Citizen soldiers of our community

Citizen soldiers of our community

As the acting Oklahoma Democratic Party Veterans Committee representative from the First Congressional District, it was the esteemed duty of Yours Truly to coordinate and facilitate the Veteran’s Legislative Open House at our local Democratic Party HQ this weekend.  Saturday, March 19th from 11 AM to 2 PM was the appointed day and time for said function.  It proved to be an informative event for all who attended, veterans and legislators alike.  This is an activity the Oklahoma Democratic Party Veteran’s Committee Chairman, Kevin McCray, has implemented.  Going forward, we will seek to hold one of these functions every legislative session.

Our local Democratic legislators were well represented by Representatives Eric Proctor and Jeannie McDaniel and Senator Kevin Matthews.

Eric Proctor               Jeannie McDaniel                  Sen Kevin Matthews

Also in attendance was Tulsa City Council Representative from District 6 Connie Dodson, Tulsa County Sheriff candidate and Army veteran Rex Berry and we had a surprise visit from the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial candidate Joe Dorman.

Connie Dodson

Rex Berry

Joe Dorman

There were other candidates for elected office in attendance.  Among them was the ranking Democratic veteran of our area, retired Marine Corps Major General Darrell Moore, candidate for House District 8 and Joseph Jennings, candidate for House District 70 who served in the Navy as an electrician’s mate.

The Marine Corps contingent from left: MajGen Darrell Moore, Colonel Weydan Flax, SGT Dave Burlin

The Marine Corps contingent from left: MajGen Darrell Moore, Colonel Weydan Flax, SGT Dave Burlin

 

Joseph Jennings, Candidate House District 70

                Joseph Jennings, candidate HD 70

Invitation to this event was not restricted to those of the Democratic political stripe.  Let it be known to all that when such gatherings are arranged between elected legislators and anyone who ever affirmed an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States and their families that ALL are welcome to attend.  I made a point to invite an old schoolmate who was career Oklahoma Army National Guard who was deployed two timess each to Iraq and Afghanistan, returning home once to no job, a separated spouse and faced with downsizing into a small apartment from a nice home.  As a lifelong Republican he never got access to ears as sympathetic as those he did today from elected members of his own party and he told me so.  As I told him up front before today’s event, here we are all VETERANS first and political whatever second.

Hugh Pickering

It was consensus among both legislators and veterans that critical information exchange was quite good during this open house.  Attendees were also treated to pizza, sandwiches and soft drinks and although the total number of those in attendance was around 40, it was felt to be a success by all present.  This is a function that will become a fixture in the calendar for each legislative session.  At a time when much lip service is paid to those who serve it is imperative that lip service translate into legislation favoring those who did.  My personal thanks to all who helped this happen so smoothly and to all who attended.

OKDemVet