It has been a welcome change of pace to see bipartisan efforts both locally at Winchester Hall and at the state level in Annapolis as leaders from both parties have coalesced around a critical initiative to support our war fighters here in Maryland.
It proves that out of the division, unity is possible. You would have had to be living under a rock the past few years if you missed the ongoing debate on the merits of government support in bringing a hotel to downtown Frederick. With both sides intent that their position was the correct one, the conversation reached fever pitch, which left state funding for the project dead in the water.
With the funds that were initially allocated to the project now free to be reallocated, there are no shortages of worthwhile endeavors to support. We could debate for days which is the most worthy. I have no intention to try to change the mind of anyone who champions the cause they are most passionate about. However, I will say I find it personally refreshing to see the support of veterans elevated from campaign promises to active deeds with the support for a $500,000 bond bill to be awarded for building the Platoon Veterans Service Center. With its completion, we will be able to deliver help right here in Frederick for so many of our warriors who are in need.
The efforts of Senators Ron Young and Michael Hough, Del. Carol L. Krimm, and the entire state delegation, along with the support of County Executive Jan Gardner, has meant a great deal to our teams at Platoon 22, Goodwill Monocacy Valley, and our area veterans. At the center, our focus will be on job training, counseling and transitional support. We will provide this assistance by bringing public and private partnerships under one roof, which will keep veterans from ping-ponging all over the county and beyond to find resources that they need. The center will put Frederick, and Maryland, at the tip of the spear when it comes to supporting the transition of our war fighters to the civilian sector.
With close to 100,000 veterans living in the surrounding Frederick area and almost 400,000 statewide, this project isn’t merely about making people feel good, it’s about honoring promises. The promise we as a society make to our war fighters who willingly put themselves in harm’s way to protect our way of life, and the promise of lawmakers who profess their support on the campaign trail in an election year.
I hope you join me in thanking them for honoring these promises while working together to effect positive change. After all, the best way to ensure positive behavior continues is to reward the good you see.