Following the scandalous misuse of funds intended for the aid of needy active duty or veteran Hoosiers, Representative Randall Frye (R-District 76) introduced House Bill 1257 that tightens the eligibility and administration requirements for the relief funds.

Here’s the digest of Frye’s bill: Military family relief fund. Makes an employee of the Indiana department of veterans' affairs ineligible to receive assistance from the military family relief fund (MFRF). Requires the Indiana veterans' affairs commission to give timely responses to applications for assistance from the MFRF. Caps the amount of monetary assistance a qualified service member may receive from the MFRF at $2,500.

These changes will lessen the likelihood of the misappropriations and unconscionable treatment of eligible applicants as were documented in the expose of previous program managers. However, it doesn’t address the agency culture where this misbehavior occured. The shame of veterans mistreating and taking from qualified, needy military families cannot be overstated. This behavior undercuts military camaraderie and the “no one left behind” ethos. This limitation notwithstanding, Frye’s bill warrants our support.

I encourage you to contact Rep. Randall Frye at 200 W. Washington Avenue, Indianapolis, IN 46204 or 800-382-9841 to express your support for his bill and to encourage more fundamental changes.

Gary May

Gary May