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Letter: Thayer Stops Assistance for Military Families


The following letter to the editor was submitted by Dan Burch of Lexington.

This week Senator Damon Thayer denied a Senate vote that would assist young men & women out of high school wanting to join the Navy or Marine Corps NROTC program to continue their education and serve our country.  HB 235 was sponsored by State Rep. Matt Lockett-Nicholasville and would allow young Kentuckians wanting to join an NROTC program to use KEES money, which they earned from good grades while in HS, for tuition/books while in college.

The Kentucky legislature had previously made an exception for student’s majoring in a field which is not available at a state university... Those students can use their KEES money to go out of state for that major.  HB 235 is simply creating an equal playing field for those student-patriots that are forced to leave the state, since there are no NROTC programs within the Commonwealth.   

There is no opposition to this bill at all - zero.  It is estimated to affect between 8-10 high school graduates per year in Kentucky (including my own son, Joe) and it is widely supported by everyone, including Ky Military Affairs.

  • HB 235 passed unanimously in the House Education Committee
  • HB 235 passed 96-0 in the Ky House full vote! No opposition!
  • HB 235 passed unanimously in the Senate Education Committee.

Unfortunately, it is now being stopped cold by Sen Damon Thayer (who controls which bills are being called up in the Senate).  Why does he choose to spit in the face of young student-patriots wishing to join the Navy/Marine Corps and be our future leaders?  There is no logical explanation, as it has unprecedented support among both Republicans & Democrats.  It is also no secret that a good number of these patriotic young men and women entering the military do not have the same economic resources/means as some of their peers.  

I urge every patriotic Kentuckian and United States Veteran to contact Senator Thayer and ask why he refuses to support HB 235 and military families.

Photo via Legislative Research Commission

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