Issues: Troops

RITCHIE SECURES $185,000 TO SUPPORT ACTIVE DUTY TROOPS, VETERANS WITH PTSD

Funding Will Aid PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans, River Community Wellness Program

In an effort to support active duty military and veterans, State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $185,000 to aid men and women suffering with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat related illnesses. 

The special funding will be split between Watertown’s VETS Peer to Peer Outreach Center—an organization running the PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans, which was established in part through a grant secured by Senator Ritchie—and Alexandria Bay’s River Community Wellness Program, based at River Hospital. 

“Our soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice, putting their lives on the line to protect our freedom,” said Senator Patty Ritchie. “Many troops who have served in combat zones return with wounds we cannot see and as a result, struggle with PTSD as they try to reacclimate themselves with life at home.”

August 26, 2014
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RITCHIE, FDRLO TEAM UP TO DELIVER MORE THAN 9,000 SIGNATURES IN SUPPORT OF FORT DRUM TO ARMY LEADERSHIP

Public Still Encouraged to Stand Up for the Post 

***CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION IN SUPPORT OF FORT DRUM***

State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced that through a collaborative effort with the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization, more than 9,000 signatures and dozens of resolutions from local municipalities and organizations in support of Fort Drum have been delivered to Army leadership. 

Earlier this month, Senator Ritchie launched www.StandUpForFortDrum.com, a website where the public could sign a petition to show their support for the post. There, nearly 3,000 signatures were collected and then delivered to FDRLO to support the organization’s petition-gathering effort.

“Fort Drum is a vital part of our region, state and nation,” said Senator Ritchie.  “The signatures collected are a testament to our area’s desire to preserve and encourage further growth of the post, which each and every day has a significant, positive impact on our local economy, our nation’s security and our community as a whole.”

August 25, 2014
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RITCHIE CALLS ON ARMY LEADERSHIP TO PRESERVE FORT DRUM

Letter Cites Positive Economic, Community and Security Impacts of Post 

In light of potential troop reductions, State Senator Patty Ritchie expressed her support for Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division in a letter sent today to Army leadership. 

The letter follows a proposal by the Army to assess the impact of reducing troop levels to numbers not seen since the beginning of World War II.  Taken across the board, the reductions could mean significant cuts at Fort Drum, the North Country’s leading economic engine, which supports thousands of jobs and pumps roughly $1.4 billion into the local economy annually.

In the letter, Senator Ritchie cited the post’s significant economic impact on Central and Northern New York, as well as the state as a whole:

“Fort Drum and the 10th Mountain Division’s economic value to New York State, Northern and Central New York is well-documented and clearly described in annual Economic Impact Statements issued by the post: $1.2 billion in payroll, more than $100 million in locally sourced contracts for construction and other services, and a total positive economic impact on our region of $1.4 billion a year,” said the letter.

August 22, 2014
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Senator Michael Gianaris Inducts Queensbridge Resident Into Veteran's Hall of Fame

Senator Michael Gianaris honored World War II veteran, Queensbridge resident and community fixture John D. Smith Sr. as an inductee into the New York State Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame, which is designed to pay tribute to New Yorkers whose gallantry in the U.S. Armed Forces is complemented by service to their communities. Senator Gianaris presented Mr. Smith with a commemorative plaque at the Jacob A. Riis Neighborhood Settlement house in Queensbridge Houses.

August 15, 2014
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WILL YOU STAND UP FOR FORT DRUM?

WILL YOU STAND UP FOR FORT DRUM?

Senator Ritchie’s Weekly Column 

Living in Upstate New York, it’s hard to imagine life without Fort Drum.  It’s soldiers are not only defenders of our freedom, they—and their families—are our friends, coworkers and neighbors.  In addition, the post also has an unparalleled positive impact on our region, supporting thousands of jobs and pumping roughly $1.4 billion into our economy annually. 

Currently, the military is studying what would happen if it cut 16,000 soldiers and civilians from Fort Drum.  In light of possible reductions, I’m teaming with local leaders and organizations, like the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization (FDRLO) to gather support for the post. 

August 11, 2014
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RITCHIE LAUNCHES PETITION IN SUPPORT OF FORT DRUM

Teams with FDRLO, Local Leaders as Army Considers Possible Troop Reductions 

***CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION***

State Senator Patty Ritchie is teaming with the Fort Drum Regional Liaison Organization (FDRLO) and other local leaders to urge people to stand up for Fort Drum by signing an online petition launched today at www.StandUpForFortDrum.com

The petition follows a proposal by the Army to assess the impact of reducing troop levels to numbers not seen since the beginning of World War II.  Taken across the board, the reductions could mean significant cuts at Fort Drum, the North Country’s leading economic engine, which supports thousands of jobs and pumps roughly $1.4 billion into the local economy annually. 

“Ft. Drum is a huge part of the North Country—it’s a major job-creator, a significant part of our economy and its troops and their families are not only defenders of our freedom, they are also our friends and neighbors,” said Senator Ritchie.

“I’m joining forces with the FDRLO and local leaders to help send a clear message to the Army that Fort Drum is a vital part of our region, our state and our nation.  Our community has welcomed Fort Drum and now, we need to stand together to show our continued support and eagerness to help the post grow and succeed.”

August 6, 2014
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RITCHIE JOINS ELECTED OFFICIALS FROM ACROSS THE NORTHEAST TO DISCUSS ISSUES FACING VETERANS

Takes Part in First Meeting of “Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs”

State Senator Patty Ritchie joined today with fellow members of the Council of State Governments “Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs” to discuss ways to improve services and outreach to veterans and active members of our nation’s military. 

The discussion was the first for the group, which is tasked with identifying key issues facing veterans and  includes legislators and state officials from across the country.

“As the State Senator representing Fort Drum, I make it a priority to look out for the 18,000 soldiers, 20,000 family members and nearly 3,000 veterans who call our region home,” said Senator Ritchie.

August 5, 2014
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STAND UP FOR FORT DRUM

The Army is proposing troop cuts to levels not seen since the beginning of World War 2. Taken across the board, the reductions could mean significant cuts at Fort Drum, the North Country’s leading economic engine.

July 31, 2014
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RITCHIE PAYS TRIBUTE TO TROOPS AT MOUNTAIN REMEMBRANCE CEREMONY

State Senator Patty Ritchie paid tribute to fallen troops recently at Fort Drum’s annual Mountain Remembrance ceremony. 

July 11, 2014
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Senator Kennedy and Local Gold Star Mothers Lead Cheektowaga’s Independence Day Parade

Kennedy selected to serve as parade’s grand marshal, asks local Gold Star mothers to share the honor.

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – In recognition of the sacrifices made by so many brave Western New Yorkers while serving in our nation’s armed forces, Senator Tim Kennedy invited local Gold Star mothers to join him in leading Cheektowaga’s Independence Day parade today.

When Senator Kennedy was selected to serve as grand marshal for the parade, he wanted to share the honor with area residents who deserve our deepest gratitude for the sacrifices their families made to keep our nation strong and free. He asked local Gold Star mothers, who lost children in service to our nation, to share the grand marshal honors with him.

July 4, 2014
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Senator Lee Zeldin: NYS Names Bridge for Local Veteran

July 3, 2014 Contact: Kara Cumoletti (518) 455-3570  cumolett@nysenate.gov

July 3, 2014
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Governor Signs Bill Naming Highway For Fallen Ulster County Soldier

ONEONTA, 07/03/14 – 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 today.  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.   

July 3, 2014
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Senator Lee Zeldin Welcomes Islip Town Supervisor Home from Deployment

RONKONKOMA—On Wednesday, June 2, 2014, Senator Lee M. Zeldin (R,C—Shirley) welcomed home long-time friend and Islip Town Supervisor, Commander Tom Croci, USN-Intel officer, from his 3rd deployment to Afghanistan.

On this last deployment, Commander Croci was stationed in Afghanistan from September 28, 2013-June 22, 2014 while supporting special operations forces. A Hero’s welcome was held at MacArthur Airport in his honor and Senator Zeldin was on hand to present the Supervisor with a proclamation and to thank him for his dedicated service to our nation.

Senator Zeldin is pictured above with Commander Croci during the ceremony.

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July 3, 2014
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SENATOR RITCHIE NAMED TO NATIONWIDE VETERANS PANEL

Group Will Explore Ways to Improve Services, Outreach to Those Who Served

State Senator Patty Ritchie has been picked to be part of a nationwide group looking at ways to improve services and outreach to veterans and active members of America’s military.

The Council of State Governments “Task Force on Military and Veterans Affairs” includes legislators and elected state leaders from across the country. The panel is charged with identifying key veterans’ issues and best-practices that are already in use in various states. The group’s findings will be used to help draft legislative proposals in New York and other states to aid veterans.

“As the State Senator who represents the largest military post in the Northeast, and tens of thousands of veterans who served from World War II to the continuing battles against terrorism, I’ve given top priority to the needs of veterans and active duty members of our military,” said Senator Ritchie, whose district includes Fort Drum, home to the Army’s 10th Mountain Division.

July 1, 2014
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Communities support our troops through military drive

Senator George Maziarz, Assemblywoman Jane Corwin, Congressman Chris Collins, and members of the Clarence and Lockport VFWs joined to present care packages, comprised of donated items from the community, to the Blue Star Mothers organization. The organization will be sending the packages to men and women of our nation’s Armed Forces stationed in remote areas around the globe.

June 30, 2014
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Legislative Notebook: State Initiatives of Interest to Veterans

Here is a partial listing of bills I have supported this session to aid New York’s former servicemen and servicewomen. These initiatives will now go to Governor Cuomo for final action.

-- Legislation I co-sponsored was passed by both houses (S.7839, first introduced as S.4714)) to extend the Military Service Credit Law of 2000 to all veterans who have served in the military. Right now, public employees who served in the armed forces may purchase up to three years of pension credit only if their military service occurred during specified conflicts. This measure will expand this opportunity to public employee veterans who also served their country in peacetime.

June 26, 2014
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Senator DeFrancisco Recognizes the Wheeler Student Council for Supporting Cell Phones for Soldiers

Senator John A. DeFrancisco was pleased to present merit certificates to members of the Wheeler Elementary Student Council on June 6, 2014, in recognition of their outstanding efforts in collecting phones for his annual Cell Phones for Soldiers collection drive.  Over the past few years, Wheeler Elentary has collected hundreds of used mobile phones to help provide prepaid calling cards to deployed U.S. military members. 

June 6, 2014
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70th Anniversary of D-Day

Today marks 70 years since Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy and began the liberation of Europe that would lead to the eventual end of World War II.In commemoration of the brave men who fought on D-Day, and throughout World W

June 6, 2014
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State Senate Honors 70th Anniversary of D-Day Invasion With Resolution and Veterans Legislation

The New York State Senate has just honored World War II veterans by adopting  a resolution that commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Allied Army invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, a defining day in world history that marked the beginning of the liberation of Europe and the eventual end of World War II; as well as passing a package of legislation to benefit veterans, and men and women in active military duty.

Click here for more information.

June 6, 2014
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Town of Greece Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony

I joined my colleagues in government and the Greece community at the annual Town of Greece Memorial Day parade and ceremony. This is a great tradition that is attended by so many local veterans, organizations and residents. Thanks to all who participated in the parade and to everyone who came to the ceremony afterwards to honor all those who have died for our country. 

Click here to see more pictures from this great event.

May 28, 2014
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