Joe Robach believes that New York’s veterans who answer our Nation’s call to military duty to protect our freedom should not be penalized in their civil life. Joe Robach and the Senate are unwavering in their commitment to support military personnel, their families and veterans.
When the NY National Guard or US Reserve units are activated, often on short notice, numerous questions arise before, during, and after any mobilization. Topics may run the gamut, from reemployment rights upon return, to the consequences of missing tax filing deadlines or mortgage payments while away. In an effort to provide additional benefits and protections for military families and veterans, Joe Robach was pleased to support the “Patriot Plan.” This law will serve as a model for the rest of the nation in providing our brave serviceman and women and their families with the additional support and protections they need and deserve. Specifically, this law will assist troops and their families who face potential added expenses and disruptions caused by being called to active duty in the nation’s ongoing war against terrorism, including protection against military status discrimination; heath insurance benefits; educational military leave of absence and tuition relief; merit scholarship program; electronic transfer of paychecks; waiver of license fee renewals; supplemental pay; and discount telephone rates and video conferencing.
In addition, on the Federal level, laws such as the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act, the State SSCRA and the Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment ACT were enacted to minimize hardships that may result when loved one are called to active duty. The SSCRA allows military members to suspend and postpone certain civil obligations, including cap on interest rates, termination of auto leases, protection from eviction, income tax filing extension, continuation of health benefits, nonlapse of life insurance policies and postponement of mortgage default.
If you or anyone you know needs further assistance on veteran issues, please contact Joe Robach’s office.
Through his tenure, Joe Robach has supported the establishment of veteran monuments in the Rochester community.
One veteran monument that Joe Robach was instrumental in erecting was the Battle of the Bulge monument which is located in Ontario Beach Park, Charlotte NY. Working with local veterans who fought in the Battle of the Bulge, Joe Robach worked to secure funding for this very important tribute to these brave men. As many know, the Battle of the Bulge was a turning point of WWII for the allies. It was a major German offensive, launched toward the end of World War II through the densely forested Ardennes mountain region of Wallonia in Belgium. In the wake of the defeat, many experienced German units were left severely depleted of men and equipment as survivors retreated to the defenses of the Siegfried Line. For the Americans, with about 610,000 men committed and some 89,000 casualties, the Battle of the Bulge was the largest and bloodiest battle that they fought in World War II. There are many Battle of the Bulge veterans living in the Rochester area and Joe Robach believed it was critical to honor their service.
Joe Robach will also be instrumental in helping erect the Brighton Veteran Memorial. The Brighton Veterans Memorial Committee is planning to construct a Memorial to all Brighton Veterans, both living and dead, who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States. Brighton residents will abe able to honor a relative who has served, even though that relative may never have lived in Brighton. A parcel of land has been secured in Buckland Park, located on Westfall Road. Benches will be placed so that visitors can sit and reflect. Inside the adjacent Buckland Farmhouse, a roster of honored names will be displayed, as well as a listing of those whose contributions made this Memorial possible.
Joe Robach has always made honoring the service of veterans a priority. For more information, please contact Joe Robach’s office.
Senator Joe Robach’s office will soon pick a distinguished veteran as a nominee for the New York State Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame was created to honor and recognize outstanding veterans from New York State who have distinguished themselves in military and civilian life.
Last year, Joe Robach, of Rochester NY, selected veteran Ken Moore as their recipient. Ken Moore has spent his life dedicated to protecting and honoring our military personnel. He was born and raised in Charlotte (part of the City of Rochester). After graduating from high school, he worked for both the City of Rochester and the Eastman Kodak Company before being drafted for duty in the US Army in November of 1965. After basic training at Fort Dix and Fort Benning, he was deployed to the Republic of South Vietnam with D Troop 17th Cavalry. He returned to the United States in November of 1967.
In the mid 1970s, he became involved with the local families of the POW/MIAs from the Vietnam War and spent some 10 years working to create awareness on the issue. In 1985, he became a member of Vietnam Veterans of America (Chapter 20) and has served proudly ever since. During his tenure with the VVA, he served as Board Member, Vice President, Secretary and President (an office he has held for the past 12 years). He also served in the Army reserves form from 1980 to 1985, retiring with the rank of Sergeant First Class. After retiring, he spent much of his time dedicated to helping veterans. In 1999, he was National Vice President of Veterans Aimed Toward Awareness. In this position, he toured the country giving lectures on veterans’ health and benefits. In that time, he teamed up with Miss America 2000 whose platform was veterans health. Today, he serves on the Monroe County Veterans Advisory Committee, 26th Congressional Advisory Committee, Greater Rochester Vietnam Veterans Memorial Committee, and lead mentor of the 7th Judicial District Veterans Court.
The New York State Veterans Hall of Fame is a wonderful tribute to our veterans. Joe Robach’s office will soon be making another nomination for the New York State Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame. If you know someone who you think should be nominated, contact Joe Robach’s office.
During his career in the Senate, Joe Robach has sponsored legislation that would positively affect the lives of those who have served their nation through military service. Through working with his colleagues in the Senate, Joe Robach has sought to sponsor legislation that would help veterans with the little things that honor their sacrifice to the country and shows New York State’s priority to recognizing the importance of veterans.
This first piece of legislation in the Senate Joe Robach sponsored is S493. This legislation would amend the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law to provide free golf for veterans at any of the golf courses operated by the New York State Parks Department. Currently, the law states that a veteran must be at least forty percent disabled to qualify for free golf. By extending the courtesy of free golf to all veterans, the state would be offering a thank you on the behalf of all New Yorkers for their service and sacrifice on behalf of our state and country.
Another piece of legislation introduced by Joe Robach in the Senate is S6384. This legislation changes state education law to allow for anyone who is or has served in the military and is discharged honorably to be considered a resident of New York State when applying for and attending any New York community college of state aided four year college. By passing this law, veterans would qualify for instate tuition when attending SUNY colleges and universities, due to the federal G.I. bill not fully covering out of state tuition rates. By attending state colleges, veterans would see the advantages that New York State has to offer them as they continue their post-service lives.
S6109, legislation Joe Robach introduced in the Senate would seek to create a veterans’ assistance fund, funded through the creation of the veterans assistance scratch off lottery game. Other states have started similar lottery games to fund veterans’ assistance funds. Funds would be distributed to veterans through a direct grant program based on need.
With over one million veterans in New York State, Joe Robach believes that state government has an obligation to provide them with the assistance they need as they continue their lives. With the number to only increase as veterans return from Iraq and Afghanistan, there is no time to waste.