The governor's new budget eliminates state funding for honor guards at veterans' funerals. His two-year budget proposal of $36.5 billion eliminates $469,533 for honor guards. It is easy to say "thank you for serving," then let the veteran die without having an honor guard.

I served four tours of duty in Vietnam, and as many of us veterans see it, we paid up front for honor guards.

I know we are in a budget crisis, but we should not be balancing the budget by eliminating the final honors we have always given to our military heroes. If you agree, I urge you contact your local legislators and the governor's office and make known your disapproval.

Connecticut honor guards attend funerals in the state for any deceased person who has served in any of the U.S. armed forces during times of war; who has served in the National Guard for more than 20 years; or who has died while a member of the National Guard.

My message to legislators is clear: We should not eliminate state funding for final honors for our veterans.

Ron Drew, Sr. vice commander

American Legion Post 143