Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017 | Boston, Mass. | Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs 

The Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs met on Aug. 6, 2017 in conjunction with NCSL's Legislative Summit. The meeting was held at the Westin Boston Waterfront.

NCSL Legislative Summit Boston logo.The task force was created in 2007 to address issues affecting military-community relations and the health and well-being of veterans. The task force consists of 53 state legislators and legislative staff from 32 states. 

Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs Convenes

Opening Remarks by Task Force Co-Chairs: 
  • Representative Dan Flynn, Texas 
  • Representative Ken Ito, Hawaii
Pledge of Allegiance
  • Rick Beyer, author of The Ghost Army of World War II | No Presentation

The State of U.S. Military Readiness

  • Michael Behm, co-chief executive officer & principal, Stateside Associates | No Presentation
  • Matthew Walsh, executive liaison assistant to the commanding general, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Fort Huachuca, Arizona | Presentation

Putting Veterans First: State-Federal Cooperation

  • Representative Dan Flynn, Texas | No Presentation
  • Henry Huntley, Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs | No Presentation
  • Gen. Les Beavers, executive director, National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs | Presentation
  • Marty Caraway, senior vice president, National Association of County Veterans Service Officers | No Presentation

New Hampshire’s Military Access Projects


  • Representative Ken Ito, Hawaii | No Presentation
  • Jo Moncher, bureau chief, Military Programs, New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services | Presentation

Veterans Workforce Development

  • Representative Ken Ito, Hawaii
  • Suzanne Hultin, NCSL | No Presentation
  • Marion Cain, associate director, Force Readiness & Training, U.S. Department of Defense | Presentation

The App For Veterans

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has developed a mobile phone app to give Texas veterans quick access to crisis hotlines and other resources.

  • Representative Dan Flynn, Texas
  • Jim Darwin, senior advisor on policy & veterans affairs, Health and Human Services Commission of Texas | Presentation

Special Presentation

NCSL Military Task Force CO-chairsNCSL President Deb Peters and NCSL Executive Director Bill Pound recognized outgoing Co-Chairs—Representative Dan Flynn, Texas and Representative Ken Ito, Hawaii—for their years of service to the task force and efforts on behalf of military service members, veterans and their families. The two were also recognized by representatives of the U.S. Department of Defense, a strong supporter of the task force.

The new co-chairs were also announced: Representative Tina Orwall, Washington and Representative Dan Saddler, Alaska.

Monday, August 7, 2017 | Boston, Mass. | Legislative Summit

Military & Veterans Affairs Economic Outlook, Opportunities and Impacts

This session offered a discussion of potential federal defense spending and the impact it will have on states, along with economic development opportunities for military veterans.
  • Senator Terri Haverly, South Dakota
  • Tim Ford, Association of Defense Communities | No Presentation
  • Barbara Carson, U.S. Small Business Administration | Presentation
  • Tara Butler, U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment | Presentation 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017 | Boston, Mass. | Legislative Summit

The Changing Nature of Jobs: Is Our Workforce Prepared?

While the current national unemployment rate is under five percent, millions of Americans still feel left out of the tepid economic expansion we’ve experienced since the Great Recession, including military veterans and spouses. This session focused on how states and the private sector are working together to address the skills gap and get unemployed and under-employed Americans back to work. 

  • Breakout session focused on veterans with Representative Dan Saddler, Alaska | No Presentation

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 | Boston, Mass. | Legislative Summit

Keeping Our Promise to Veterans with Disabilities

Today's veterans have higher rates of disability than ever before, making the transition to civilian life extremely challenging. Traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress are common problems. So, too is suicide. This session focused on successful state and federal efforts aimed at helping disabled veterans receive the care they need.


Representative Jerry Parisella, Massachusetts 


  • Vincent Ng, director, VA Boston Healthcare System | Presentation
  • Francisco UreƱa, secretary, Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services | No Presentation
  • Dr. Louis Chow, director of education, Home Base, A Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program | Presentation

Meeting adjourned.