Hall argued Proctor's plan was unworkable in parts of Oklahoma. She said veterans' unemployment in her district is just 3.3 percent. She said some rural areas may lack enough local veterans for an employer to meet the Proctor quota. But this also suggests that many employers won't be able to qualify for the extra benefits offered in Hall's bill. How is that reasonable?
Ironically, the man who prompted Proctor to file his bill is an example of why this type of legislation is unnecessary. After serving in Iraq and receiving two Purple Heart medals, Marine Corps Sgt. Shane Hannaford returned to Tulsa in 2005 and initially struggled to find a job. He applied to work as a bank teller, cable layer, security officer and for some minimum wage jobs, without success.
But Hannaford's story doesn't end there. He then founded his own business. Today, Hannaford owns a general contracting firm, a real estate brokerage and property management companies overseeing 80 properties. His story illustrates why it is so unseemly for Oklahoma politicians to compete over who can be the most paternalistic to veterans.
Men and women who can survive a war zone with bullets flying don't need the government to hold their hand during a stateside job search. Fortunately, it's unlikely many veterans noticed this patronizing debate.
In Oklahoma, they're too busy working for a living!