Senator Phil Pavlov
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Dear Friend:

Michigan is the proud home to more than 650,000 veterans. I am pleased to join with many others across our great state in saying with gratitude and respect: Thank you for your service!

This report, Honoring All Who Served, covers several issues of interest to veterans, including recent legislation and helpful resources.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or if you need assistance with any state agency.

Sincerely,


PAVLOV BACKS BILL TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY PARENTS

Our servicemen and women shouldn't have to worry about retaining their custody rights while serving our country overseas.

I recently supported a Senate bill to make sure that active military parents are not punished for not appearing in court over custody disputes while serving overseas. SB 1015 would mandate that-unless the best interests of the child are being violated-the court shall not modify the current parenting time order if one of the parties has filed a motion of stay under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

The legislation was introduced after a Michigan judge held a service member in contempt of court and ordered his arrest after he failed to appear in court for a custody hearing - even though he was on duty aboard a submarine in the Pacific Ocean! The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Families, Children and Seniors.

VETERAN DESIGNATION AVAILABLE ON DRIVER'S LICENSE

Veterans: there's a new way to verify your status and take advantage of discounts at many of your favorite retailers. All honorably discharged Michigan veterans can now obtain a special designation on their driver's license or state ID with the word "Veteran" printed in red on the front of the card.

Veterans will be required to provide proof of their honorable discharge to get the veteran designation. There is no additional fee for the designation for veterans who are renewing their license or ID card or applying for one for the first time. For those who want the new designation before it's time to renew, correction fees will apply.

ONLINE RESOURCE

The Veterans Benefits and Services booklet contains information for Michigan veterans about benefits and services available through federal, state and local agencies. Click on Publications on my home page to view the guide or call my office to receive a free print copy.

Senate Memorial Day Service

RESOURCES FOR VETERANS AND MILITARY MEMBERS

The Michigan Veteran Resource Service Center, a partnership between the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency and the Michigan 211 system, provides veterans and their families access to federal benefit programs, state services and local, community resources. Veterans can contact the service center at 1-800-MICH-VET (1-800-642-4838).

The Michigan attorney general's office recently introduced two new legal guides of special interest to veterans and service members. The Military and Veterans Legal Service Guide provides a comprehensive directory of resources for legal matters and identifies various legal programs for veterans and active duty military. Access it at http://1.usa.gov/1qKrt4p. The Michigan Guide to Military Family Law is a legal resource that will assist members of the military, lawyers, judges and others in dealing with family law issues. Find it at http://1.usa.gov/1peaLcD.

Michigan National Guard members can now sign up for tuition assistance to attend Michigan colleges, universities and vocational schools. Visit www.michigan.gov/mingstap for details, including contact information, an application and frequently asked questions.

RECOGNIZING SACRIFICES MADE BY MANY VIETNAM VETERANS

Generations of servicemen and women have made countless sacrifices in their service to our country, some forgoing their education. A new law allows schools to award a high school diploma to honorably discharged veterans who served in the Vietnam War instead of completing high school.

An application form for the diploma should be submitted to the school district the veteran was enrolled in at the time of enlistment, and can be completed by the veteran, spouse, child or grandchild.

I am pleased we can now recognize and honor Vietnam vets along with veterans of World War II and the Korean conflict in this way.

MANY VETERANS ENJOY MICHIGAN'S OUTDOOR TRADITIONS

In recognition of their service, new laws waive fees for hunting and fishing licenses not obtained through a lottery for Michigan residents who are veterans with 100-percent disability or active-duty military. Find more information in the hunting and fishing guides at www.michigan.gov/dnr.

Michigan Honors US Armed Forces

 
Visit my website at www.SenatorPhilPavlov.com

    

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