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State Legislatures in military issues

Rising in the Ranks: The Growing Role of State Legislatures in Military Issues

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Military & Vetrans Affairs Task Force

Military hats2010 Legislative Summit
Louisville, Kentucky
July 25, 2010

Public policy with regard to military issues has traditionally been thought of as a federal issue. However, with a growing reliance on National Guard troops, increased training requirements for a country at war and the large number of service members returning from active duty in recent years, state legislatures are playing an increasingly vital role in military issues today. Learn about how states are taking the lead in supporting the military mission, sustaining military installations and the important role states are playing in the lives of service members and their families. Hear directly from military representatives on these issues.

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Welcome and Introductions

Moderators: Representative John Grange, Kansas and Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Texas (Co-Chairs of the NCSL Executive Committee Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs)


Best Practices: Military Installation Sustainability

This session provided information about legislation states have enacted to help sustain the mission of military bases.

Speakers:

  • Jan Larkin -Range Sustainment Outreach Coordinator, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Installations and Environment
  • Ed Kringer -Director, State-Liaison and Educational Opportunity, Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Military Community & Family Policy

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Moderator: Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Texas (Co-Chair of the NCSL Executive Committee Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs)


Keynote Address

The Grahams tragically lost both of their sons in less than one year. The youngest son Kevin, a University of Kentucky Senior Army ROTC scholarship cadet, was studying to be an Army doctor when he died by suicide on June 21, 2003. Although the Army offered him a position in a non-deploying unit because of the death of his younger brother, the elder son Jeff said he needed to be with soldiers and wanted to serve his country. Jeff was killed while leading his platoon on a dismounted patrol in Khaldiyah, Iraq on February 19, 2004-- a mere eight months after Kevin.

Since the loss of their sons, the Grahams have championed military and civilian efforts to promote mental health and suicide-prevention awareness. This session addressed their touching personal story, and discribed their efforts to help others survive grief and understand depression as well as to help prevent suicide.

Speakers: Major General Mark and Mrs. Carol Graham

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Moderators: Representative John Grange, Kansas and Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Texas (Co-Chairs of the NCSL Executive Committee Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs)


Military Voting

Learn how state legislatures are taking steps to ensure that mobilized troops are able to vote in their home states.

Speaker: Doug Chapin, The Pew Center on the States, Washington, D.C.

Moderator: Representative John Grange, Kansas (Co-Chair of the NCSL Executive Committee Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs)


Energy Siting: Once Offshore now Next Door

Discuss how renewable energy infrastructure can impact your district and Military training operations.

Speaker: William Van Houten- Special Assistant for Climate Change and Energy Compatibility Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense, Installations and Environment

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Moderator: Senator Leticia Van de Putte, Texas (Co-Chair of the NCSL Executive Committee Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs)


Bringing the Guard Home: Makes all Districts a Military District

Role of the Guard: Today, Guard Members live, work and go to school in cities and towns all across America. These Guard Members are willing and proud to assist your state during emergencies, and to protect their nation whenever they are called. Find out how you can protect your Guard Members today and into the future.

Speakers:

  • Hawaii State Representative Mark Takai

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  • Norman Arflack, Brigadier General (ret.) -Executive Director for the Interstate Compact Commission

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  • Rick Masters -Legal Counsel for the Interstate Compact Commission

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Moderator: Representative John Grange, Kansas (Co-Chair of the NCSL Executive Committee Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs)

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