Previously, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic has highlighted Operation Recognition by awarding a diploma to Mr. George Abramowitz who served in World War II (pictured inset
with Rozic, Regent Judith Chin, and Francis Lewis High School’s JROTC). Photos courtesy of Rozic’s offi ce (inset) and NYS Assembly
Rozic introduces bills helping homeless veterans
and awarding retroactive high school diplomas
BY JENNA BAGCAL
Approximately 838,000 New York
state veterans will have access to educational
and social support thanks to a
pair of bills sponsored by a Queens lawmaker.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic’s bills
were part of a package of laws Governor
Cuomo signed in recognition of Veterans
Day. The first bill expands upon the existing
education program Operation Recognition,
which awards veterans with high
The second would direct key state
agencies to report on the state’s homeless
veterans and their required services. The
agencies would also provide recommendations
to combat the growing epidemic.
The bill passed in both the Assembly and
Senate with bipartisan support.
Together with Rozic’s bills, Cuomo
signed 14 measures to protect current
service members and veterans at New
York’s 100th Veteran’s Day Parade.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that
New York’s veterans have full access to
the educational opportunities and social
services they need regardless of when
they served. We should honor their service
while also providing a pathway towards
economic self-sufficiency,” said
Rozic. “This legislative package enacts
solutions to best assist all those who
have sacrificed so much in service to our
Currently, Operation Recognition
It is our responsibility to ensure that
New York’s veterans have full access
to the educational opportunities and
social services they need regardless
of when they served.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic
gives retroactive high school diplomas
to New York state veterans who fought
in WWII, Korea and Vietnam and who
joined the military prior to graduating
high school. In addition to being an NYS
resident, applicants must also have received
an honorable discharge.
Rozic’s measure expands coverage to
all veterans who enlisted following the
end of the Vietnam War, such as those
deployed in Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan.
According to studies, continuing
education and finding a job following
service is important to an individual’s
healthy reintegration into society.
“Servicemembers and veterans
have answered our nation’s call to service,
and too often at the cost of their
civilian education and career. We applaud
the leadership of Assemblywoman
Rozic and her work to ensure our
most recent generations of veterans
are duly recognized for their service
by awarding them a high school diploma.
When our nation’s young men and
women step up to serve on our behalf,
we must do all we can to ensure they
do not fall behind as a result of that
service,” said Kristen L. Rouse, U.S.
Army veteran and founding director
of NYC Veterans.
Under Assembly Bill A5660, state
agencies will create reports that include
information on how many veterans
are homeless and an analysis
of gender in relation to homelessness.
The reports will also include data on
the number of homeless individuals
who are the children of veterans, the
placement of the children, unemployment
rates and cases of military sexual
trauma experienced on active duty.
On a single night in 2018, approximately
37,878 veterans were experiencing
homelessness nationally according
to data from the Veterans Alliance.
“Though homelessness among veterans
in New York has slowly decreased
over the years, local efforts to reduce the
ongoing epidemic of homelessness are
needed as federal funding remains uncertain,”
said Rozic, who chairs the Office
of State-Federal Relations.
“Veteran integration back into civilian
life can be strenuous, looking for
work, providing for their families, and
securing a stable home. Unfortunately,
homelessness rates among veterans
have hit staggering figures, whether for
those who have served recently during
the Global War on Terror, as well as during
previous eras and conflicts. Assembly
Bill A5660, introduced by Assemblywoman
Nily Rozic, not only brings
this issue to light but delves deeply into
finding the reasons behind Veteran
homelessness in the state of New York,
capturing and understanding the root
causes, in being able to combat this issue
currently and for future generations
of warriors,” added Ryan Graham,
Commander, Queens County Council of
Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Reach reporter Jenna Bagcal by email
at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at
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