Supporting Our Veterans And Their Families

Every year on November 11, Americans celebrate the countless sacrifices made by our brave veterans. This year is especially poignant as it is the 100th Anniversary of Armistice Day, which has come to be recognized as Veterans Day. Armistice Day observed the end of World War I when an agreement was signed between the allied nations and Germany. The ceasefire took effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month after a year and a half of American involvement in the conflict.
November has been designated as Military Family Appreciation Month. Families of military personnel are the ultimate support system for those serving our country. They have to endure long deployments, missed holidays and the constant worry of danger to their loved ones. This month, and throughout the year, I implore you to thank a veteran and their families for their service both abroad and at home.
As the son, father, brother and uncle of veterans, I have a profound respect for the sacrifices made by our armed forces and their families. It is imperative that we take the time to recognize the courage and dedication of these individuals, some of whom have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. We are forever indebted to them.  
My alma mater, Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC), is hosting a Veterans Day Ceremony on November 12 at the Canandaigua Main Campus Building starting at 1 p.m. This year, the keynote speaker will be Krista Stephenson, the Director of the National Women’s Veterans Call Center and an army veteran. This ceremony is part of a week-long initiative that includes a 5K race, a formal dinner and dance and panel discussions. FLCC is proud to be an unwavering supporter of our veterans, and boasts approximately 150 students who are currently serving or have served in the military.  
There are also a number of businesses both locally and statewide that are promoting special deals and discounts on food, purchases and services for anyone with valid military identification. A comprehensive list of participating businesses can be found here
Through the resolve of the Assembly Minority Conference, we have successfully advocated for legislation supporting veterans and their families. The Veteran Owned Business Enterprise Act (A.6142, Kolb) extends state benefits offered to minority and women-owned businesses to all honorably-discharged veterans, while the College Tuition for Family Members of Fallen Military Personnel bill (A.1737, Hawley) entitles surviving dependents of state military personnel to free tuition, room and board at SUNY and CUNY institutions. When session reconvenes in the New Year, our conference will continue to champion legislation that equips our veterans and their families with the tools they need and deserve to meet the unique set of challenges they face while selflessly serving our county.
I want to personally thank all the veterans in our communities and across the nation for their dedicated service. This country would not be what it is today without your bravery.

What do you think?  I want to hear from you. Send me your feedback, suggestions and ideas regarding this or any other issue facing New York State. You can always contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, email me at, find me by searching for Assemblyman Brian Kolb on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter.
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