also, as written, NONE of the non-career returning WWII Veterans would qualify for Hazlewood, please let that sink in for a moment!

Please help support Texas Veterans: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TexasVets/

Paul T. Perez Jr., Master Sergeant US Air Force (Retired)
Disabled Veteran 22 years in service; Former Military Police and Civilian Police Officer
Flower Mound, TX

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