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Oklahoma state senator calls for War Veterans Commission shake-up

The chairman of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee favors a restructuring of the Oklahoma War Veterans Commission to broaden its membership.
by Randy Ellis Published: November 13, 2013
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The chairman of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee said Tuesday that he would like to see the Oklahoma War Veterans Commission reorganized to broaden its membership.

Currently a person must be a member of one of three veterans groups — the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars or Disabled Veterans — to serve on the War Veterans Commission.

“Unfortunately, those groups make up less than 15 percent of the veterans population within the state of Oklahoma,” state Sen. Frank Simpson, chairman of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, said in a prepared statement. “I think reorganization of the commission so that more veterans feel included in the process will be a step in the right direction.”

Simpson said allowing Gov. Mary Fallin to appoint commission members from outside the three veterans groups “would allow her to look at some professional expertise that might lend itself well to better management of the commission — for example, someone with some financial management background or a physician who specializes in geriatric care.”

Simpson, R-Ardmore, made the comments at the conclusion of his committee's interim study of the state Veterans Affairs Department.

by Randy Ellis
Investigative Reporter
For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two...
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