MO Vet Goes on Hunger Strike over Missouri Senate Lack of Action
Stover, Missouri -- May 3, 2012 - A Missouri veteran has launched a hunger strike to raise awareness of the Missouri State Senate's lack of action over continued funding of the state's seven veteran homes and five cemeteries. Bill Fairbairn of Stover has gone on the offensive to raise awareness of the Senate's lack of positive action. "With this year's session winding down, who knows what could happen," Fairbairn said from the country market he owns and operates in rural, central Missouri. "The lack of action and last minute wrangling from the Senate is shameful and a disgrace to every veteran and their relatives who have ever served our nation."
The Missouri House of Representatives passed a bill (HB 1731) unanimously two months ago and forwarded it to the Senate where Senator Jason Crowell, Chairperson of the Veteran Affairs Committee has basically blocked if from coming up for discussion, vote and the Governor's signature. Without a permanent funding solution, the 1,350 housed heroes (and a waiting list of 1,650) could be out into the streets when funding dries up in June 2013. At a Veteran's Rally in the Capitol Rotunda last month, Governor Nixon pledged his full support and pleaded with the Senate to get a bill onto his desk for signature during this term. "The House, the Governor and the people of the state of Missouri know the importance of this funding, what's wrong with the Senate? Especially with young people coming home from at least two wars, what kind of "thanks" and message does this say to them?" Fairbairn asks.
Fairbairn sent a rather harsh e-mail to Senator Kehoe's office Tuesday requesting action and hasn't even heard the typical canned e-mail response. At the end of each session, numerous frivolous bills hit the floor in a last minute attempt to show action on particular legislator's ability. "It's not time to play games and lump veterans in with meaningless bills and waste, just to show constituents you accomplished something during your term. If the Senators can't do their job, Fairbairn thinks he knows some people with common sense that can. "I could bring five adults, a 9th grader and a homeless vet from Stover and get more done for the taxpayers."
"A majority of these people sacrificed the best years of their lives - even risked their lives, to win WWII, other wars and conflicts to keep our society free. They cannot take to the streets nor perform an Occupy Jefferson City; I'm just one small voice for them. They sacrificed so much for us so if I miss a few meals, that's a small token of gratitude to pay back to them to raise awareness," Fairbairn said as he is on a water and one protein shake a day diet until May 11th, the last day of the session if necessary.