The men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our country deserve our honor, our thanks, and most importantly, our support. That’s what we strive do every day at Disabled American Veterans Chapter 17. The funds we have been able to generate through video gaming has helped us achieve this mission.

Since our chapter began offering video gaming in recent years, we’ve gone from simply being able to survive as a chapter to a thriving organization that can better serve and support veterans who call our community home. Funds generated from video gaming have allowed us to make contributions to the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care Clinic in Danville and have made it possible to provide clothing and basic necessities to veterans at the Quincy and Manteno veterans' homes.

That’s why it’s so troubling that some in Springfield have proposed increasing taxes on video gaming. Every dollar we generate through video gaming stays in our community. If taxes on video gaming machines go up, it will mean less money to help the men and women who deserve it most. That is the opposite of the direction we should be moving. We hope lawmakers realize the negative consequences a tax hike on video gaming would have on the services we provide.

We should be investing more to help veterans, not less. I urge Illinois lawmakers to oppose this proposal.

-- Al Reynolds, Decatur

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