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OK senator Frank Simpson honored by National Guard

After years of advocating for veterans, a Southern Oklahoma state senator was surprised last...
After years of advocating for veterans, a Southern Oklahoma state senator was surprised last week with an award from the National Guard.(Sen. Frank Simpson)
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 6:26 PM CDT
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ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) - After years of advocating for veterans, a Southern Oklahoma state senator was surprised last week with an award from the National Guard.

“It caught me off guard, it was a big surprise, I was not expecting it,” Simpson said. “And it just happened, and for the first time in a long time. I was actually lost for words. I didn’t know what to say. But it was a wonderful experience. Its always rewarding to be recognized for hard work, and I’ve put a lot of work into National Guard and veterans issues over the last 12 years.”

Last week on the state senate floor, Simpson was given the Thunderbird award. It’s the highest civilian award the National Guard gives.

“It’s for individuals that really support the guard well,” National Guard public affairs officer Geoff Lagler said.

“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve been able to do a lot of things up here that will not only benefit the guard, but also veterans in general,” Simpson said.

Simpson said during the Persian Gulf War, the Oklahoma national guard paid a large price when they were called to back up active duty.

“Many of them saw several deployments during that time,” Simpson said. “I just thought we needed to make sure they were taken care of and their families were cared for.“

One way he did that- by increasing benefits for serving, such as tuition help.

“He’s sought our counsel on what legislation we might like to have who help us do our jobs better as guardsmen, and he’s supported us when we made those suggestions,” Legler.

It’s a matter close to his heart.

Simpson comes from a military family himself, and served in the Navy for 26 years.

“I really understand the challenges that military families and veterans face,” Simpson said.

After 12 years of representing Southern Oklahoma in the state senate, Simpson is retiring. He said he’ll spend the next year traveling, but Oklahoma will still be home.

“It’s been a pleasure to serve the constituents I have in Southern Oklahoma that have supported me over the last 12 years,” Simpson. “And I just can’t convey to them how much I appreciate their support.”

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