Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

Assemblyman William Colton and District Leaders Nancy Tong and Charlie Ragusa are hosting a meeting on Tuesday, November 17 at 7:00 pm to honor veterans at the United Progressive Democratic Club, located at 29 Bay 25th Street. They strongly support and want to pay tribute to the heroes who have sacrificed so much protecting our beloved country for generations to come. Their courageous service will not be forgotten and is the main attention of the Veterans’ Recognition Night.

The sight of a soldier embracing family after returning home is a beautiful and unforgettable scene. For many, though, the reunion signals the beginning of a new set of challenges. Veterans face many obstacles as they strive to re-enter civilian life and the workforce, often while coping with the physical and psychological repercussions of defending our freedoms. Veterans Day, November 11, is a time to recognize these heroes for their service to our country and renew our commitment to getting them the support they deserve.

New York State is home to over 900,000 veterans and has a moral responsibility to care for returning service members. Unfortunately, the battle-worn veterans tend to make up more than a tenth of the growing adult homeless population and half of them struggle against unemployment upon return.

This year, the Assembly unanimously passed legislation that would direct key state agencies to gather information on the state’s homeless veterans and their children so we may better support them (A.434). In addition, we passed a new law creating the Homeless Veterans Assistance Fund, to which New Yorkers can easily contribute by simply checking a box on their income tax forms (Ch. 428 of 2014).

In the fight against veteran homelessness, effective job placement is a powerful resource. That’s why the Assembly Majority has continually passed laws to help our veterans find meaningful and well-paid work, including tax credits for small businesses that hire veterans (Ch. 59 of 2013) and the Veterans Employment Act to help give veterans temporary staffing jobs in state agencies (Ch. 557 of 2013).
There are many of ways to show gratitude to our veterans on this important day. I encourage you to contact your local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion or Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) chapters for more information about what you can do to honor our local veterans and where to find other Veterans Day celebrations. To learn more about veterans’ benefits contact the state’s Division of Veterans Affairs at 888-838-7697 or visit

Assemblyman Colton is a firm believer in helping the veterans re-assimilate to daily life by offering them the best opportunities to re-adjust. He says, “I am currently working on fighting against the closing of VA Hospital Unit. It is a small token of appreciation for all that the veterans have risked while serving our country. We must always give back and honor veterans who have granted us this freedom we have come to take for granted.”

District Leader Nancy Tong is also very appreciative of the veterans and says, “Every Veteran’s Day, service members of all branches are honored and special dedication reaches out to them. We need to make sure the same thankful attitude is given to them every day of the year instead of just annually on Veteran’s Day. They are the unsung heroes who have fought to gain and maintain the great freedom we cherish today.”

District Leader Charles Ragusa adds, “Many veterans have served us on the battlefields and continue to serve their communities when they return. I cannot express my gratefulness enough except to honor them and recognize them for their courage and their service. I hope we all are able to give thanks and acknowledge them on this special day.”

Assemblyman Colton urges veterans who wish to attend the meeting to email him their name and branch of service so that they will be recognized at the meeting. This Veterans Day, he urges that our community make sure to take time out to reflect on all that our brave heroes sacrificed for our freedom – and thank them. As always, anyone with questions or concerns regarding this or any other issue should feel free to contact his office at 718-236-1598 or via email at


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