On Monday May 27th we celebrate Memorial Day. A solemn time for our nation when we pause to reflect and honor the memory of those departed who have served our country in the uniforms of our armed forces. There is no greater honor than serving your country and we take the time to remember and celebrate those that have given so much for our country.

     We spend this day remembering the soldiers through the centuries who have come together to fight for a common cause. They’ve defended America when our borders, our people, and our way of life have been threatened.

   American soldiers continually demonstrate to the world the core values of loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, sacrifice, honor, integrity, and patriotism. Their actions, their dedication, and their valor shine as an example for the next generation of veterans to carry on.

   Words can barely begin to express our thanks to all those who have served, those who are serving, and those who are joining the ranks of our great military.  Thank you for your sacrifice.

Key Legislation:

 Veteran Support

   Tennessee has received high marks from veterans’ groups for legislation enacted to support service members and their families over the last several years. This year, the General Assembly passed legislation continuing these efforts.

    In-State-Tuition / Spouse or Dependent of Active Duty Military -- Senate Bill 242 ensures that the spouse or dependent of an active duty military member can receive in-state-tuition at a Tennessee public university, even after being transferred out of the state on military orders.

   Our military men and women work so hard to serve their country and make many sacrifices. Ensuring that dependents and spouses of active duty military can continue to receive in-state-tuition rates at our public universities if relocated out of state is the least we can do to make the relocation transition easier on these families.

   In this circumstance, the spouse or dependent would be classified as an in-state student if he or she was accepted for admission as a Tennessee resident and maintains continuous enrollment.

   Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day – The General Assembly approved legislation to designate June 27th of each year as Post-Traumatic Stress Injury Awareness Day. Veterans who endure severe combat stress can develop an invisible wound that leads to physical changes in the brain. In the past, this condition has been referred to as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), but it is more accurately and honorably described as an injury rather than disorder. The legislation is designed to promote awareness of persons suffering from post-traumatic stress injury.

   Other efforts by the General Assembly in recent years to support veterans and their families include legislation ensuring full property tax relief for 100 percent service-related disabilities, allowing service members’ military training to count towards a degree, giving hiring preference to veterans, offering tuition free college education to the children and spouse of Tennessee soldiers who have died in combat, and making it easier for those who are deployed overseas to vote. These are in addition to legislative efforts to provide enhanced educational benefits to active and retired veterans.

   Most importantly-- The 2019-2020 state budget provides $11.75 million in veterans services funding. This includes cost increases for five Veteran Resource Coordinators. It also includes $25,000 for help veterans exposed to Agent Orange, $37,000 for another Veterans Treatment Court and $775,000 for the Upper Cumberland Veterans Cemetery. The budget also recognized $2.8 million in federal funding for the East Tennessee Cemetery. Our veterans should have a proper resting place which recognizes their sacrifices. I am pleased these funds were made available for this purpose.

You May Contact Senator Hensley at

425 5th Avenue North, Suite 746

Nashville TN 37243

615-741-3100

Toll Free 1-800-449-8366 ext. 13100

Fax 615-253-0231

855 Summertown Highway

Hohenwald TN 38462

Phone 931-796-2018

Cell Phone 931-212-8823

E-mail: sen.joey.hensley@capitol.tn.gov

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