SC military veterans rally at Statehouse

"Pitchfork" Ben Tillman
The statue honoring former South Carolina governor and U.S. senator "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman is seen on the grounds of the Statehouse on Friday, July 17, 2015, in Columbia, S.C. Some civil rights leaders want the statue to also mention Tillman's violent segregationist views and role in the Hamburg Massacre where seven black Republicans were killed in 1876. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The American Legion and other South Carolina military veterans’ organizations are holding a rally at the Statehouse to address a number of key issues. Wednesday’s event runs from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. on the Statehouse steps.

Army Maj. Gen. James Siegfreid is the keynote speaker. He will discuss honoring Vietnam veterans.

Also addressing the group is Rep. James Smith, D-S.C., chairman of the South Carolina State Officials Veterans Study Committee. Smith has served in the South Carolina Army National Guard and is a combat veteran who served in Afghanistan.

Several of the issues of concern to the veterans are passage of legislation to increase state income tax exemptions for military retirees, getting improved care for homeless veterans, and increased assistance for the spouses of deceased military service members.

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