It was my privilege to attend a special ceremony at the Pentagon on Wednesday to honor two dozen new recipients of the Medal of Honor, our nation's highest award for valor on the battlefield. William Leonard of Lockport posthumously received the award for his Army service during World War II. Lockport's Mayor Anne McCaffrey and I were delighted to see his daughters there this morning and share in celebrating William Leonard's unmatched heroism.
Senator Patty Ritchie hosted soldiers and officers of the 10th Mountain Division for her third annual Fort Drum Day at the New York State Senate on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Visitors were able to inteact with soldiers, view exhibits and learn more about Fort Drum. The highlight of the day was an address by General Michael Howard to senators in the historic Senate Chamber.
For the third consecutive year, State Senator Patty Ritchie honored our troops and their contributions to our region with 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day, a special event held at the State Capitol.
“The troops who were able to attend today’s event remind my colleagues and I of the many hundreds of thousands of men and women who volunteer to serve and defend our nation as members of our Armed Forces,” said Senator Ritchie. “Not only that, but they also impress upon us the importance of Fort Drum, not just to our nation’s defense, but also to the Central and Northern New York regions I represent.”
“I’m extremely proud to once again host 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day. I would like to thank those made the trip to Albany including representatives of the many community organizations that support Fort Drum as well as our troops, not only for taking part in the event, but more importantly for the sacrifices they make every day.”
As part of the event, Fort Drum’s Color Guard opened up the day’s Senate Session which also featured an address by Brigadier General Michael Howard, who spoke on behalf of Major General Stephen Townsend, who is currently serving in Afghanistan. In his address, General Howard spoke about the unique relationship between Fort Drum and the North Country, citing the economic boost and employment opportunities the post provides as well as the community resources—namely hospitals and schools—that troops and their families utilize.
A contingent of North Country veterans are pictured with Senator Betty Little in her Albany office on Tuesday, March 18. The veterans visited the State Capital to discuss numerous issues including funding for veterans’ programs and the creation of a New York State veterans ceremony. Little is cosponsoring legislation to provide a state contract preference for service-connected, disabled veteran-owned small businesses. Pictured from left are: Mario Cristaldi, Joseph Proulx, Robert St. John, Randy Farmer, Senator Little and Clinton County Veterans Service Agency Director Steve Bowman.
OLEAN - In recognition of his exemplary record of military service, U.S. Army veteran Everett C. Fortner of Olean has finally received the medals he earned in World War II.
During a ceremony this weekend at her office in Olean, Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I - Olean) presented U.S. Army Technician 4th Grade Fortner with the military medals that reflect his service overseas during World War II. With family and friends present, Senator Young conferred the awards and recognized Sergeant Fortner’s honorable service.
For the third consecutive year, State Senator Patty Ritchie will host 10th Mountain Division and Fort Drum Day at the State Capitol on Tuesday.
The day-long event will celebrate the commanders and soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division for their ongoing role in our nation’s defense, as well as the post itself for the key role it plays in the region’s economy.
“Each and every day, the brave soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division make tremendous sacrifices to defend our freedom and I’m thrilled to once again have the opportunity to recognize the post and its troops,” said Senator Ritchie.
(ALBANY- 3-13-2014) To mark the 72nd anniversary of the creation of the US Army’s K9 Corps, Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk brought together police and service dogs, trainers, handlers and law enforcement officials to call for the establishment of March 13 as “K-9 Veterans Appreciation Day.”
“There are countless stories about Military and Police dogs knowingly putting themselves in the line of fire to protect their human partners,” Senator Tkaczyk said. “They have served as sentries and scouts, on search and rescue missions and to locate explosive devices and subdue the enemy. And they have provided great comfort and companionship to our soldiers. I think it is fitting that we honor them and recognize their devotion, loyalty and bravery.”
Senate Majority Coalition Leader Dean Skelos today invited local residents to nominate veterans from their community whose service on behalf of our nation designates worthy of induction to the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame.
This on-line Hall of Fame is designed to pay tribute to New Yorkers whose gallantry in the U.S. Armed Forces is complemented by their service to the community.
“The Senate takes this opportunity to honor the brave men and women who serve our nation and protect our freedom as members of the military, said Senator Skelos. “The Senate Veterans Hall of Fame pays tribute to all who serve, but also singles out for special recognition those whose sacrifices and service have helped make our nation and our community better places to live.”
New York State Senator Mark Grisanti is proud to announce Jack O’Connor is the second recipient of his “Veteran of the Month” recognition program.
O’Connor, a resident of the Village of Kenmore, becomes the second of what will be twelve recipients of an honor presented by Senator Grisanti following an application and nomination process coordinated by staff members who work in Grisanti’s veterans liaison office.
“I am happy to recognize Jack for his outstanding service to his country,” said Senator Grisanti. “He is one of our outstanding veterans living in Western New York who is a positive role model for us all. I encourage all of my constituents to look up to and admire Jack for all that he has done for his nation.”
Creates the Crime of Cemetery Desecration of a Veteran
Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) announced today that Senate bill, S.283, passed the Senate. This bill creates a new class E felony crime for the cemetery desecration of a veteran cemetery plot, grave or burial place.
(Brooklyn, NY) - Earlier today, State Senator Kevin Parker’s bill (S1615B) passed the Senate’s Corporations, Authorities and Commissions Committee. The bill, which will take effect November 11, 2015, ensures the remains of a cremated American veterans’ body are properly and respectfully disposed of if not claimed, thereby allowing for proper acknowledgment of those who have served to protect the life and liberty of our nation.
Senator John Bonacic (R/I/C – Mt. Hope) invites nominations for the induction into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame from the 42nd Senate District. The online Hall of Fame represents extraordinary New Yorkers whose heroism in the United States Armed Forces is complimented by their service to the people in their community.
Livingston County Veteran Honored with Awards Ten Years After His Passing
MOUNT MORRIS - In recognition of his outstanding record of military service, U.S. Marine Corps veteran Russell H. Mayes has finally received the military decorations he deserves.
During a ceremony on Tuesday, February 18, at the Mount Morris VFW Post No. 547, Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I - Olean) joined in presenting Marguerite Mayes with the military medals her late husband earned while serving overseas during World War II. With numerous family and friends present, as well as Livingston County Veterans Service Agency Director Frank Hollister, Senator Young was on hand to recognize Corporal Mayes’ honorable service and present the long overdue awards his service merits.