Veterans Day: A Time To Reflect On the Liberty And Privileges Afforded Us

Veterans Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the sacrifices that our veterans have made, allowing us the freedom to pursue our hopes, dreams and goals. It is so important that we do not take this for granted. Veterans and their families have endured so much to allow us the liberties we enjoy, and I cannot overstate how thankful I am.
As the father, son, brother and uncle of U.S. military veterans, I will always hold a profound appreciation for those who have protected our freedoms. As Leader of the Assembly Republican Conference, I enthusiastically support legislation to help our heroes who have returned home to New York.
Last year, voters in New York State passed a constitutional amendment to give disabled veterans additional civil service credits upon being promoted or appointed to a civil service position. This was a great victory for our veterans and I am proud to have supported this legislation. In recent years I – along with my colleagues in the Assembly Republican Conference – fought to implement the Hire-A-Vet Tax Credit, rewarding businesses that hire unemployed veterans for full-time positions.
We also supported to extend state benefits offered to minority- and women-owned businesses to disabled veterans, and have protected the jobs of those serving in the Armed Forces by making it illegal for public employers to eliminate their positions while they are on military duty. Further, I am proud that the Assembly passed legislation to prohibit protests at funerals of fallen veterans.
We must always fight for those who fight on our behalf. For that reason, I have introduced bills and will continue to advocate for our veterans during the upcoming legislative session:

  • Create the “Veteran Owned Business Enterprise Act,” which extends state benefits currently offered to minority- and women-owned business enterprises to all honorably discharged veterans. (A.1735) 
  • Exempt honorably discharged veterans from payment of New York Thruway tolls. (A.1734)
  • Allow Sampson Veterans Cemetery access to federal funds to provide a dignified place of military burial for veterans. (A.6497) 
  • Eliminates the photo image fee for veterans who have their license amended with a veteran notation. (A.8231-A) 
  • Waive the pavilion rental fees for recognized veterans' organizations at New York State parks. (A.8152)

This Veterans Day, I ask each of you to reflect on the long road we have taken to achieve all we have in America. None of us could have traveled that path without the vigilance, courage and honor of our veterans. Please thank them this Veterans Day, for we owe them much gratitude.

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