Tag Archives: veterans

Celebrate the end of the Iraq War


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

In January 2009, President Barack Obama took office with 142,000 U.S. troops stationed in Iraq. Today, there are zero. Our combat mission in Iraq has ended and the Iraqi people now have full responsibility for the security of their nation. Obama has kept his word and brought the war in Iraq to a responsible end.

Iraq still faces challenges in the coming years, but as Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated, “Iraq is equipped to deal with them.” Obama remains committed to Iraq’s long-term security and to the success of our service members when they return home.

While the war has ended, we should pay tribute to the service of our military men and women – especially to those who made the ultimate sacrifice or were injured serving their nation. We should also honor the sacrifices and commitments made by their families here at home.

Now, as thousands of New Yorkers are returning home from Iraq, we must once again reaffirm our commitment and responsibility to support service members and their families by providing quality health-care, access to education, training to re-enter the civilian work force, job placement services and encouraging companies to hire our troops and put them back to work.

The promise to end the war in Iraq was not a political promise – it was and is a promise made by our Commander-in-Chief to protect our nation. Today we should be proud of our troops and our president, and stand united in moving forward as one nation.

 

Matthew Silverstein

Democratic State Committeeman, 26th AD

YDA Veterans & Military Affairs Caucus Chair

Congressmember Bob Turner holds small business forum for veterans


| tcimino@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy Congressmember Bob Turner

Congressmember Bob Turner and other officials recently hosted a Veterans’ Small Business Forum at Brooklyn Borough Hall. The event, which took place on Saturday, December 10, provided information to veterans about creating and expanding small businesses.

“I am honored to have been able to co-host this event,” Turner said. “Events like this will help veterans gain the knowledge and learn what tools and programs are available to help them create and grow their businesses.”

The forum, hosted by 11 New York representatives, featured a panel discussion with business experts from national and local small business development organizations, government agencies and universities. It provided insights for veterans on small-business opportunities, business expansion and management, as well as financing options such as the Surety Bonding and the Patriot Loan Programs.

“Our veterans are some of the most highly-skilled, well-trained individuals in the world. It is in the best interest of our nation and our economy to help them transfer their discipline, adaptability, and drive into the business world,” Turner, a veteran himself, continued.

Putting America’s veterans back to work has been a top priority for Turner, he explained. He recently voted yes on HR 2433: The VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011. The bill includes provisions expanding education and training, improving the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), facilitating seamless transition, and translating military skills and training for veterans.

“Our returning soldiers have the skills necessary to start and grow a business. It is our job to ensure they are aware of the programs that are available to assist them. These men and women have been the leaders of our military, now they will be the leaders of our economy,” Turner said.

For more information about programs available to help veterans with employment and training you can visit http://www.dol.gov/vets/ and http://va.gov/.

Queens Veterans Day Parade honors those who served


| rcasiano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Mike DiBartolomeo. The third annual Queens Veterans Day Parade drew 800 local veterans and their supporters to Middle Village this past weekend.

The third annual Queens Veterans Day Parade drew 800 local veterans and their supporters to Middle Village this past weekend to honor those who served in the Vietnam War.

Veterans from the Vietnam Veterans of America, Queens Chapter 32 and the North Shore Marine Corps League were joined by several community leaders and organizations on Sunday, November 6 for a parade and ceremony at Christ the King High School.

During the only Veterans Day parade in Queens, the community cheered on their Vietnam War vets, some of whom recall the criticism at home for serving in the then very unpopular war.

“It was great to be appreciated, but look how long it took,” said Pastor Toro, Jr., of Ridgewood, who was honored as one of the Grand Marshalls and is the president of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Queens Chapter 32. “I am standing up here for all the Vietnam War veterans. We have their backs.”

The ceremony capped the afternoon parade that had various groups march 10 blocks from Metropolitan Avenue and 79th Place to the high school.

School groups such as the Sunnyside Drum Corp. and the Sacred Heart Twirlers and many more supporters joined the Queens veteran groups as they marched. Councilmembers Elizabeth Crowley and Peter Vallone Jr. were also on hand to salute the veterans at the parade.

David Hills, a Marine from Forest Hills, stood on the sidelines with his wife, cheering on the classic cars, bag pipe music and his comrades who marched in the parade.

“It’s the biggest parade I’ve ever seen. It’s very nice,” said Hills, who is a member of the North Shore Marine Corps. As he watched, a committee member thanked him for his service with a handshake.

“It’s terrific,” he said of the acknowledgment. “We really appreciate it when they say that.”

The annual Queens Veterans Day Parade started three years ago out of a need from the community to salute their troops closer to home.

The parade was sponsored by the Catholic War Veterans Post 1172, Middle Village Chamber of Commerce and the Middle Village Property Owners and Residents Association.