The Oklahoma Veterans Council presented Sen. Frank Simpson with the Senator of the Year Award Monday during a joint legislative session to honor Oklahoma’s veterans. Simpson, chairman of the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, has authored numerous bills during his tenure in the Senate to help the state’s military and their families.
“I’m beyond humbled and honored to be recognized by my fellow veterans. I’ve dedicated my Senate career to helping those who fight for our country,” said Simpson, R-Springer. “There are so many veterans’ issues that have been overlooked through the years by our government, and we’re now facing new challenges with the increase of soldiers being diagnosed with PTSD and other issues. We have a moral obligation to do everything we can to ensure they are healthy, that their families are protected and provided for and that they know how much their service is appreciated.”
Throughout his legislative years, Simpson has had numerous bills signed into law that tackle various issues including:
requiring the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) to establish a program to provide assistance for proper burial of homeless or indigent honorably discharged veterans
establishing veteran drop-in centers around the state to provide counseling, job placement and family services
improving oversight of ODVA
subjecting nursing facilities operated by ODVA to the requirements of the Nursing Home Care Act
authorizing ODVA to establish education and training programs for positions critical to the quality care of veterans residing within Department institutions
providing non-institutional, community-based care for aging and/or chronically/terminally ill veterans who are unable to live independently and do not have a caregiver who is able to manage their medical, emotional and/or psychosocial needs
extending a portion of the sales tax exemption provided to 100% disabled veterans to their unmarried widows
authorizing the Department of Public Safety to create driver’s licenses with a small flag in one corner, to serve as a designation of veteran status.
Simpson served in the U.S. Navy for 26 years active duty retiring in 1988. During his naval career, he served on nine sea commands; including a six month deployment with the Multinational Peacekeeping Force in Beirut, Lebanon. He received the Navy Commendation Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal and numerous other awards and citations.
This is the third year Simpson has been honored by the Council as he also received the award in 2012 and 2014.