Honoring Our Veterans

Today, November 11th, we honor and celebrate those who gave so much to provide us freedoms, hope and respect throughout the world. On Veterans Day and every day of the year in fact, I have been fortunate enough to work alongside my office's Veterans Advisory Committee, and countless others to offer our support, resources and assistance to veterans across New York State. In observance of Veterans Day - a holiday we observe in honor of the men and women who have served in our nation's armed forces, I want to extend my thanks and the thanks of all residents across the 14th Senatorial District, for the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families.

I want to also again congratulate and acknowledge our 2020 Veterans Hall of Fame Honoree, Ms. Stanlee Richards, RN. While the pandemic prevented us from having our normal in person ceremony in Albany, we remain appreciative of the work she has done and continues to do in our community and as a member of the armed forces and the Chief Nursing Officer at NYC Health + Hospitals/Carter.

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Army Echoes

The newest edition of Army Echoes is now available. Download current edition by clicking on the link below or by using your Army Echoes app (iOS and Android) when available:

Current edition:


VA News Releases

VA resumes in-person benefits services halted by the COVID-19 response

10/07/2020 01:17 PM EDT


The U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today the reestablishment of in-person benefits services in select locations throughout the country.

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Proposed overhaul of veterans preference in federal hiring includes time limits, reduced advantage

Advocates pushing for a major overhaul to the federal veterans preference hiring rules insisted Tuesday that broadening eligibility but limiting program use could benefit both job seekers and department managers looking for military talent.

“We can’t nibble around the edges, we need to make comprehensive changes,” argued Joe Heck, chairman of the National Commission on Military, National, and Public Service, before a Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs hearing.

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US Navy welcomes first Black female tactical aircraft pilot

The Naval Air Training Command tweeted that Swegle is the Navy’s “first known Black female TACAIR pilot.”

KINGSVILLE, Texas — The U.S. Navy has welcomed its first Black female Tactical Aircraft pilot.

“MAKING HISTORY!” the U.S. Navy tweeted in response to a post that Lt. j.g. Madeline Swegle had completed naval flight school and would later this month receive the flight officer insignia known as the “Wings of Gold.”

The Naval Air Training Command tweeted that Swegle is the Navy’s “first known Black female TACAIR pilot.”

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Your Next VA Home Loan

Your Next VA Home Loan

And what the County Loan Limit change means for you


On Jan. 1, 2020, it became easier for you to use your VA home loan benefit to purchase, refinance, or construct a home with no down payment, regardless of the cost of the home. The VA home county loan limits were eliminated as part of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 for Veterans and service members with full entitlement.

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The December 2019 Retiree Newsletter is now available online. 


The December 2019 Retiree Newsletter is now available online.  It contains helpful information about convenient options for getting your tax documents, tools to make filling out required forms faster and easier, the SBP-DIC Offset Phased Elimination, what to expect in the year-end mailing, 2020 COLA, Annuitant CEI change, and who to contact for pay and benefit questions, as well as news about TRICARE, Army Emergency Relief and the Armed Forces Retirement Homes.  We also have a downloadable PDF version of the newsletter you can share with friends.


To access the newsletter, please copy and paste the link below to your internet browser.


Record Number of Black Women to

Graduate from West Point

Frank Kineavy May 19, 2019

History will be made at the more than 200-year-old U.S. Military Academy at West Point as 34 Black women will graduate this week.

This will be West Point’s largest class of Black female cadets, according to CNN. For the first 75 years of its existence, Black people never graduated from the prestigious Academy.

Learning from the flaws in its history, West Point has been taking steps to become more inclusive. Last year, the Academy named Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams their first African-American commander, and Simone Askew the first Black woman to lead the Corps. West Point spokesperson Frank DeMaro also said that 19 Hispanic female cadets are projected to graduate in the May 25 ceremony, as well.

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Big shout out to the NABMW donated prom dresses, bags & jewelry. Thank you to Ms. Vanessa Lee, Chairperson of the NYC Chapter of NABMW & School Counselor at Hillcrest HS. All prom dresses are FREE for 8th graders this Thursday & friday during the lunch periods.


On May 4, 2019, DFAS official  will launch the refreshed myPay that is simpler, streamlined and more mobile-friendly.


When you log on to myPay on or after May 4th you'll see a much different design, enjoy easier navigation, and experience enhanced usability.


You don't need to worry about accessing your account.  Your login ID and password will still allow you to retrieve information or submit changes via myPay.


Find out more about the changes to myPay on the DFAS website at:


You can also see updates on Facebook (

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The DAV  published Women Veterans: The Journey Ahead, identifies gaps in federal programs and includes 45 recommendations to improve VA health care and specialized services for women veterans of all service areas.

Click here for:

Women Veteran Report


Click here for:

Toolkit for Department Women Veterans Advisory Committee Chairs

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On Sunday, March 31, 2019, the NYC chapter of NABMW, was invited to attend the Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane, School of Law, Veterans Legal Assistance Project. Veterans received free, one hour, legal assistance by attorneys who specialize in different areas of law.


In addition, tax attorneys provided veterans with free tax service. Please see the attached the flyer to put on our website.The NYC Chapter table, provided a variety of handouts to the veterans,

with an emphasis on Women of Color and Telling Our Story. Networking provided an exchange of military information, resources and attorneys

at the law school, interested in providing a workshop for NABMW.

Vanessa A. Lee

Membership Chairperson

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February 2019


Catherine R. Laporte (Kaplansky), who is  newly appointed to the  North East Region Chairwoman of the National Association of Black Military Women (NABMW) and is a NYC Chapter member.