Legislature(2017 - 2018)GRUENBERG 120

02/08/2018 01:00 PM MILITARY & VETERANS' AFFAIRS

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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
*+ HCR 15 DECORATION OF HONOR AWARD TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ SCR 14 DECORATION OF HONOR AWARD TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ HB 194 USPHS & NOAA OFFICERS AS VETERANS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
+ Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled TELECONFERENCED
                HCR 15-DECORATION OF HONOR AWARD                                                                            
                SCR 14-DECORATION OF HONOR AWARD                                                                            
                                                                                                                                
1:04:12 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK  announced that the  first order of business  would be                                                               
HOUSE  CONCURRENT RESOLUTION  NO.  15, Relating  to awarding  the                                                               
Alaska Decoration  of Honor  to certain  members of  the military                                                               
and SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 14, Relating to awarding                                                                   
the Alaska Decoration of Honor to certain members of the                                                                        
military.                                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:04:46 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR  MIA   COSTELLO,  Alaska  State  Legislature,   as  prime                                                               
sponsor,  presented   SCR  14.    She   paraphrased  the  sponsor                                                               
statement,   which   read   as  follows   [original   punctuation                                                               
provided]:                                                                                                                      
                                                                                                                                
     It is an  honor and a privilege to  recognize those who                                                                    
     have  given the  ultimate sacrifice  in the  service of                                                                    
     Alaska,  that   of  surrendering  their  life   in  the                                                                    
     protection of  our state and  our country.  Since 2007,                                                                    
     the Legislature  has honored  their sacrifice  with the                                                                    
     Alaska  Decoration  of  Honor, presenting  a  medal  to                                                                    
     surviving family or friends.  There have been more than                                                                    
     two hundred  recipients of this honor  since statehood,                                                                    
     recognizing  the important  roll Alaskans  have played,                                                                    
     and continue to play, in the security of our home.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
     Senate  Concurrent  Resolution  14  awards  the  Alaska                                                                    
     Decoration  of Honor  to three  armymen  killed in  the                                                                    
     line of duty during 2017:                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
          Private  First Class  Hansen B.  Kirkpatrick (Died                                                                    
     July 3, 2017)                                                                                                              
          Chief  Warrant  Officer  2  Jacob  M.  Sims  (Died                                                                    
     October 28, 2017)                                                                                                          
          Staff Sergeant  David T. Brabander  (Died December                                                                    
     11, 2017)                                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
     Private Kirkpatrick  of Wasilla  served as  a mortarman                                                                    
     in the  1-36 Infantry  stationed in Fort  Bills, Texas.                                                                    
     At  only 19  years old,  he died  in Helmand  Province,                                                                    
     Afghanistan,   due  to   wounds  sustained   during  an                                                                    
     indirect fire  attack. He was  described as  "a caring,                                                                    
     disciplined, and intelligent young soldier."                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
     Chief Warrant  Officer Sims  of Oklahoma  and Southeast                                                                    
     Alaska,  36,   was  a  combat  engineer   turned  UH-60                                                                    
     Blackhawk helicopter  pilot who  had served  this state                                                                    
     and  nation for  nearly 20  years. He  was killed  in a                                                                    
     helicopter  crash   during  his  deployment   in  Logar                                                                    
     Province,  Afghanistan.  He  served multiple  tours  of                                                                    
     duty in Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan.                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
     Staff Sergeant Brabander of Wasilla  was a squad leader                                                                    
     at  Joint Base  Elemendorf-Richardson. The  24-year-old                                                                    
     deployed to  Afghanistan in  September, and  was killed                                                                    
     in  Nangahar  Province,  Afghanistan when  his  vehicle                                                                    
     overturned in a combat zone.  Like so many Alaskans, he                                                                    
     loved the outdoors.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
     It is  a solemn occasion  for a Decoration of  Honor to                                                                    
     be necessary,  and it  is our hope  that those  who put                                                                    
     their  lives on  the line  for the  safety of  Alaskans                                                                    
     return   home   safely   themselves.   We   offer   our                                                                    
     condolences to the families and  friends of these three                                                                    
     servicemen, honor their  service, and memorialize their                                                                    
     sacrifice by passing SCR 14.                                                                                               
                                                                                                                                
SENATOR COSTELLO noted  that it is Alaska  Statute (AS) 26.05.342                                                               
that allows  this honor to  be awarded; it requires  a resolution                                                               
be passed  by the legislature in  order to provide the  awards to                                                               
the families.                                                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:07:08 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SCOTT  KAWASAKI,  Alaska  State  Legislature,  as                                                               
prime sponsor, presented  HCR 15.  For the record,  he stated the                                                               
names  of  the fallen  servicemen  being  honored [as  listed  in                                                               
Senator Costello's  sponsor statement  previously provided].   He                                                               
added  the  names  of  the  surviving  family  of  each  deceased                                                               
serviceman.                                                                                                                     
                                                                                                                                
1:09:17 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER asked,  "Do you  have any  idea how  many                                                               
more of the declaration of honor medals we have in inventory?"                                                                  
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE KAWASAKI  answered that  the Joint  Armed Services                                                               
Committee has approximately 60 blank medals in storage.                                                                         
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE SADDLER  noted that  the declaration of  honor was                                                               
established by his predecessor, Representative Nancy Dahlstrom.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
1:10:16 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK opened public testimony on HCR 15 and SCR 14.                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
1:11:10 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
VERDIE  BOWEN, Director  of Veterans  Affairs, Office  of Veteran                                                               
Affairs,  Department  of  Military &  Veterans'  Affairs  (DMVA),                                                               
stated  that DMVA  supports  HCR 15  and SCR  14.   He  expressed                                                               
appreciation to the  legislature for creating the  means to honor                                                               
fallen service  members.  In response  to Representative Saddler,                                                               
he  explained   the  process  by  which   military  personnel  is                                                               
recognized.   He said  DMVA verifies  that the  individuals being                                                               
considered were  killed in  a combat  zone.   He said  there have                                                               
been  241   recipients.     He  credited   former  Representative                                                               
Dahlstrom and her aides for their  work to create a decoration of                                                               
honor.  In response to a  follow-up question, he said the contact                                                               
information  for the  surviving family  of the  fallen servicemen                                                               
was current  as of a few  weeks ago, and DMVA  makes every effort                                                               
to ensure that they receive the awards given.                                                                                   
                                                                                                                                
1:13:47 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  SADDLER emphasized  the  importance  of not  only                                                               
making  the award,  but  going  the extra  step  in ensuring  the                                                               
family receives it.                                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
1:13:54 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
REPRESENTATIVE  REINBOLD  echoed  the comment  of  Representative                                                               
Saddler.   She related that there  had been medals in  her office                                                               
"stacked  really high,"  and her  staff  tried to  help find  the                                                               
contact information for  the recipients.  She said it  was sad to                                                               
see the medals sitting in an  office when she knew "someone would                                                               
treasure and value them."                                                                                                       
                                                                                                                                
1:14:35 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK,  after ascertaining  that there was  no one  else who                                                               
wished to testify, closed public testimony on HCR 15 and SCR 14.                                                                
                                                                                                                                
1:14:44 PM                                                                                                                    
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR TUCK announced that HCR 15 and SCR 14 were held over.                                                                     
                                                                                                                                

Document Name Date/Time Subjects
SCR014 Background Documents - Obituaries 1.31.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
SCR 14
SCR014 Fiscal Note LEG 1.31.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
SCR 14
SCR014 Sponsor Statement 1.31.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
SCR 14
SCR014 ver A 1.18.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
SCR 14
HCR 15 Support Document - Obituaries 1.30.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HCR 15
HCR 15 Support Document- DoH Award Gov 1.30.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HCR 15
HCR 15 Sponsor Statement 1.30.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HCR 15
HB015 ver D.PDF HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 15
HB194 Fiscal Note DHSS 2.6.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Fiscal Note DMV 2.6.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Fiscal Note DNR 2.6.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Fiscal Note DOA 2.6.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Fiscal Note MVA 2.6.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Sectional Analysis ver A 1.23.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Sponsor Statement 1.23.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Support Document - Letter Capt. Weaver 2.8.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Supporting Document - Support Letters 2.7.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Supporting Document-US Code Title 38 Definitions 1.23.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194
HB194 Supporting Document-US CodeTitle 38 Veteran Definition 1.23.18.pdf HMLV 2/8/2018 1:00:00 PM
HB 194