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HomeNewsArchivesVeterans Affairs Director Asks for $395,000 Budget

Veterans Affairs Director Asks for $395,000 Budget

Aug. 9, 2007 — Director of Veterans Affairs Morris D. Moorehead presented his office’s 2008 budget request of $395,000 in a brief, sparsely attended budget hearing in Frederiksted Thursday.
His office, one of the smallest in the government, has a total of five employees, including Moorehead, and is placed within the Office of the Governor. It has a mandate to compile data on veterans, aid in their educational pursuits, assist with employment and job referrals and provide other benefits, including free ambulance transportation and free burial plot and death benefits. It acts as a local supplement to the actions of the federal Veterans Administration.
Sen. Terrence “Positive” Nelson asked for a period of silence while he played a song on a CD written by him in honor of veterans and sung by Positively Nelsons, a conscious reggae duo composed of Nelson’s sisters Arvian “Sparkles” Nelson and Stephanie "Empress Auset" Nelson.
Nelson said it was wrong that the United States sends young men and women to distant lands to fight for freedoms and, while they are away risking their lives, they lose income and possibly their homes.
“I see John Tranberg in the audience today,” Nelson said. “That man is a great Virgin Islander who was among the first to go off to war for the U.S.”
Veterans Affairs will also receive $100,000 from the V.I. Lottery and from taxi license medallion auctions. Another $200,000 is in the miscellaneous section of the budget, earmarked for veterans’ death benefits.
There was little said and few complaints in the short hearing.
“We had some problems with your predecessor with accounting,” Nelson said. “But I don’t think we will have it anymore. … I don’t think you’re going to have any problems with the Legislature as far as getting your money.”
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