I revere almost all of our servicemen. These are the women and men who by definition are selfless. They are also consummate professionals.
They HAVE to be. That's because members of a corps who are not in shape or not well-trained let down every fellow trooper around them. If they are not alert, they not only let down their fellow troopers, they could get some of them killed.
My reverence extends to FORMER servicemen. Generally, they bring into civilian life their good values, their discipline, their alertness, and their communal spirit.
As governor, I want to help the servicemen in my charge (CT has some armed forces, and the Governor is technically " captain general of the militia of the state"). As a civilian for all my life, I do this by listening, and in military matters leading ONLY with 90% concurrence by the military professionals. That said, i have a few semi-civilian initiatives to help current and former servicemen:
1) allow your health benefit to be used at ANY hospital. The red tape that veterans now have for receiving treatment beyond VA hospitals needs to end. As I see it, vets have a voucher, to be used at any clinic or hospital. It gives you more choices and makes all hospitals do better for Vets.
2) allow quicker integration as teachers. Many returning vets have tremendous teaching skills; we should allow them into schools as paras and teachers on an expedited basis.
3) facilitate online learning while in one's last 6 months serving abroad. One of the more dangerous times for vets is returning from service without a satisfying job. As part of "First 500", my plan for better schooling in CT, several schools will be available to servicemen in forward bases. You'll ramp up as fast as any civilian.
4) staff our "CCD". That's the Cyber Crime Detection institute we will establish in 2019. We need people with knowledge and knowhow to ferret out domestic and international cyber criminals. Many of you are well-suited to run this defensive unit, and some of you will make good trainers to help expand this institute.
I heartily thank you for your service, past and present.