Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Strong Leadership

Opinion: Letter to the Editor: Strong Leadership

Veterans and military families deserve strong leadership from Virginia’s next governor. This fall, we have a real choice on our ballot. As veterans and Alexandria residents, we support Ed Gillespie for Governor.

Virginia is home to nearly 800,000 veterans, meaning roughly 1 in 10 Virginians is a veteran. Ed Gillespie is dedicated to improving career opportunities for our veterans, giving our military and veterans a greater voice in our Commonwealth’s government, leading the Virginia National Guard with pride and supporting our veterans, military and their families. Ed has offered a clear vision and plan to reach these goals.

Ed will work to grow the number of certified companies in the Virginia Values Veterans program which connects companies with a highly skilled, well-educated and easily trained leadership talent pool: Virginia’s veterans. Ed Gillespie will improve the absentee voting process for deployed service members. Ed offers strong leadership to ensure our National Guard receives the support they deserve with in-state tuition for all members of the reserve components in addition to working with our business community to increase the number of Virginia businesses to sign the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve program pledge. Ed promises to support our military families with improvements to the Virginia Military Survivors and Dependents Education program along with renewed support for Virginia’s Veterans’ Care Centers and broader availability of veterans’ mental health dockets to address the unique needs of veterans who come in contact with the criminal justice system.

Finally, we should want members of our armed forces to stay in Virginia upon separating from their service. The economic benefits would cascade throughout Virginia.

Ed Gillespie’s plans are rock-solid signals that he will be the pro-veteran, pro-military and pro-family governor that Virginia needs.

Shirley Miles, Alexandria, USAF (retired)

Bill Cleveland, Alexandria, USA (retired)

David Cheney, Alexandria, USCG (retired)