Herrera Beutler a hit with Washington veterans

State group honors her with bat for her efforts on their behalf

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

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Did you know?

The state’s Disabled American Veterans group buys the baseball bats it uses for awards at the Major League Baseball online shop.

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler gave her new baseball bat a couple of swings and said that it sure feels a lot better in her hands than a golf club.

“I’ve attempted to play golf a couple of times, and I always hold the club like a Louisville Slugger,” Herrera Beutler said Monday afternoon in Vancouver.

She had just received the bat from the Washington division of the Disabled Veterans of America, as part of its annual “Going to Bat for Veterans” award program.

The Republican congresswoman from Camas received the award at the Clark County Veterans Assistance Center in downtown Vancouver.

The state disabled veterans organization presents matching awards each year to two lawmakers — one Democrat and one Republican — for their service to veterans at either the state or federal level.

Bill Watkins, legislative chairman for the state’s disabled veter

ans, cited two pieces of legislation Herrera Beutler championed: HR 1407 to increase cost-of-living compensation to disabled veterans and HR 1383 to enhance tuition and education benefits for veterans.

The Washington division also noted her work on two other pieces of legislation: one allowed public employees called to active military service to get a 5 percent scoring preference on promotional examinations; the other expanded the definition of “veteran” in veterans’ relief programs to include current members of the National Guard and Armed Forces Reserves who have been deployed to serve in an armed conflict.

Herrera Beutler, who represents Southwest Washington’s 3rd District, said that some veterans-focused work doesn’t require legislation. Congress directed the Department of Veterans Affairs to extend the deadline to 2018 for reporting symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome, she said.

In September, the state’s Disabled American Veterans group honored state Sen. Jim Kastama, D-Puyallup.