Alaska needs to vote on building statewide facilities for veterans

Posted: Friday, August 01, 2003

70,000 Alaskan Veterans, scattered over an area one-fifth the size of the nation, deserve to have new facilities in at least three locations at distances equal to three other states' locations say Oregon, Washington and Idaho. That would mean putting a Veterans Home in the Fairbanks region, one in the Anchorage/Mat Su area and one in the SE/Juneau area. These areas already have transportation and medical facilities and are population centers. The present Pioneers Homes would continue to serve the increasing number of Alaska seniors' needs.

I suggest having a vote of the people via a General Obligation (G.O.) bond. The project could be initiated by a direct appropriation for the first home, to be repaid by the G.O. bond. Also, Senators Stevens and Murkowski might be enlisted for federal matching funds. There are at least two laws already on the books to create an Alaskan Veterans Home.

I believe I drafted one of them over 10 years ago, and I'll commit my Permanent Fund Dividend for life to a Vet's Home G.O. bond payment.

A lot of Alaskans will.

Jay Kerttula, Palmer

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