Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H. Res. 790 and to acknowledge the dedication and support provided to Washington State veterans by the Veterans Family Fund and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.
As someone who is privileged to represent thousands of veterans and their families, I believe that we owe the men and women who have served our country an enormous amount of gratitude and respect.
People who have never served in uniform frequently ask me how they as individuals can support veterans beyond simply displaying a flag on Veterans' Day. Today, I am proud to say that the Veterans Family Fund, in coordination with the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, has provided a way for all citizens to directly show their support for our veterans year-round, and provide financial assistance to those veterans and their families who need a bit of extra support.
The program is simple, and requires only a modest financial commitment. When taking out a "Veterans Family Fund'" Certificate of Deposit for at least 6 months, individuals pledge that half of the interest earned by the certificate will be donated to benefit veterans and their families, while the investor receives the other half of the interest, and a tax deduction for their contribution. The contributions are managed and disbursed to veterans and their families who are in need by the Veterans Innovations Program, operated by the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Veterans Family Fund is an independent organization founded by local citizens to help all Washington State veterans. I would like to take a moment to specifically acknowledge the members of the Veterans Family Fund Steering Committee, who made this program possible: Jane Jacobsen, Executive Director, Confluence Project; Michael C. Worthy, CEO, Bank of Clark County; Robert Friedenwald, Colonel (retired), U.S. Army; Betsy Henning, Principal, Alling Henning Associates; and John Lee, Director, Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.
I encourage other States to look at the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Veterans Family Fund, as a model of creativity and innovation in providing support for our veterans at the local level. I commend their work and ask my colleagues to support the resolution.