Phillips: Scottsdale to consider establishing Veterans Commission

I am pleased to share with you that on Feb. 12 your Scottsdale City Council will consider the addition of a new volunteer commission tentatively called the Scottsdale Veterans Commission.

This commission would consist of seven board members in the Scottsdale community who are either active veterans, related veteran members or belong to veteran related services.

Scottsdale City Councilman Guy Phillips (File photo)

Scottsdale’s veteran community is growing larger every year. We currently host two veterans tributes, one at the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park and one at the Chaplain Statue at City Hall.

This new commission could help in organizing those events and making them even more visible to the public. Scottsdale is proud of our veterans and veteran history and this commission could be a great asset in recognizing and honoring those individuals, past and present.

Our city is also rich in veteran history. Our founder, Winfield Scott, was himself a Captain in the Civil War, along with many other past and current city and community leaders.

This new commission could task themselves with archiving the history of veterans in Scottsdale and giving tribute to them. They could also create more public awareness with special events or articles.

Most boards and commissions in Scottsdale are there to assist the council with recommendations on various issues that the council doesn’t always have the time to pursue. In this case the veterans commission would be a valuable resource to the council in recognizing veteran events, tributes and possibly special awards to local veterans and veteran groups.

PTSD and suicide is a growing concern within our veteran community and this commission could possibly assist in addressing those issues.

Currently there are many veteran organizations helping veterans in one form or another. I have personally spoken at four veteran tributes last year alone. What I have noticed is that although these organizations do wonderful work, they work independently of each other. With this new commission it is possible a member of each group could be on the board and enable them to share resources for our community as a whole.

It is my hope that if the council directs staff to establish a Veterans Commission there will be many veteran leaders in Scottsdale who will apply to be on this new commission for the enrichment of Scottsdale and its veteran community.

If you agree this would be a good fit for Scottsdale’s mix of boards and commissions I urge you to contact the council and express your desire to see this new commission become part of Scottsdale’s continuing commitment to its community.

You can reach the council at citycouncil@scottsdaleaz.gov and you are welcome to attend the meeting at city hall on Feb. 12 at 4 p.m.

Editor's Note: Mr. Phillips is a member of Scottsdale City Council.

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