Governor Signs Tkaczyk bill to Honor Fallen Military Members
State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk announced that Governor Cuomo has signed a measure she co-sponsored (S.5805/A.8039) to provide that flags lowered to half-staff at the State Capitol in honor of a fallen soldier be given at no cost to the loved ones of the deceased.
The program is named after Lt. Colonel Todd Clark, a native of Guilderland in Tkaczyk’s Senate District. As a 17-year US Army Veteran, Lt. Colonel Clark served with great distinction and bravery. While recuperating from serious wounds he received on a previous tour of duty, Lt. Colonel Clark traveled to the State Capitol to talk to legislators about Veterans’ issues.
He was called back to active duty in Afghanistan, and in June confronted an enemy combatant threatening soldiers in his unit, and was shot and killed during the incident.
Senator Tkaczyk said, “The ‘Lt. Colonel Todd Clark Memorial Flag Presentment program,’ will provide support, respect and appreciation to the surviving family of the service members who put their lives on the line every day in defense of our Nation and our citizens. It is a fitting tribute to Lt. Colonel Clark, a true hero who always answered the call of duty, and I thank the Governor for signing the bill.”
Previously, flags lowered to half-staff in honor of a fallen service member were retired after their initial use. This new program would have such flags offered for presentment to the next of kin at no cost.