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VFW recognizes Honeyford for dedication to veterans' issues

On Memorial Day, the Veterans of Foreign Wars gave Sen. Jim Honeyford two awards, both for his support of veterans' issues.

"It's always an honor to receive awards," said Honeyford (R-Sunnyside). "But to receive them from veterans who embody the best things about America - sacrifice, selflessness, hard work and dedication - is an unforgettable experience.

"If anyone deserves recognition, it is our veterans for their commitment to keeping us free. Anytime I can stand up as a legislator and support our state's veterans, I am eager to do it," Honeyford said.

The first award was presented to Honeyford for "...meritorious and distinguished service in furthering the aims and ideals of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States."

The second reads, "Veterans of Foreign Award of the United States, Americanism Award, presented to Sen. Jim Honeyford for your dedication and support of the veterans of VFW Post 3482, Sunnyside, Washington. For more than a decade you have been there, whether in the forefront or in the background supporting our Post in all that we do to bring honor to our local veterans. We thank you not only for your support of our veterans, but also for the hard work that you do for all of our citizens."

Honeyford has long been supportive of veterans' causes and issues. In the 2006 session, he supported a House bill that would have forced protesters at military funerals to stay back from the proceedings. Although the bill did not pass, Honeyford has committed to working toward its passage in 2007.

Last month, Honeyford took on the Department of Corrections over its "diversity calendar" that gave equal weight to Veterans' Day and the birthdays of Ho Chi Minh, Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Imperial Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (the mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attacks). Veterans expressed outrage over the calendar, and Honeyford wrote the agency director on their behalf.

Honeyford was elected to the House of Representatives in 1994 and transitioned to the Senate in 1998. He spent 28 years in education before joining the Legislature and currently owns and operates a farm near Sunnyside.

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