North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum today released the following statement in observance of Veterans Day. Burgum will address the Veterans Day ceremony at 10 a.m. today in the Russell Reid Auditorium at the North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck.
“On Veterans Day, we give thanks to the more than 50,000 military veterans in North Dakota and those veterans who are no longer with us for their incredible service and sacrifice in the name of freedom,” Burgum said. “To these veterans and the families who have served alongside them, we owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. As Americans who enjoy the liberty that our men and women in uniform have defended for the past nearly 250 years, we all have a duty to honor their service, uphold the values they fought to protect and ensure they know how much we appreciate and support them.”
As governor and commander-in-chief of the North Dakota National Guard, Burgum has worked with the state Legislature to make North Dakota a more military-friendly state through numerous actions, including several bills approved earlier this year that:
- Expanded eligibility for in-state tuition rates at North Dakota colleges and universities to National Guard and Reserve members, their spouses and dependents.
- Cut red tape to allow the dependents of both military members who die in the line of duty and 100% disabled veterans to receive free tuition at North Dakota colleges and universities.
- Empowered the state treasurer to identify investment opportunities with the greatest return for the Veteran’s Aid Fund and the Postwar Trust Fund Earnings accounts – increasing funds used to directly serve veterans.
- Allowed military spouses to claim unemployment benefits when they lose employment due to military-related relocation.
- Allowed payment of death benefits for a National Guard service member who is killed while in state active-duty status.
- Improved behavioral health services for veterans and creates sentencing alternatives for veterans involved in the justice system.