To the editor:

One of the greatest duties we face as legislators is to support the National Guard and our veterans. As a veteran myself, I know firsthand the importance of providing resources to help them succeed.

I want to thank Sen. Matt Little for his advocacy for our National Guard and veterans. In the Senate Veterans and Military Affairs Committee, he led efforts to restore vital funding for reintegration services and enlistment incentives - vital programs that help our veterans prosper and ensure readiness for our guard. I'm disappointed that our colleagues across the aisle did not support these efforts, but I know Sen. Little will continue to make our service members and veterans a priority.

Minnesota's service members and veterans exemplify a spirit of service and sacrifice. They don't necessarily ask for it, but they deserve the support of our state as they prepare to deploy or return from deployment. Our veterans need this assistance as they reintegrate back into civilian life.

This budget fails to support Minnesota's service members and veterans, but I know Sen. Matt Little will not rest until we make them a priority.

Sen. Jerry Newton, District 37

Coon Rapids, Minn.

Newton is a retired U.S. Army sergeant major.