Each year, the Oklahoma Veteran’s Council recognize one Senator and one Representative for their outstanding dedication and hard work in authoring or promoting legislation that supports veterans and their families. This year, Sen. Frank Simpson, a 26-year Navy veteran and the Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans and Military Affairs, was chosen to receive the ‘Senator of the Year’ Award.
“I’m humbled to receive this award. As a veteran, I know the sacrifices my brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces make to protect our country and others around the world. It’s a sacrifice that can never truly be repaid, but we can honor them by providing incentives such as helping their kids attend college,” said Simpson, R-Ardmore. “This is one of the reasons I ran for office. I wanted to ensure that our veterans’ voices were heard, their needs were met and that they received the honor and respect they rightfully deserve.”
The Oklahoma Veteran’s Council is made up of 24 veteran’s organizations from across the state. The Council voted on the awards for Senator Simpson and Rep. Ann Coody at their August 7th meeting and will present them at their next meeting, which will take place on September 11th.
Scott Ellis, the Government Relations Director for the Mid America Chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America said Simpson has been a tireless advocate for veterans since getting into office and was an easy choice for the Council.
“We are very proud of all the hard work and dedication shown by Senator Simpson and Rep. Coody. Their work in the Legislature for veterans and their families exemplifies the true spirit of their commitment to those who have given so much to this country and state,” said Ellis.
Since getting into office in 2010, Simpson has authored numerous veterans’ bills and helped get many others to the Governor’s desk. During the 2012 session, he authored the Oklahoma Medical Foster Home Act to help provide non-institutional, community-based care for aging and/or chronically/terminally ill veterans who are unable to live independently and do not have a caregiver who is able to manage their medical, emotional and/or psychosocial needs. He also coauthored a bill to extend a portion of the sales tax exemption provided to 100% disabled veterans to their unmarried widows. Another major bill coauthored by Simpson that was signed into law this year was one authorizing the Department of Public Safety to create driver’s licenses with a small flag in one corner, to serve as a designation of veteran status.