OLYMPIA – Appointed by Speaker of the House Frank Chopp, State Representative Zack Hudgins (D – Tukwila) will join the state Joint Committee on Veterans’ and Military Affairs (JCVMA) as a member of its governing body.
The JCVMA is a committee charged with examining and addressing issues affecting the military and veteran populations in the state. The committee comprises 16 appointed members, four from each caucus of each legislative body. A four-member executive board, one from each caucus of each body, governs the committee.
Frequent issues addressed by the committee range from base realignments and closures, to the special needs of veterans’ health care.
Hudgins has forged a special bond with many who have or who currently serve in the Armed Forces. “As the son and grandson of proud veterans, I know what these military families experience – the unique burdens they privately carry for our country, and the support they so rightly deserve.”
Rep. Hudgins currently serves as the President of the board for the Friends of the VA Puget Sound Fisher House, which supports the Fisher House Foundation in its mission to enhance the VA Puget Sound Fisher House, support the day-to-day operations of the facility, and help construct new ones to serve more veterans elsewhere. The stated mission of the “Friends” is to “Ease the Burden” of our veterans and family during difficult times. Since opening, the Fisher House has served over 2,000 families of veterans and active duty military personnel receiving care, and kept family members close to their loved ones.
In 2005, Hudgins travelled to Iraq as a civilian educator and consultant with the National Democratic Institute, to support and assist the newly created Iraqi government. He also spent a great deal of time with American troops there discussing safety concerns and the stresses that come with overseas deployments for extended periods.
Those experiences and relationships have prompted Rep. Hudgins to sponsor several pieces of legislation in Olympia over the years addressing the needs of both service members and the families left behind.
As a member of the JVCMA, Hudgins looks forward to focusing on post-service education and employment opportunities for homeward-bound veterans.
“It’s only right, it’s only fair, to provide whatever we can as a state to help ease the burden for those who serve or who have served in our Armed Forces,” added Hudgins. “This is the Land of Opportunity thanks to them, and serving on this committee will be one of my greatest opportunities to thank them for it.”