State Senator Gustavo Rivera (D,WF-Bronx) issued the following statement today in honor of Veterans Day:
“Veterans Day is a reminder of how important it is that each and every American take the time to thank the men and women who have served in uniform that live in our communities and in our neighborhoods. I would like to thank those Bronxites who have risked their lives to defend our country and their families who have sacrificed so much in the process.
Unfortunately, too many veterans are now returning from service and finding it difficult to find work and difficult to get by during tough economic times. Many veterans here in the Bronx and throughout the state are unaware of programs and benefits that are owed to them for their service.
That is why I am introducing legislation called VetsConnect that will add questions regarding military service to those one fills out in order to obtain or renew a state I.D. In addition to continuing to fulfill our obligation to veterans that seek services out, I believe New York State can and should do a better job of identifying veterans and ensuring they are receiving benefits owed to them and aware of opportunities and services available to them. This simple change to a form that so many New Yorkers are already filling out has the ability to give us more accurate information and would allow New York State to more effectively reach out to veterans who may be unaware of their benefits.”