Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed legislation today that would let members of the National Guard qualify as veterans under New York state law.
This would give them access to a slew of veterans benefits.
“In my opinion, they never got the recognition they deserved. It’s 20 years overdue, but I’m here to set that straight,” she said at the Javits Center. “I will continue to have your backs because you have ours every single day. And to ensure that you are not just recognized in word, but also in deed.”
Hochul appeared alongside the commander of the New York Army National Guard, Major Gen. Raymond F. Shields, Jr., to hand over a citation honoring National Guard members for their service on and after the Sept. 11 attacks.
Hochul thanked the members of the New York National Guard for deploying to “places like Afghanistan” and described her own visit to “a godforsaken country” where she saw them.
“I had the opportunity as a member of Congress, to see many members of the New York National Guard in battle fatigues in a godforsaken country. It looked like the moonscape when you flew over the mountains and you landed. It was just so colorless and out there,” she said.