Letters to the Editor

Prop 1, yes

Prop 1, yes

I attended my first Memorial Day event at Ivy Green Cemetery when I was a junior in high school. Listening to the veterans speak on that day, I realized the importance of honoring not only those who gave their lives for our country, but all who served in our military as well. I think it is a must, especially in Kitsap County with its strong Navy ties, to openly demonstrate respect and support for those who have served in the Armed Forces and have fought for this country.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 15 percent of the residents in Kitsap County are veterans. With such a significant portion of our population being veterans, finding ways to honor and support them should be a way of life in our community. A painless avenue to pay tribute to such heroes is by attending an event in support of veterans; this is especially important on the upcoming Veterans Day. Without citizens present, these events would fizzle; your presence is needed. This month, I encourage you to show your support of our local veterans by attending the Annual Veterans Day Celebration at the Kitsap Pavilion on Nov. 11th.

Along with your public support for veterans, I urge you to support them by voting ‘yes’ on Kitsap County Proposition 1: Veterans and Human Services Levy. This proposition provides funds from a small 5¢/$1,000 property tax increase that will pay for health and human services for residents of Kitsap County that are in need. More than 50 percent of the proceeds would directly benefit veteran and military personal and their families. A reduction in state funding due to state budget cuts as well as a decrease in donations as a result of the current economic downturn has impacted nonprofit organizations that have previously provided support for these men and women. The result is a negative impact on those individuals who have served our country. The Kitsap County Veterans Assistance Program has received an increase in applications from veterans who need support financially while it is looking at a decrease in funding in the coming year.  With the emphasis of the Veterans Assistance Program on the prevention of homelessness, the passage of Proposition 1 would be a win-win for the community. As the need for a safety net increases, the funds for that safety net are decreasing. A yes vote would assure that assistance remains available to serve those that once served us.

Kitsap County is a wonderful community, and one way to continue to show the values of our county is to demonstrate support for veterans. Support these men and women by attending the Veterans Day event. And, most urgently, I ask you to vote in favor of Proposition 1 to help keep veterans off the streets and in a healthy and comfortable environment.  It is the least we can do.

Katie Pitchford


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