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Showing posts with label Veterans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Veterans. Show all posts

Cuomo Vetoes Veterans' Benefit Bill

Written By Editor on 11/10/14 | 11/10/14

Just days after election day, Governor Andrew Cuomo decided to veto a bill passed by both houses of the state legislature. The bill, intending to aid veterans by allowing them to voluntarily purchase credit into the state retirement system for their service during peacetime.

The bill's synopsis says:

 Provides up to three years of service credit to members of public retirement systems of the state for military service rendered during times of peace; removes requirement that such military service occur during specified periods of hostilities; requires such members have at least five years of credited service, not including military service.

The bill passed the State Assembly 133 to 1 and the State Senate 57-0. Overall costs were going to cost taxpayers about $170 million. Both Assemblyman Lopez and Senator Seward voted for the bill.

Cuomo's veto message is below, citing in part that New York City's annual liability would be about $18 million.

Governor Signs Bill Memorializing Highway After Fallen Soldier

Written By Editor on 7/5/14 | 7/5/14

A portion of New York State Highway 44/55 in Ulster County will be renamed in honor of United States Army Sergeant Shawn Michael Farrell II under legislation signed into law Thursday.  The legislation (S.7824) was sponsored by Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) and pays tribute to the young soldier killed on April 28th in Afghanistan.
“Every man and woman who dons a United States military uniform sacrifices for our nation and our way of life,” said Senator Seward.  “Sergeant Shawn Michael Farrell II made the ultimate sacrifice and we owe it to him and his family to keep his memory alive.  I appreciate Governor Cuomo joining in swiftly signing this legislation to honor Sergeant Farrell’s bravery, courage, and unwavering allegiance to his country and his fellow soldiers.” 
Sgt. Shawn M. Farrell II, 24, of Accord, New York, died April 28, in Nejrab District, Kapisa province, Afghanistan, of wounds sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with small arms fire.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light), Fort Drum, New York.

Senator Seward’s bill designates the portion of New York State Route 44/55 from the intersection of New York State Route 209 in Wawarsing to the intersection of New York State Route 299 in Gardiner as the “Sergeant Shawn Farrell II Memorial Highway”.

“It is especially fitting that this bill is signed into law as we mark our nation’s Independence Day.  With so many Americans traveling along memorial highways to visit parks and other monuments,  I hope everyone takes note of the names attached to our historic landmarks and says thank you for all our servicemen and women have done to protect our freedoms and way of life,” Seward concluded.

Senator Seward posthumously awarded Sergeant Farrell with the state senate’s Liberty Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the New York State Senate, in recognition of his sacrifice and service to his country.  Senator Seward also sponsored a special senate resolution (J.4858) in tribute to Sergeant Farrell.

Middleburgh Honors Vets at Memorial Day Ceremony

Written By Editor on 5/27/14 | 5/27/14

In a well attended ceremony Monday evening, Middleburgh's civic and veterans organizations honored the lives of America's young men and women in uniform who made the ultimate sacrifice - approximately one million since the war for independence - in defense of our country's freedom.

The event featured touching displays by the local Boy and Girl Scouts, who respectively honored POW's and currently deployed soldiers from the area, while Middleburgh Central School's third grade class sang "God Bless the USA" with veterans in attendance joining them in front of the crowd.

Gibson, who spoke to Middleburgh residents, served in
the military for twenty-four years and obtained the rank
of Colonel before retiring in 2010 after seven combat tours
Congressman Chris Gibson, who was deployed to combat in both Kosovo and Iraq, was one of those veterans who stood with Mrs. Herzog's class and then he spoke on the life and sacrifice of one man who served under him in Iraq, telling the crowd that he would never forget his selfless sacrifice. 

The Rotary Club of Middleburgh, in addition to the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Century Club and the Women's Cooperative Club were responsible for organizing and conducting the ceremony and serving refreshments. The sound system was provided by Bill Berdan. 

Dedication of Sharon Battle Monument Planned for Memorial Day

Written By Editor on 3/26/14 | 3/26/14

American Legion Post 1269 in Sharon Springs has announced plans to honor the memory of five American soldiers killed in the Battle of Sharon with a monument dedication on Memorial Day.

The men, part of Colonel Marinus Willett’s command of Mohawk Valley Militia, were killed on July 10, 1781 while fighting Tories and Indians led by John Dockstader. After discovering that nearby Currytown had been attacked and burned, Willett gathered about one hundred and fifty men and found Dockstader’s force camped in Cedar Swamp, about one mile east of modern day Sharon Springs. Although outnumbered two to one Willet managed to draw the enemy into an ambush and defeat them.  

The planned monument is being jointly funded by the American Legion and the Sharon Historical Society.  It will consist of a bronze plaque, fastened to a boulder, and bearing the names of the five American patriots killed.  The monument will be placed near Bowmaker Pond for easy accessibility since the actual battle site is near busy Route 20. The plaque will be on display at the annual Memorial Day ceremony which will take place in front of the Sharon Springs Central School on May 26, 2014 at 11:00 am.

Anyone wishing to contribute to the monument, which will be inscribed in memory Capt. Robert McKean, Pvt. Frederick Bellinger, Pvt. Adam Kittle, Pvt. Caspar Lerhri and Pvt. Ebenezzer McMicle, may send a donation to Sharon Springs American Legion Post 1269, PO Box 204, Sharon Springs, NY, 13459.

Seward Meets With Schoharie County American Legion to Discuss Jobs for Veterans, SAFE Act

Written By Editor on 3/19/14 | 3/19/14

ALBANY, 03/18/14 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) met Tuesday afternoon in Albany with American Legion representatives from Schoharie County during the American Legion Department of New York annual legislative day.

“Our proud servicemen and women make great sacrifices defending our rights and freedoms,” said Senator Seward.  “I was pleased to discuss their concerns and learn more about legislation supported by the American Legion and our 1.7 million New York State veterans.”

From left, Senator James L. Seward, Schoharie County Commander Gary Schacher, Schoharie County Veterans’ Service Officer Eilene Fisher, Michael Saccento (Middleburgh Post 248), Myron Kniskern (Cobleskill Post 57), Paul Todd (Sharon Springs Post 1269).  
Senator Seward is a co-sponsor of the “NY Jobs for Heroes Program” which passed the senate overwhelmingly earlier this year.  The legislation, which is among the American Legion’s priority bills, creates a state contract preference for service-connected disabled veteran owned small businesses.

“The ‘NY Jobs for Heroes Program’ will mean careers and new opportunities for our returning disabled veterans and their families.  After sacrificing to protect and secure the American Dream our brave servicemen and women should be able to realize that dream themselves,” Seward added.

The American Legion is also calling for the repeal of the NY-SAFE act.  Senator Seward is a co-sponsor of multiple senate bills that would repeal the NY-SAFE Act and additional legislation that would repeal the anti-gun provisions of the law, but leave in place stricter penalties for crimes committed with firearms and measures to deal with the dangerously mentally ill.

“I voted against the NY-SAFE Act because it is an extreme measure which punishes law abiding citizens like our veterans while failing to confront the root causes of gun violence.  I proudly stand with the American Legion in opposition to this act which infringes on the very rights they fought to defend,” Seward concluded.

Patriot Highlander Challenge to Launch Registration Today for Pro-Veterans Event

Written By Editor on 11/11/13 | 11/11/13

The non-profit Patriot Highlander Challenge is a massive obstacle course built at Sunny Knolls Farm in the Town of Cobleskill, boasting the creation of six and three mile long endurance events. However, the most impressive aspect of this project is not its magnitude of obstacles but its mission of supporting local Veterans.
Inspired in part to raise funds for multiple pro-Veterans organizations - primarily Team Red, White and Blue and the Adaptive Sports Foundation -  and to aid local Veterans reintegration into society, the Patriot Highlander Challenge was constructed in hopes of bridging a gap within our local wounded warrior population by uniting their inner challenger with their status as a Veteran.
Both Cobleskill Stone Products and Howe Caverns have signed on as "silver-star sponsors" of the Patriot Highlander Challenge, which is scheduled to take place on September 13th of next year, and starting this morning: so can you.
Registration for the challenge opens to the general public at eleven and costs $55 per person, with proceeds going to help local Veterans readjust to their communities after the hell of war in Iraq and Afghanistan cost thousands of soldiers limb and mental ease alike. Sponsorship is also available for those who would like to financially further the event's success.  
So whether you are looking forward to scaling obstacles such as the "Battle of Saratoga," or to financially support this outstanding project's mission, you can do both at the The Patriot Highlander Challenge website or help spread the word via social media by liking their official facebook page.

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