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Senator Denny Hoskins’ Capitol Report for Week of Nov. 14, 2022

Giving Thanks

One of the best things about being a state senator is the opportunity to interact with so many remarkable Missourians. I’d like to share two recent examples, both related to Veterans Day observances in the district.

It was my honor to present a Senate resolution to U.S. Marines veteran, retired educator and community volunteer Helen Winston Cunningham on Veterans Day.

During a Veterans Day luncheon hosted by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Warrensburg, it was my privilege to present Helen Winston Cunningham with a Senate resolution in recognition of her 90th birthday. A retired educator and librarian, Helen is truly a remarkable woman. A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Helen has devoted much of her retirement years to serving veterans. She has been a volunteer librarian at the Warrensburg Veterans Home and has served as chairman of the DAR’s Service for Veterans Committee. A talented quilter, she is active in the Quilts of Valor program. It was a great thrill for me to recognize Helen and thank her for her many years of service as a Marine, an educator and a volunteer.

At a Veterans Day ceremony at Higginsville High School, I had the pleasure of meeting a young Afghan man named Abdul, or “Tupac,” as he was known to Missouri National Guard soldiers and airmen who relied on him in Jalalabad, Afghanistan. Because Tupac provided logistical support to Missouri’s Agribusiness Development Teams, he faced certain retaliation as the Taliban resumed control of the country in 2021. Thanks to his own grit and determination and the intervention of the Missouri military men and women he assisted, Tupac was able to escape Afghanistan and now lives in west-central Missouri. It was an honor to meet this brave individual who served our country so well and thank him.

It was great to spend Nov. 11 traveling around the district to attend Veterans Day events and express my gratitude to all my fellow veterans, their families and our allies for their service to the USA.

It was my pleasure to meet “Tupac,” who assisted members of the Missouri National Guard units deployed in Afghanistan. After the Taliban resumed control, Tupac escaped certain retribution in Afghanistan and relocated to Missouri.

The other big event in recent days was the election. Missouri voters sent a new senator to Washington, D.C., elected a new state auditor and expressed continued support for limited government, low taxes and a pro-business agenda in the General Assembly. Last week, returning and newly elected members of the Missouri Senate caucused together to elect new leadership for the 102nd General Assembly, which begins on Jan. 4, 2023. In the coming weeks we’ll get new committee assignments and begin laying the groundwork for the coming session.

The new legislative session will come soon enough. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving. I suspect I’m not alone when I say Thanksgiving is one of my most favorite holidays. Without the over-the-top commercialism that dominates so many other holidays, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with family and friends and count our blessings. The story of the first Thanksgiving in 1621, when Plymouth colonists gathered for a harvest feast with native Indian tribes, still resonates today. There is something timeless about celebrating the bounty of what you’ve received, despite whatever hardships you might face. There’s no doubt we’ve seen better days. With prices on the rise, our economy in peril and so many issues dividing friends and family, it might be tempting to focus on the negative. Thanksgiving provides a reminder to look on the bright side and be thankful for all we’ve received. It’s time to express our thanks, not only for God’s blessings, but also for friends and family.

I wish each and every one of you a happy and joyous Thanksgiving. I hope you get to spend the day with people you love and share in all the bounty that God has provided. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

As always, I appreciate hearing your comments, opinions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me in Jefferson City at (573) 751-4302. You may also email me at denny.hoskins@senate.mo.gov.