Norris Fights for Those Who Fought For Us, Legislation Will Help Veterans

A Column from Assemblyman Mike Norris (R,C,I,Ref-Lockport)

I’ve often said that the greatest honor of my life is serving the men and women of the 144th Assembly District, but last year as I was attending the unveiling of the new Veterans Memorial in Clarence I was struck with an overwhelming sense of pride. It is a distinct honor to be able to give back as a state representative to my community, but particularly so to the brave men and women who have fought to make our nation the greatest nation in the world. This Veterans Day, I would like to ask the community to join me in showing our pride for all of our veterans, and to also show our appreciation.

Every one of us should be proud that we live in a free nation where our neighbors can volunteer to serve in our armed forces, alongside of us or in our stead. Our military serves every one of us in ways we cannot imagine – both domestically and abroad. They keep our country safe from dangers abroad but also are the ones we turn to when there is a flood or this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We all owe our veterans a debt of gratitude and I encourage you all to find a way to say “thank you” if not this Veterans Day, sometime this November, or any time of year. Support a military family with a plate of homemade cookies. Send a care package to troops you know overseas. Shine a green light at your home or business to help raise awareness for veterans’ services and show them support. There are many things you can do.

There are also many things our state can do, and I’m fighting for those who fought for us. Last year I joined with my colleagues to introduce a new package of legislation for veterans and I’m continuing to push for the enactment of these bills that will:

  • Upgrade the Division of Veterans Affairs to an official state department (A.3725)
  • Start plans for three new veterans nursing homes (A.3596)
  • Better enabling veterans to fill the gap between active duty service medical care and care through the VA with creation of a Veterans Health Savings Account (A4999)
  • Help find missing veterans with a new program called New York State Green Alert, similar to an Amber Alert for missing children (A.3585)
  • Allow disabled veterans to use our state parks free of charge (A.3584)

There is never enough we can do to say thank you to the men and women who have served in our military. But we can start by taking steps to ensure veterans have the tools to succeed after their active service, and safeguard them as they have safeguarded our freedoms. That’s what I am fighting for at our state Capitol – I’m fighting hard for you and all of the veterans in our community. On behalf of our entire community, thank you to all our military and veterans!