On reading a column by Mr. Troy Clarkson titled “Serving Those Who Served,” I was taken by the fact that although Mr. Clarkson did mention David Viera’s association with several fine military-related organizations, there was no mention of the various pieces of legislation that have been passed by Matt Patrick during his former tenure as our representative.
I realize that we all tend to be “of the moment.” Ken Pollack’s description of we Americans as “serial amnesiacs” seems to apply. To put Mr. Clarkson’s article into perspective, I would like to refresh our collective memories with some of the veteran-related accomplishments of Matt Patrick. For example as our representative Matt was responsible for securing, annually, $100,000 to fund healthcare for veterans at the Cape Cod Clinic and for transportation to veteran’s hospitals in Providence.
Matt was also the co-sponsor of the Welcome Home bill that provided a check-off on the state income tax forms allowing taxpayers to donate to families of our National Guard personnel engaged in Afghanistan and Iraq. Matt also wrote and filed legislation to have National Guard troops tested for radiation poisoning from exposure to depleted uranium rounds (ammunition).
Matt was also a major supporter for the creation of a monument honoring military working dogs. Matt secured a joint resolution from the Massachusetts House and Senate in support of this project. The culmination of this effort was the erection of a monument in the Washington, DC, area. Matt was also recognized, in 2007, by the Massachusetts Veterans Service Officers Association for his support of veterans and their families across Cape Cod.
I believe in any situation it is necessary to look at the past in order to see what can lie ahead. In the case of Matt Patrick, there is a proven trail of legislation, demonstrative actions, and constituent support that should not be forgotten by any of us.
Alan H. Driscoll, Parsons Lane, Waquoit