Ten years ago this week, the United States launched the invasion of Iraq. The nation remains divided on the wisdom, strategy and outcome of the war that claimed the lives of 4,488 U.S. service members and left more than 32,000 wounded.
But there is one certainty—the men and women who honorably fought and served in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade have come home to an economy that works even less for them than it does others. Job loss, stagnant wages and a widening gap between working families and the wealthy and Wall Street are some of these problems.
A proposed bill in Ohio would require a court to consider a person's military service when sentencing for misdemeanor or felony charges, the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council in Ohio reports. A judge would have to take into account whether the offender has an emotional, mental or physical condition that can be traced to military service that contributed to the commission of the crime.
The bipartisan bill, S.B. 330, proposed by state Sen. Joe Schiavoni (D-Boardman), passed in the state Senate 33-0. S.B. 330 will go to the Ohio House to be voted on before the end of the lame-duck legislative session.
Whether they served on the beaches of Normandy, the rivers of Southeast Asia or the deserts of the Middle East, Nov. 11 is the day we honor our country's veterans. Originally proclaimed a holiday by President Wilson in 1919, Nov. 11 was chosen because major hostilities of WWI were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with Germany signing the Armistice.
As I sat down to write a blog post for Memorial Day for the Union Veterans Council, I could not help but remember our chairman and friend Mark Ayers who passed away last month. It seems only fitting that on this weekend that we remember those service members that gave the ultimate sacrifice that we remember him and his words. His statement from 2010 is one of the most poignant expressions of what Memorial Day means to the families of the fallen, fellow veterans and what it should mean to our country. I feel that this Memorial Day it is more than appropriate to share the words of former Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD) President Ayers again.