Pearce Announces Plan To Improve Lives Of New Mexico’s Military Veterans

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce
ALBUQUERQUE — Steve Pearce, candidate for Governor, announced Tuesday a plan to improve the lives of veterans throughout New Mexico.
“New Mexico has a large veteran population who answered the call to serve our nation. Each of them deserves our gratitude. As Governor, I will make New Mexico the most veteran friendly state in the nation. Today, I am announcing a comprehensive plan to improve the lives of our veterans and their families with a set of initiatives to empower vets, take advantage of their unique leadership skills, and treat them with the respect they’ve earned.
“When we give veterans education and work opportunities, focus on their health and well-being, connect them with other veterans, and provide them with unique benefits they deserve, we make our state stronger and do the right thing for those who have protected our nation. I am proud to have served with many brave men and women and will never forget the sacrifice others have made in service to America,” Pearce said.
Steve Pearce’s Commitment to Standing Up for Our Veterans
1. Empowering Returning Veterans
As Governor, Steve Pearce will formalize a statewide process that facilitates a transition for Veterans from military life to civilian life.
  • Fund the Veterans Education Program
  • Work with the State Small Business Administration to identify and create small business opportunities for our Veterans
2. Veterans in the Workforce
Veterans come to the table with a set of job skills second to none. Not only do service members possess trade skills, but they also hold transferable skills employers desperately seek such as leadership, attention to detail, poise and discipline. To encourage Veterans to stay in our great state, we need to provide the opportunities for them to do so.
  • Develop a program granting reciprocity for licenses in the fields that these service members have trained
  • Support a 100% personal income tax (PIT) exemption for the pay of uniformed service retirees and widowed spouses
3. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Task Force
Combat Veterans returning from war and transitioning into the civilian sector face hurdles for which Steve Pearce is intimately familiar.
  • Test every soldier returning from combat duty, to find if PTSD treatment is needed and provide the treatment
  • Create a State network of therapists and support groups that have a special focus on PTSD.
  • Ensure veterans who do not want to use the VA, or are too far from the VA have access to quality mental and physical health care.
4. Women Veterans Task Force
Our women Veterans face daunting challenges when they leave the military. Many are single mothers pursuing an education and trying to overcome many difficulties.
  • Lead from the front when it comes to supporting our Women Veterans.
  • Bring the full resources of our state together to form a Women’s Veterans Task Force to identify ways to support our women Veterans.
  • For any who have experienced sexual trauma, make counseling and treatment available.
5. Homeless Veterans Task Force
  • The Pearce administration will make it our mission to end Veteran homelessness. Veterans make up about 10 percent of the overall homeless population in New Mexico, which puts the estimate of homeless Veterans between 750 and 1,000. Just like the military motto: “Leave No One Behind” my Administration will “Leave No Homeless Veteran Behind.”
6. Veterans Serving Veterans
Who knows the problems that a veteran faces better than a fellow vet?
  • The Pearce administration will create a statewide support program – NM Vets 4 Vets – that connects Veterans with each other to provide support for Veterans dealing with the unique challenges they face.
  • Our Veterans Service Officers are extremely overtaxed. The Pearce administration will leverage the statewide service organizations, such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts as force multipliers. These force multipliers can identify and “intake” Veterans from their post and community for service support.
7. Thanking our New Mexican Veterans
We live in the Land of Enchantment, where individuals come from far and wide to access our beautiful state parks, hunt our lands and fish our streams.
  • The Pearce administration will use our beautiful state and resources to our advantage by granting free fishing and hunting licenses and a guaranteed deer tag to any honorably discharged New Mexico resident veteran.