Celebrating and honoring our heroes

By George Darany
On Monday, our nation will pause to remember those brave men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to preserve the founding principles of American democracy.

Memorial Day is a day where we do our best to honor and remember those who have served our country heroically. And it is an especially important day to the friends, families and neighbors who have lost loved ones serving in our military both at home and abroad.

It is so important to pay tribute to our heroes, and in the Legislature that is no different. I have the privilege of serving on the House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, where my colleagues and I work on legislation that can provide a benefit to our soldiers and their families.

Currently, the committee is discussing proposed legislation to help our returning soldiers further their education. We are looking at ways to make sure the maximum amount of college credits transfer from different universities when veterans return to college in Michigan.

We also are reviewing ways to grant our veterans credits for the training and education they received as part of their military service. And we are discussing plans for colleges and universities in Michigan to have a Veterans Resource Center, a place where our soldiers can find the guidance and assistance they need with their education through academic guidance, special scholarships and loan programs.

I also have introduced House Concurrent Resolution 29, which calls on the U.S. Department of Defense to apply uniform standards when awarding the Purple Heart. Advances in medical science and treatment have saved the lives of countless men and women serving in our armed forces when they are injured. However, we are seeing a sharp rise in the amount of traumatic brain injuries in our soldiers, largely related to the increased use of improvised explosive devices by our enemies. Because the Purple Heart medal is typically given to soldiers who have received physical wounds, many of our valiant men and women are not getting the recognition and thanks they deserve for their service. My resolution encourages the department to begin recognizing those injured soldiers whose wounds may not be visible to the naked eye.

This Memorial Day, I encourage you to take a moment to celebrate and honor our veterans. I hope you will join me this, and every day, in thanking our brave men and women who serve here in Michigan and across the globe, while also paying homage to those soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.

(State Rep. George Darany represents the 15th House District. To contact him, call (855) 775-1515 or email him at georgetdarany@house.mi.gov. To sign up for his e-newsletter, go to his website, house.mi.gov/gdarany.)