Rep. Talley: Honoring a Guthrie Veteran

(L-R) Rep. Collin Duel, U.S. Army veteran George Shafer, Meredith Shafer, and Rep. John Talley on the floor of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

After our mid-March deadline to pass House bills through the House chamber, we’ve officially swapped bills with the Senate. This is done through a process called “engrossing,” and it’s the formal steps taken to officially move a bill between chambers.

After a bill is engrossed to the opposite chamber, it is “first read” on the floor, meaning it’s acknowledged that we’ve received it. When a bill is “second read” on the floor, it can be assigned to a committee and be heard there.

Now that bills have been assigned to a committee, those committee meetings started up this week. However, it was still a pretty quiet week, since House staff was still doing the behind-the-scenes work to process the hundreds of Senate bills we received.

One very exciting part of this week was having the opportunity to honor George Shafer, who lives in House District 33, as our Veteran of the Week in the House of Representatives! George overcame a lot of hardship in his younger years and joined the United States Army when he was 19.

He completed both Basic Training and Advanced Individual Training (AIT) at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, where he graduated in the top 10% of his AIT class. George was selected for five weeks of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Recon School at Ft. Leonard Wood. He was later assigned to his first duty station in Fort Polk, Louisiana, with the 51st Chemical Company, the only CBRNE Reconnaissance Company in the entire US Army at the time.

On 9/11, George was part of the quick reaction force under the 18th Airborne Corps, and he deployed overseas to Kuwait, where he was a nuclear, biological, and chemical reconnaissance team leader.

Later, George graduated from Liberty University. He is now in seminary at Regent University and serves as chaplain at the American Legion Post 58 in Guthrie, where he lives with his wife Meredith. The oldest of his four children is carrying on his legacy by serving with the Air National Guard and is currently on deployment.

I was honored to visit with George and his wife, and I appreciate Rep. Collin Duel from Guthrie joining me in recognizing them. A group from the American Legion came to show their support, along with Guthrie Mayor Steve Gentling and City Manager Eddie Faulkner.

We were also joined by Guthrie Tourism Director Justin Fortney, who was at the State Capitol on Monday for Oklahoma Film and Music Day! Guthrie’s historic downtown area has been used as a setting for many movies and television shows, and Oklahoma’s film and music industries have become major economic drivers for the state.

Before I close out this week’s column, I want to share some information about the Service Oklahoma location in Stillwater. The 701 E 12th Ave. location is now open on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m., as well as 7 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on weekdays.

If you need any licensing or drive tests, you can learn more information about the services each Service Oklahoma location offers at Additionally, you can take advantage of their online check-in system to help streamline the process and make it a little easier for everyone.

As committees kick off in earnest, please feel free to reach out to me at 405-557-7304 or to discuss any bills or questions I may be able to help with. Thank you for the honor of representing House District 33 at the State Capitol!

Rep. John Talley, a Republican, serves District 33 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives, which covers Logan and Payne Counties.


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