My name is Kenny Bowyer, and I used to be a writer for the Pryor Daily Times in Pryor, Oklahoma. On Veterans Day of 2002, I wrote a story about Veterans getting Veterans Day off with pay. The story went through the roof. Everyone was very supportive, so it gave me an idea . Why can’t this dream, be a reality? So, I began the long, pain staking chore of emailing every one of our state senators in Oklahoma City. Out of 77 emails that were sent, ONLY ONE responded…Senator Sam Helton of District 31. Mr. Helton was a big help for me, because he sent me the addresses of Senators Jim Inhofe and Don Nickles.
In the mean time, I had been in correspondence with Cindy Morrison, a former anchor at KTUL-Channel 8 in Tulsa. Mrs. Morrison helped more than I imagined. I had emailed my story to four of the local news channels in Tulsa, as well as The Tulsa World. KJRH Channel 2 said there was “nothing they could do”, while KOTV Channel 6, KOKI Channel 23 and The Tulsa World never did respond to my emails. Mrs. Morrison sent me numerous emails, ranging from starting a petition, to an extensive search on the net.
Out of the two senators, only one got back with me. Senator Nickles’ assistant called me, and said that the story “touched” Mr. Nickles, and that he was going to sponsor a bill in February to make this idea come true. Finally, Veterans would be getting what they have long deserved, RECOGNITION.
However, February come and went…and nothing had been done about Veterans having THEIR day off. I emailed Senator Nickles’ office numerous times, and nobody has ever replied back to me. Veterans need this bill to be sponsored. They deserve it. Help me spread the word. Tell your friends and family about this site.
Now, years have gone by. The most that has happened was that (then) Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry’s office wrote me a letter, telling me how much the governer liked the idea I was proposing. With the help of Rep. Ben Sherrer, the measure began to gain some steam, and eventually became a House Bill (HB1466 – The Vicki Bowyer Veterans Appreciation Act)
However, the momentum soon faded, and now more years have passed. A new group of goverment officials are in office…but I think the time is right to begin to poke this fire a little more, and to see what kind of wildfire we can cause with this.
It’s about our freedom; It’s about our people; It’s about time!