State Sen. Frank Simpson (R-Ardmore) said the purpose of the Tuesday’s interim study about entry to state veterans affairs was to see what veterans are eligible for entrance.
“Me and my constituents are surprised when many of our veterans do not qualify for admission due to state statute,” Simpson said. “Those veterans that served during specific times of conflict, like World War II, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraqi Freedom and the conflict in Afghanistan, which excludes instances like Panama and Lebanon. What we’ve done is eliminated a large, large group of veterans who served honorably, who served in good faith.”
Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs Deputy Director Danny Stewart also discussed statutory changes pertaining to definitions, tax exemptions and license plate concerns during Interim Study 2013S-003.
Eligibility requirements to State Veterans Centers are determined by state statute and the War Veterans Commission. State statute sets time periods veterans must have served in to qualify for care in state veterans’ centers.
Those time lines include: World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam Era and Persian Gulf War. The statue states, “Veterans of the qualified periods must have served at least 90 days with one or more days being in a wartime period.”