I hope that you had a pleasant and meaningful Memorial Day. Our nation is indebted to the brave men and women who gave their all for our freedoms. There were many meaningful ceremonies around Virginia to recognize the true meaning of Memorial Day. Our two Colonial Heights area posts – American Legion Post 284 and VFW Post 2239 – teamed up to recognize our military dead, missing in action service members, and our veterans. Bill Flanagan represented my office and reported the many young soldiers who participated in the memorial program carrying banners with the faces of area Virginians lost in war added much to the tribute. There were also Gold Star Mothers there who reminded all of what their loss meant to surviving family members.

(Left photo) Colonial Heights Mayor Greg Kochuba presents City Council Memorial Day Proclamation to Post 284 Commander Bob Shumar and Post 2239 Commander Donald Duncan.
(Right photo) Some 20 Fort Lee soldiers held banners recognizing Virginians killed in action while Gold Star Mothers stood to be recognized.

In this update, I wanted to let you know about actions to support our older veterans, a new program providing serving military members recognition for their job skills, volunteer fundraising efforts to support PTSD veterans and our Virginia Guard’s special ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of D-Day.

Governor Signs My Veterans Care Center Bill
On June 1st, Governor McAuliffe signed my House bill authorizing funding for two new veterans care centers, one in Hampton Roads and one in Northern Virginia, that will meet the needs of our aging veterans in those two areas while making more space available for veterans at existing care centers in the Richmond and Roanoke areas. I carried this funding bill after it became clear federal funding for these needed facilities were not a high priority in this era of Washington deficit budgets. It is important that Virginia takes care of our veterans.

Both veterans care centers will provide skilled nursing care, Alzheimer’s/dementia care, and rehabilitative services for veterans. The care center projects, one that has been on the federal waiting list for more than a decade, will be completed in less than four years.

(Top photo) Delegate Cox speaks to attendees at bill signing.
(Bottom photo) Delegate Cox pictured with former Senator Toddy Puller. 

Military Job Skills Recognized – Career Readiness Certificate
To help assure military service members exceptional skills are recognized in the civilian sector, the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics (CCALS) Prince George County adjacent to Fort Lee, is supporting the Department of Defense’s efforts by offering a course to obtain the WorkKeys Career Readiness Certificate. This nationally recognized certificate indicating workforce readiness is recognized by many employers in the Commonwealth and around the nation. The WorkKeys Certificate is a springboard to better employment and recognized as a researched-based measure of foundational work skills required for success. For additional information regarding the CCALS effort to support this certification, contact Mark Manasco at mark.manasco@ccals.com.

Unique Fundraiser To Benefit PSTD Vets
K9s for Warriors, a volunteer charitable organization, will hold an adventure race and music concert on Saturday, July 23rd, at the Harper-Presgraves Training Grounds in Harrisonburg to fund the group’s service dogs for vets with PTSD program. The group rescues dogs from shelters and trains them for a new life as service dogs for veterans with PTSD. This program has a 100% success rate at preventing suicides for veterans participating in the K9 program. This success allows veterans to get their lives and families back together. To date, this effort has raised $95,000 and is aiming to raise another $100,000. Veterans and active military personnel will be admitted to the event for free. You can learn more about this event and how you can help by visiting their website.

Virginia Guard Will Hold A Unique D-Day Event in Bedford
A ceremony will be held at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia to commemorate the lives lost on the beaches of Normandy 72 years ago. At this event on June 6th, Maj Gen Williams, 28th Adjutant General of Virginia, will preside over the unveiling of a new monument to honor combat medics. This will be an especially memorable event as COL Lapthe Flora will be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. COL Flora, the adopted son of a D-Day vet, is only the second Vietnamese-American to make the rank of General. To learn more about COL Flora and the commemorative event, click here.

The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia.

Primary Day – Please Vote
There will be several important primary elections on Tuesday, June 14th. Republicans have Congressional Primaries in the 2nd, 4th, and 6th Congressional Districts and Democrats have primaries in the 4th Congressional District, the 1st State Senate District, and in Arlington.
In closing, you can contact me at my home office by email 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 2016 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.