Veterans: Enact Military Service Members Court

State legislators ought to make it plain that West Virginians consider the debt we owe to veterans of military service a greater priority than ensuring justices of our Supreme Court have expensive couches and fancy offices.

State Sen. Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, has introduced a bill to establish a Military Service Members Court program under the high court’s oversight. It could offer special help to veterans whose crimes can be attributed to their service to our country, perhaps because of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Many of those who have served in the armed forces come home changed, sometimes not for the better. Surely they have earned some help to get their lives back on track.

As Weld has noted, a veterans court existed at one time in the First Judicial Circuit. “It was a great program. But (disgraced former) Chief Justice Allen Loughry got rid of the program in 2017, because he said there was no funding.”

It turns out there may have been money for the program had some Supreme Court justices, including Loughry, not spent lavishly on their offices.

Weld’s measure, SB 40, ought to be enacted — to correct an injustice. Veterans are due at least that consideration for the service they were willing to give for the rest of us.

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