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Alison Carter for GVEA board

To the editor: I first met Alison more than three years ago when we began a collaborative effort to start a Veterans Treatment Court in Fairbanks. At the time, I wondered why a newly minted lawyer, with a full financial management career behind her and no connection to the military, would take on such a complex project. It did not take long to see that Alison possesses a profound sense of community and a passion for social justice. She sees a need and takes considered action.

To Alison, Vet Court is equally a compassionate and practical matter. Getting veterans the treatment they need instead of going to jail addresses long-term afflictions such as drug and alcohol abuse, PTSD, and anger management. It helps preserve Alaska families and strengthen communities. It also helps avoid the costs related to the destructive cycle of incarceration, drug and alcohol abuse, homelessness, and veteran suicide, potentially saving millions of dollars each year.

Given her detailed understanding of the issues and ability to hold her own in a room full of veterans, we selected Alison to lead us in harnessing the efforts of the many stakeholders, including the Alaska Court System, Alaska Supreme Court, Alaska Legislature, UAF Justice Department, VA Clinic, VA Center, and every veteran organization in the Interior. She continues to provide the inspired leadership needed for success, and we look forward to a Fairbanks Vet Court in the coming year.

I tell you all this because Alison is the leader we need on the GVEA board of directors. She served on the GVEA Member Advisory Committee for three years, two as chair. She has deep knowledge of the challenges facing our cooperative and has ideas to improve service that are innovative, practical and attainable. She possesses the business acumen and the demonstrated collaborative leadership needed to make them a reality.

When you get your GVEA ballot, please select Alison Carter for District 3 board member.

Milt Sawyers

Colonel, U.S. Army retired

CEO, Alaska Veterans Foundation

Fairbanks

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