OKLAHOMA CITY – The House and Senate Veterans’ Caucus held its first meeting for the 2019 legislative session Thursday morning.
Rep. Jay Steagall from the House of Representatives, and Sen. Paul Rosino from the State Senate were selected to serve as chairs of the caucus for the 57th Legislature.
“I’m proud to stand with the men and women in our state Legislature who have served in our nation’s defense to represent the needs of our fellow veterans in our state,” said Steagall, R-Yukon. “Our Veterans’ Caucus members understand the unique concerns of those re-entering civilian life after serving in our armed forces – whether they face medical, employment, housing or other needs. We will help ensure their concerns are addressed.”
“Oklahomans are proud of our state’s strong heritage of military service. Having one of the highest populations of veterans in the country, it’s imperative that the state Legislature stay up-to-date on the many needs and issues facing our active and retired veterans,” said Rosino, R-Oklahoma City. “This Caucus helps us better serve these brave men and women who have given their all for our state and nation.”
State Rep. Josh West, who helped found the joint Veterans’ Caucus in 2017, said he is happy to see these two lawmakers named leaders of the caucus and is glad to resume the work of the group.
“We formed this caucus to ensure veterans’ concerns are continually addressed, programs properly funded and to be pro-active in our support of the thousands of men and women who have selflessly served their fellow citizens,” said West, R-Grove. “These two veterans and fellow lawmakers will help us advance this cause.”
Steagall spent 22 years in the military and has been deployed nine times. His last deployment was during his run in the primary elections. He currently serves the country as a senior KC-135 pilot in the 465th Air Refueling Squadron, Tinker Air Force Base, U.S. Air Force Reserves, and will retire this spring with the rank of Major.
Rosino served the nation for 25 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring at the rank of Master Chief Petty Officer (E9, the Navy’s highest enlisted rank). For nearly ten years, he was stationed at Tinker Air Force Base, where he served in Strategic Communications Wing ONE in support of their fleet of E-6B aircraft. At his retirement, Rosino led a team of nearly 200 military and civilian personnel responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the E-6B fleet. A decorated veteran, Rosino held a Top Secret security clearance and received numerous awards and commendations, including Company Commander of the Year and Squadron Sailor of the Year.