A Look At Veterans’ Health Benefits As Veterans’ Day Approaches
This Friday, our nation will celebrate Veterans’ Day, which is dedicated to the commemoration of sacrifices made by our fighting men and women in the past and still living, especially those who gave their lives in freedom’s cause.
Assemblymember Catherine Nolan (D–Ridgewood), though celebrating the day along with the rest of the nation, reminds us: “It is our obligation to live up to the freedoms they guard with their lives, and to remain thankful not just this Veterans’ Day, but every day.”
Toward that end, Nolan points out, in New York state, “The sacrifices of over 20,000 New Yorkers serving in active duty are shared more than ever with their families, who deserve all the help they can get to cope with the disruption in their lives.”
The state legislature has continued in the tradition of the G.I. Bill of 1945 by supporting military families with the three Patriot Plan laws, she says. “For homeowning soldiers,” she notes, “these laws protect their most important asset. They prohibit foreclosures while also giving soldiers an extension to file their property taxes.”
The legislation also ensures free access to video conferencing to keep service men and their families in close contact “so that they can speak face-to-face with their spouses or help their kids with homework,” Nolan notes.
And when these same kids graduate high school, she continued, the Patriot Plan will provide scholarship money for them and their parents.
“Most importantly though,” the lawmaker points out, “we will provide for the spouses and their orphans by extending to them the death benefits that all of New York’s public servants receive. They can also be assured that life insurance premiums will be reimbursed for policies up to $400,000 should the worst occur.”
Nolan concludes, “There is no greater sacrifice for any greater cause than that given by the American soldier. Though we take this day to honor their memory and their continued struggles, our soldiers continue to fight as they will always do.
“It is our obligation to remember this sacrifice every day, not just on Veterans’ Day.”
VETS’ NATIONAL PICTURE BLURRY: Given Nolan’s review of veterans’ benefits on the state scene, on this occasion also we felt it proper to review Congressmember Carolyn Maloney’s ongoing efforts to help veterans maintain an acceptable standard of health care.
As we reported last week, Maloney cited a House committee study and report which found that under President George W. Bush’s proposed budget, 133,000 New York veterans would be denied health care by the federal Veterans Administration (VA) or will be compelled to drop out of the VA system.
Maloney warned, “Our nation’s commitment to the health and well-being of American veterans is wavering under the president’s administration.” She also cautioned that the House version of the budget “is insufficient to meet the health needs of our veterans.”
This is a sorry picture to present to the nation on this Veterans’ Day and it must be improved.
MEETING: AARP Chapter #2889 will meet next Wednesday, at 12:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church of Newtown, 54-05 Seabury St., Elmhurst.
QICA SCREENS LAUREL & HARDY: The Queens Interagency Council on Aging (QICA) in collaboration with Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, the Museum of the Moving Image and City Councilmember Eric Gioia is presenting a free film series for older adults, “Laurel and Hardy Films,” for fall 2005.
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were Hollywood’s first enduring comedy duo and the most successful and prolific comedy team in screen history. They made more than 100 films. Laurel and Hardy’s humor was both visual and physical, with a deliberate pace that was all their own, and a unique blend of grace and seeming stupidity. They made a successful transition from silent films to talkies, and continued making films into the 1940s. The films in this series are no longer in theatrical distribution; all of the film prints are from archives and film collectors.
Screening dates, film titles and running times are as follows:
Wednesday, November 16, “Sons Of The Desert,” 1934, 68 mins. and “Blotto,” 1930, 20 mins.
Wednesday, November 30, “The Music Box,” 1932, 30 mins. “Towed In A Hole,” 1933, 20 mins., “Their First Mistake,” 1932, 20 mins.
Wednesday, December 14th “Blockheads,” 1938, 58 mins. and “Come Clean,” 1931, 20 mins.
Film screenings begin at 10:30 a.m. at the Museum of the Moving Image, 35th Avenue at 36th Street in Astoria, The series is free for Queens seniors, but due to limited seating, advance registration is required. Seniors registered receive full membership privileges for the day of screening, including admission to museum exhibitions and a 15 percent discount at the Moving Image Shop.
Register at (718) 268-5954. QICA is a borough-wide coalition of more than 200 organizations and individuals united to improve the quality of life, health and enrichment of older adults.