Call to Order and Roll Call
The3rd meeting of the Interim Joint Committee on Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection was held on Thursday, October 14, 2010, at 1:00 PM, in Room 154 of the Capitol Annex. Senator Elizabeth Tori, Chair, called the meeting to order, and the secretary called the roll.
Members:Senator Elizabeth Tori, Co-Chair; Representative Tanya Pullin, Co-Chair; Senators Perry B. Clark, Denise Harper Angel, Vernie McGaha, Joey Pendleton, Kathy W. Stein, and Jack Westwood; Representatives Linda Belcher, Tom Burch, Dwight D. Butler, Larry Clark, Tim Couch, Ron Crimm, Robert R. Damron, Myron Dossett, Bill Farmer, David Floyd, Jeff Greer, Terry Mills, Tim Moore, Fred Nesler, Tom Riner, Sal Santoro, and Charles Siler.
Guests: Ron Spriggs, Executive Director, Ron Spriggs Exhibit of Tuskegee Airmen (RSETA), and President of Brigadier General Noel F. Parrish Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc.; Nancy Albright, Director, Division of Maintenance, Transportation Cabinet; Charles Wells, Personnel Cabinet; and Margaret Plattner, Deputy Commissioner, Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs.
Co-Chair Tori asked members to review the September 9th meeting minutes for approval. Co-Chair Pullin moved to amend the minutes with the addition of the word “been.” Representative Burch seconded the motion. A motion was made to adopt the minutes as amended and seconded, and they were adopted by a voice vote.
Representatives Butler and Siler read resolutions for fallen soldiers: 1st Lieutenant Eric D. Yates and Lance Corporal Timothy M. Jackson. A motion was made and seconded to adopt the resolutions, and they were adopted by a unanimous voice vote.
Ron Spriggs, Executive Director, Ron Spriggs Exhibit of Tuskegee Airmen (RSETA), and President, Brigadier General Noel F. Parrish Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., gave a power point presentation on the history of the Tuskegee Airmen. Mr. Spriggs introduced special guests, Tuskegee Airman, Frank Weaver and chapter member Donald Goodwin. Mr. Spriggs discussed some little known facts about Kentucky Tuskegee Airmen and recognized Colonel Noel Parrish, born in Lexington, Kentucky, a commanding officer of cadet training at Tuskegee; Willa Beatrice Brown, born in Glasgow, Kentucky, was a co-sponsor and driving force to create an aviation training program for black pilots and the first black female to receive a U.S. issued pilots license and mechanics license. Ms. Brown was commissioned a lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol. The combat plane “Miss Kentucky State,” a P51 Mustang, was named by S/Sgt Marcellus Smith, a Louisville native. Bomber pilot training was established at Godman Field, Kentucky, near Louisville, to train black crews to fly the B-25 Mitchell twin engine bomber under the 477th Bomber Group. Mr. Spriggs is keeping the history for the Tuskegee Airmen alive through student rap-sessions, lectures, keynote speaking, newsletters, touring exhibitions, a website, and multimedia presentations. Mr. Spriggs noted that in 2007, Kentucky became the first state to officially name a roadway honoring the black fliers who made history more than 60 years ago. The Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Airmen Trail is a stretch of I-75 which started in Fayette County because the state aviation museum is located there and several of the airmen were from Central Kentucky.
In response to Representative Floyd’s question about student membership to the Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, Mr. Spriggs stated that students up to the age of 25 are given a card for identification of membership, a press kit, research for scholarships, and guidance to advance any aviation dreams they may have.
Representative Moore stated that he recruits candidates on behalf of the Air National Guard and is interested in Mr. Spriggs contacting him when he has students interested in aviation. Mr. Spriggs thanked Representative Moore and stated he would take note of his contact information.
Purple Heart Trail and Tuskegee Airmen-HJR 67
Nancy Albright, Director, Division of Maintenance, Transportation Cabinet, presented a Power Point slide to show a map of the locations of the Purple Heart Trail and the Tuskegee Airmen Trail on Kentucky interstates and highways.
Charles Wells, Personnel Cabinet, gave a power point presentation on TRICARE for Joe R. Cowles, as he could not attend the meeting. Mr. Wells stated that questions could be directed to Joe R. Cowles, Personnel Cabinet, Deputy Executive Director, Office of Legal Services, for written response at a later date. Mr. Wells provided Mr. Cowles’s email address and phone number.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned.