Missouri to Help Iraqi War Veterans

Iraq War Veteran’s hardship leads to new J-VET legislation.

Colonel Jack Jackson announces plan for tax credit incentives.

Cape Girardeau, MO. It was a case that went straight to the heart of retired Marine Corps Colonel Jack Jackson, “I will not let what happened to us who came home from Vietnam happen to this young warrior and his family”.


It was February 11 When State Representative Jack Jackson (R-Wildwood) went in to action to help the family of a fellow Marine and Missouri National Guardsmen back from active duty in both Iraq and the Hurricane Katrina disaster zone.

Sergeant Justin Dietiker of Perryville Missouri returned home from military service but could not find a steady job that provided his family with health insurance benefits. His 6 year old daughter, Hope has Cystic Fibrosis, his 3 year old daughter Isabell has a cleft pallet, and then he learned his wife Terri has cancer. Colonel Jackson started a fund raising effort to help. “I told my campaign staff to drop whatever they were doing and get to work helping this family.”

So far the fund has raised more than $14,000 dollars and Jackson negotiated with the Shriners Hospital of St. Louis which has agreed to treat the children at no cost.

But that wasn’t enough for the retired Boeing Chief Test pilot turned Legislator. Through his work as the Chairman of the Missouri Veterans Committee he learned there were many other veterans’ families in similar situations; back from action and in need of good jobs with health insurance. Days later he introduced The Jackson Veterans Employers Tax Credit Bill or J -VET for short. Under the plan now making its way through the Missouri House, employers would receive tax credits for hiring veterans, guardsmen and reservists who have returned from active duty since 9-11. “This gives employers some incentive to hire these young warriors to good jobs, up until now some businesses were reluctant to hire our returning heroes because they weren’t sure if they would be called back to active duty as soon as they became trained at their jobs.”

Jackson says the proposed J.V.E.T. bill will give employers tax credits equal to one half of the employee’s salary. The announcement of the legislation came Saturday March 4th at the VFW hall in Cape Girardeau where Jackson joined the Dietikers for yet another fund raiser, “This event will help this one family through some tough times, the J -VET legislation I’m proposing will hopefully help many others for a long time to come.” Colonel Jackson was joined at the event by Lt. Governor Peter Kinder who along with Colonel Jackson spearheaded another initiative last year aimed at helping returning vets. The Military Family Relief Fund allows taxpayers to check a box on their tax returns that allows them to donate part of their tax money to help returning vets; however that benefit is limited to one thousand dollars per family.

** As a side note… I have made calls and sent emails about how to make it easier to contribute to this suffering family. I have not had luck finding to donate directly to the family on the internet. There are several organizations where veterans can go for assistance like Soldier’s Angels. Please feel free to list other organizations below. Here is the address again to help this Missouri family.

Operation Children’s Hearts
c/o Missouri Veterans Commission
205 Jefferson, 12th Floor,
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Special thanks to Jack Jackson for his generosity in assisting this family.

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