Our Veterans Protect Our Way Of Life

There are so many things we continue to miss as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. We miss circling the wagons for the Bills with tens of thousands of other screaming fans on Sundays. We miss sold-out shows at CMAC. Most importantly, we miss being able to freely gather with at-risk friends and relatives without anxiety and worry. Promising new developments in creating an effective vaccine suggest that these parts of life we love so much will be returning soon enough.

It struck me recently that none of these things, nothing about our way of life that any of us truly value, would be possible without the all-encompassing sacrifice and dedicated service of the men and women who stand up to protect our nation and our freedoms in the armed forces.

Last week, we marked Veterans Day. As a son, father, brother and uncle of veterans, I couldn’t have more respect for individuals who chose to put everything on the line to protect their fellow Americans and promote freedom, liberty and opportunity all around the world.  

In the Assembly, I’ve worked as hard as I could on behalf of our veterans. I fought to deliver free state tuition for Gold Star Families. I fought to restore millions of dollars in state funding for peer-to-peer counseling programs. I was one of the first state legislators to make the case for medical marijuana as a legitimate therapy for combat veterans struggling with PTSD, and I sponsored numerous tax incentives and regulatory changes to make it easier for veterans to pursue their dreams and start a business when they return home.

It’s my hope that my colleagues will continue this advocacy in the coming years.

You don’t have to be in Albany to take action that expresses your appreciation for those who served. Contact your local VA, American Red Cross or veterans’ affairs office to find safe ways to volunteer. Support local, small businesses owned by veterans or that offer veteran discounts. Most critically, make sure the veterans in your life know you appreciate their sacrifice.

Make sure you tell them you understand that your whole way of life depends on it.

What do you think? I want to hear from you. Please send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York state. You may always contact my district office at 315-781-2030 or email me at [email protected].

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published this page in LATEST NEWS 2020-11-16 10:13:51 -0500
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