Manker advocating for veterans in Washington DC

By Ryne Turke on September 12, 2016 at 1:15pm

A Morgan County State’s Attorney candidate is heading to our nation’s capital in support of The Fairness For Veterans Act.

Days after serving as the keynote speaker for the Jacksonville 9-11 ceremony, Tyson Manker was asked to speak at a press conference at the House Triangle in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.

Manker says the event, hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America, serves as a way to enact a law which aims to protect service members who have developed post traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury or military sexual trauma, as a result of their service.

“Since Vietnam and before, the military has had an abysmal record of taking care of returning service members with invisible wounds of war. Far too often is that when they return, some sort of minor misconduct incident allows the military to turn on them and force them out without any of the benefits they need, like psychological and mental health care.”

Manker hopes Congress includes the bill in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act.

“What it is and what it would do is enable the discharge review boards of all the military branches to enact the Hagel Memo. Chuck Hagel was the former Secretary of Defense who took action last year in response to a class action lawsuit by Vietnam veterans to have their discharges upgraded to honorable. This law simply seeks to enact and codify that memo into law.”

Manker, a veteran, recalls several instances where he and his friends have received poor treatment from the military.

“We hear politicians talk all the time about how they support the troops, but that kind of talk only comes are military and patriotic holidays. Then they go back to business as usual. One of the issues is we don’t have many service members in office, that needs to change. A lot of law makers have come on board. I believe there is enough support to pass this law and it will literally save lives immediately.”

Manker says he is honored to advocate on behalf of the more than 300,000 veterans “who have been forced out with post traumatic stress.”

Manker will be live-streaming the event, featuring about a dozen speakers, at The first speaker takes the stage at 10 a.m. Central Time.