Spring is now here and soon the weather will be encouraging all of us to spend more time outdoors. I have already started to get out and meet more of you in our neighborhoods by going door to door to talk about your ideas on veteran and other legislation that may be needed for the next General Assembly (GA) session. While most legislation passed by the GA of particular interest to veterans has already been addressed by the Governor, I will provide a complete update following the reconvene session on 5 April.

Highlighted in this update are two recent presentations I made, an invitation to the 100th Anniversary commemoration of our entry into WWI, some useful information for those who access Fort Lee regularly, information on an upcoming Virginia Women Veterans Summit, and some recent Congressional actions of veteran interest.


2017 Commending Resolutions

Delegate Cox with current American Legion Auxiliary President Sue Oertel and
Past Presidents, Shirley Puckett, Betty Michalek, Betty Medeiros,
Rose Moore, Aleta Perkins, and Rita Feasenmyer.

On Saturday, 18 March, in conjunction with American Legion Post 284’s 98th American Legion birthday celebration and the recognition of their past Post leaders, I was honored to present a Virginia House and Senate Joint Commending Resolution, which I patroned, to American Legion Auxiliary Unit 284 for their 70 years of service to the Tri-cities communities and to veterans and their families across the Commonwealth.

Delegate Cox presents Jack Hilgers with a Commending Resolution while Rich Schollman, VSF Chairman;
Jim Icenhour, BVS Chairman; and Bart Barton, JLC Chairman look on.

On Wednesday, 22 March, at the Veteran Services Foundation board meeting I was further honored to present a Virginia House and Senate Joint Commending Resolution, which I co-chief patroned with Delegate Chris Stolle, to retired USMC Colonel Jack Hilgers. Jack recently retired as the Executive Director of the Foundation after 28 years of service to the Commonwealth and 31 years in the Marine Corps where he was awarded the Navy Cross as a Captain in Vietnam. Jack had a very distinguished career in state government to include his key roles in the 2002 study and 2003 legislation that established the Department of Veteran Services (DVS) and the Veteran Service Foundation (VSF) as well as the Board of Veteran Services (BSV) and the Joint Leadership Council of Veteran Service Organizations (JLC).


100th Anniversary of Entry into WWI

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into WWI, a ceremony will be held on 6 April at Virginia’s state memorial to WWI, the Carillon Tower at Byrd Park (1300 Blanton Avenue, Richmond). There will be a Carillon Bell Concert at 11:45 a.m. followed by the ceremony at Noon.

Scheduled speakers include Governor Terry McAuliffe, Major General Timothy P. Williams of the Virginia National Guard, and Dr. Lynn Rainville of Sweet Briar College. Music will be provided by the John Marshall Regimental Band Alumni. Delegate Kirk Cox, Chairman of the Virginia WWI and WWII Commemoration Commission, will be the master of ceremonies.

After the ceremony, the Commission’s Profiles of Honor Tour will be be open for visitors and historic sites from around the state will be onsite with WWI related exhibitions. The event is free and open to the public. Find more information here.


Virginia Women Veterans Summit

The 2017 Virginia Women Veterans Summit will be held June 22 and 23 June in Chesapeake. This event brings together veterans, employers, community leaders and government agencies from federal, state, and local levels to raise awareness about the services and benefits offered specifically for women veterans through expert presenters, panel discussion and exhibits. The conference will feature speakers such as Dorothy McAuliffe, First Lady of Virginia (Invited) and Deshauna Barber, Miss USA 2016, U.S. Army Reserve Captain, and more!

This event is only for women veterans who have, currently are, or will be transitioning into civilian life.

A Welcome Reception is to be held 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 22nd and the Summit to be held 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., Friday, June 23rd.

For questions or to register via telephone Call 804-381-4002, ext.3400. Flyer is available here. Register online at www.womenvetsummit.eventbrite.com.


Annual Fort Lee Access Pass Registration

Those who have a need to enter Fort Lee on a regular basis can get an access pass that is good for one year (or until the expiration of your driver’s license whichever comes first). This will alleviate the delay and inconvenience that may be experienced each time those without the appropriate ID cards attempt to enter.

If you would like an access pass, please call the Fort Lee Public Affairs Officer (PAO), Sarah Gauvin at (804) 734-6965 by close of business on April 5 to provide: your full name, gender, driver’s license number, driver’s license state, driver’s license expiration and date of birth. Once this information is received, it will be submitted through secure channels to the Provost Marshall to obtain the required background check. When the check is completed the pass will be mailed to you or held at the PAO office for pickup.


Congressional Actions/Pending Legislation

Information on current legislation either passed by the House or Senate or being considered is attached here. Items of interest include legislation on Concurrent Receipt, the Widows Tax, VA mental health services for veterans with less than an honorable discharge, Agent Orange & the Blue Water Navy, Camp Lejeune Contaminated Water and others.


In closing, you can contact me at my district office by emailing delkcox@house.virginia.gov or by calling 804-526-5135, by US mail – PO Box 1205, Colonial Heights, VA 23834 – or by stopping by my Colonial Heights office at 250B East Ellerslie Avenue. I appreciate your views on legislation that will help me do a better job for the people I represent.

Please visit my Facebook page and my Twitter page. These pages, along with my website, have information/links to the 2017 General Assembly Session to include my 44 pieces of legislation, visitors’ photos, my legislative survey, videos of floor remarks, and related topics.

Please forward this Update to your fellow veteran friends and neighbors.