One of the great pleasures of being an elected official is the opportunity I get to meet so many of the wonderful veterans who have served our country with great distinction, and helped protect the freedom of all Americans.
The Town of North Hempstead has always made it a priority to recognize these special individuals and the sacrifices they and their families made in order to fight for the greater good.
This past Memorial Day weekend more than 1,000 town residents turned out at North Hempstead Beach Park to honor those who made the supreme sacrifice. I was able to talk and meet with many veterans that night and throughout the day on Memorial Day as I traversed the town to join with local veterans organizations to remember and honor our fallen heroes.
In the Town of North Hempstead, we did not wait long to go from Memorial Day to Veterans Day this year, as we held our own special Veterans Day in June.
Thanks to Chapter 417 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, we became aware that we could proclaim our Town a “Purple Heart Town” in order to recognize those who were injured or killed in combat while serving our country.
So, on June 4th we joined together with dozens of veterans from throughout the town, to declare North Hempstead, a “Purple Heart Town.”
This distinction shows that the Town recognizes all of those who were injured while serving in the armed forces, and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, as well.
This goes for veterans of all ages, those who served as far back as World War II, and those who are currently fighting to protect our freedom overseas.
It was an honor to be joined by our Town officials and Congressman Steve Israel, who has been a staunch supporter of our veterans over the course of his public career.
We unveiled a brand new sign at Mary Jane Davis Green in Manhasset that states, “North Hempstead, A Purple Heart Town.”
We will be posting more signs around the Town to serve as a constant reminder to all who pass by of the sacrifice made by our service men and women.
Although the importance of these recognition events is immeasurable, it is important that we go a step further. In talking with members of our veterans’ community, I have identified a need to provide a new forum for veterans to communicate their issues and concerns to town government.
With that idea in mind, I have announced the formation of a Veterans Advisory Committee in North Hempstead in order to encourage dialogue and make sure that all of our veterans receive the services they so rightly deserve.
It’s important that we are aware of all issues relating to veteran’s needs, and that we act as a conduit in order to ensure the proper agencies address these issues.
We have already been proactive in helping senior veterans through our Project Independence senior program but this committee will enable us to do more.
Veterans are entitled to a myriad of different benefits but sometimes it can be overwhelming or confusing to figure out who to contact to get the needed services. The town works closely with all levels of government from the villages up to the federal level.
By all of us working together we will do everything we can to ensure our local veterans are connected to the services they need.
The committee will be comprised of veterans from throughout the town, because who is better to inform us of issues of importance to our veteran community than veterans themselves?
We also encourage civic leaders and any citizens in general with an expertise in veterans’ affairs to participate. Just contact my office by calling 516-869-6311 if you are interested in joining the committee.
Thank you to all veterans and families of veterans for everything you have done for our country and for our Town. We are forever grateful.