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Updated Jan 17, 2013 - 5:14 pm

Arizona lawmakers team up to help military vets

Arizona Rep. Sonny Borelli (KTAR Photo/Jim Cross)

PHOENIX -- A group of Arizona Democratic and Republican lawmakers are using their backgrounds as military veterans to create a caucus that will focus on veterans' issues.

Republican Rep. Sonny Borelli of Lake Havasu City was a Marine gunnery sergeant. He said the veterans caucus is going to address the spectrum of issues facing vets, including post traumatic stress, homelessness and high unemployment.

"If people are not working then they have family problems. If you're married and don't have a job that is financial stress on a marriage," said the freshman legislator.

The committee plans to present legislation that would give employers incentives and tax breaks to hire veterans.

Arizona House Assistant Minority Leader Ruben Gallego also served in the Marines. He said, "Arizona is constantly taking in veterans and we are going to have an influx coming back from Afghanistan next year.

"At the end of the day I would like to see Arizona set the standard for being the best veteran friendly state in the nation."

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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