Senate President Pro Tempore Cal Hobson and Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee Chairman Randy Bass said Monday that they would work to push Governor Henry’s benefits plan for active duty members of the Oklahoma National Guard and Air National Guard through the Legislature this year.
“I served for 26 years in the Guard and Reserves. I’ve seen the commitment these men and women have to the defense of our country. I know the kinds of hardships they and their families are having to endure. We should do everything we can to make this time in their lives a little less difficult for these brave and dedicated Oklahomans,” said Hobson, who retired from the Air National Guard at the rank of colonel in 1999.
Henry’s plan includes tax relief for members of the Oklahoma National Guard and Air National Guard when they are on active duty along with the purchase of a $250,000 life insurance policy for every active member in either group.
Oklahoma’s “Weekend Warriors” have been called upon to be far more than that since September 11, Hobson said.
More than 60 percent of the nearly 9,700 members of the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard have taken part in the global War on Terror.
Bass, a freshman from Lawton, is the author of Senate Bill 821, which has an estimated fiscal impact of $3.8 million
“My hometown is a military town. I grew up with military families. I’ve seen how they have to struggle at times and how hard it can be on their spouse and children when they are away serving our country. We owe them a great deal of gratitude for the jobs they do and their commitment to freedom. It’s a small price tag when compared to the enormous sacrifices our troops are making every day in Iraq, Afghanistan and around the world,” Bass said.