State wants lawmakers to allow donations for Georgia veterans’ care

3:39 p.m Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 Georgia Politics and Government
November 11, 2016 - Atlanta - Robert McCubbins, an Army Veteran and president of the Korean War Veterans Association, General Raymond G. Davis Chapter, receives applause as Korean War Veteran’s were recognized. The Veterans Day ceremony at the Atlanta History Center featured Bronze Star winner and journalist/author Joe Galloway, the 116th Army band, a bagpiper, and the Georgia Society of the American Revolution presenting the colors. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

Georgia lawmakers will be asked next year to allow the Department of Veterans Service to accept contributions and private donations, with the money going toward care of people living in the state’s two nursing homes for war veterans.

The proposal, which would allow the department to establish a nonprofit organization as a means to accept the donations, is among three requests it will make of lawmakers when the Georgia Legislature begins work Jan. 9.

Most of the veterans living and receiving care in the homes — which include campuses in Milledgeville and Augusta — are aged and infirm, and many have limited incomes.

The long-sought creation of a women’s veterans program is another — the department has sought to create the program through budget requests but has not received funding. Now it will ask lawmakers to mandate the program under law.

Additionally, it will ask lawmakers to expand the list of who is eligible for admission into the nursing homes.

Veterans who have served in the U.S. armed forces during wartime periods that include World War II, Vietnam and the Persian Gulf are eligible to live in the homes under state law. The department, however, would like to expand that criteria to include veterans who served during other periods.