Help vets at voting booth |

Help vets at voting booth

Dear Editor:

In the state of Colorado, Russ Williamson’s plight as conveyed through his letter to the editor (“An Invitation to see what it’s like,” April 13, The Aspen Times) is far more common than one would think.

This is unfortunate because Colorado ranks 47th in the nation in veteran-support funding. Colorado veterans’ needs far outweigh the supply of support funded through the federal and state governments. There are 460,000 military veterans and 50,163 active military out of the state’s 5,029,196 residents.

We need to look at the big picture, beyond Pitkin County, and see that veterans are 10 percent of the population but account for 16 percent of the nation’s homeless.

The new lottery for the State Veterans Assistance Grants initiative does not redistribute, divert or syphon proceeds from the Great Outdoors Colorado fund. It is a separate lotto scratch ticket, and net proceeds would be used exclusively to fund grants and programs for Colorado veterans.

Generally, when people purchase lotto tickets, they do so in the hopes of landing a financial windfall, not necessarily because the funds support Great Outdoors Colorado. A designated veterans scratch ticket will encourage Coloradans to compassionately consider the target these lotto funds support.

Our military members and veterans do not grow up dreaming about war or wanting to fight. They are, however, the courageous family, friends and neighbors who heed the call when there is no other recourse and defend this nation’s honor, values and principles 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

On behalf of our veterans and our active military, I implore all of my fellow Coloradans to support this bill. Give the voters the power to decide this issue on the November ballot.

Janine Barth

Chairwoman, V.F.W. Department of Colorado Hospital

Snowmass Village

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