Quirk-Silva updates vets on efforts

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Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, hosted a legislative update and recognition ceremony for local veterans at the Walter Ehlers Recreation Center on Saturday. Over 200 veterans and guests were able to get an update on the Orange County Veteran’s Cemetery Act, also known as Assembly Bill (AB) 1453. 

Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton), chair of the Veterans Affairs Committee, hosted a legislative update and recognition ceremony for local veterans at the Walter Ehlers Recreation Center on Saturday. Over 200 veterans and guests were able to get an update on the Orange County Veteran’s Cemetery Act, also known as Assembly Bill (AB) 1453. 

“Our veterans have been instrumental in shaping the proud history and democracy that we enjoy today.  With their service, veterans have kept our families and homes safe and in return, these heroes should receive the benefits that will keep them healthy, secure and employed. Orange County’s veterans and their families also deserve an accessible location to celebrate the life and contributions of the brave men and women who have courageously served our nation.   It is our duty and responsibility to serve those who have served us,” stated Sharon Quirk-Silva.

Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva also announced that three measures aimed at serving California’s veterans were passed by the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs with bipartisan support.  AB 2703 would make permanent the investment in County Veteran Service Officers and AB 2431, which would add an indicator to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System to identify pupils of military families.

Most notable, AB 1453 would direct the California Department of Veterans Affairs, the Orange County Board of Supervisors, and participating city councils to work collaboratively to design and construct a state-run veterans cemetery in Orange County.

“In addition to the positive outcome of the June 24 hearing in the Senate, we have received outpouring support from 18 Orange County cities, endorsement from veteran community stakeholders and over 2,000 people have contacted our office in support of an Orange County veteran’s cemetery. It was announced earlier this week that more locations for a veterans cemetery are being explored by the Board of Supervisors in Orange County.  I am thrilled to see that Orange County Supervisor, Todd Spitzer, has made a serious commitment and wants to help the community succeed in getting a veterans cemetery for the County.  These are all signs that we must continue to advocate towards a final resting place, close to home, for our country’s heroes,” stated Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva.

After many discussions with local stakeholders over the past year, Quirk-Silva is leading the charge on state legislation that would allow for a veterans cemetery to be built in Orange County.  She recognized the group of veterans for inspiring her to carry AB 1453. 

“Several years ago, a group of local veterans got together and formed the Orange County Veteran Memorial Park Committee to garner support for a veterans cemetery.  Today we recognize their efforts and renew our commitments to making this project a reality,” stated Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva. 

Among special guests and honorees were: Brigadier General Sylvia Crockett, the 65th’s District’s 2014 Veteran of the Year Honoree, Marilyn Harris, members of OCVMPC, Bill Cook, Pete Seitz, Peter Katz, Dr. Richard Ramirez and Gary Colletti were in attendance.