WBFO Veterans News Desk

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Two Republican state lawmakers hosted veterans in Niagara Falls Tuesday to criticize proposed state budget cuts to veteran services, while also offering their idea to end future budget battles.

Public Domain

January 27 marks UN Holocaust Remembrance Day. In Buffalo, one of the events marking the upcoming occasion is a scheduled visit by an author who has published a book about a Polish resistance fighter who sought to gather intelligence about the Auschwitz concentration camp complex by infiltrating it.

African American Veterans Monument

A monument to African Americans who fought in America's wars is coming to the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park. Erie County is paying part of the cost because history can be good for tourism.

Financial stress is an issue affecting numerous Western New Yorkers during the holiday season. Veterans are certainly among them. In fact, financial stress is often the first problem facing many upon transitioning from the military into the civilian world. WBFO recently visited one of the local agencies serving veterans to find out more.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

For the second time in four days, the French government has offered a Western New Yorker who served in World War II its highest honor, the Légion d'Honneur. This time, it was a Lackawanna native who served as an Army Nurse in 1944 and 1945.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A 95-year-old Olean man who served in World War II has received France's highest honor for military and civil merits. A representative of the French government presented Charles "Charlie" Brown with the Légion d'Honneur during a ceremony Friday afternoon in Olean.

wreathsacrossamerica.org

This Saturday, thousands of wreaths will be placed at gravesites of men and women who served in the nation's military. It's an annual program known as Wreaths Across America and, this year, it includes a handful of Western New York cemeteries.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Veterans in New York State who received less-than-honorable discharges that can be linked to their sexual orientation may have state veteran benefits restored, under legislation signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Mayor Byron Brown's Suits for Veterans clothing drive ended Wednesday with the distribution of men's suits, shirts and ties to local veterans in need of such attire. A Medal of Honor recipient was among those present to celebrate a drive which, organizers say, far exceeded the expected response.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's Office

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) spoke to reporters Tuesday after returning from a Thanksgiving visit to service members in Afghanistan and Kuwait.


Office of Congressman Brian Higgins

While presenting military service medals to a local Vietnam veteran Tuesday, Congressman Brian Higgins announced a proposal to more publicly recognize Purple Heart recipients.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said he hoped for 100 suits in his initial "Suits for Veterans" campaign.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

It was another moment of celebration of Western New Yorker and Medal of Honor recipient David Bellavia in Buffalo's City Hall Tuesday.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

At least 50 gently-used suits were hanging from three racks in the main lobby of City Hall Tuesday. Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is hoping to collect more, as part of a drive to give veterans free appropriate attire to help them in a job search and transition into civilian life.

provided by African American Veterans Monument Committee

A project to erect a monument saluting African-American veterans in the Buffalo and Erie County Naval and Military Park has received a cash boost from the owners of the Buffalo Sabres and Bills.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Funding has been provided to bring a program crafted specifically for women veterans to Buffalo. State Assemblymember Monica Wallace appeared Wednesday at the Veterans One-Stop Center of Western New York to announce a grant has been secured to offer the Women's Veterans Network, or WoVeN, to the local community.

Governor Cuomo Twitter Account

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo marched in the Veterans Day parade in New York City. He mostly avoided President Donald Trump, who  also spoke at the event.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Ceremonies were held throughout Western New York on Monday, marking Veterans Day. It was 100 years ago on November 11, one year after the signing of the Armistice to end World War I, that the United States first set aside a day to honor the veterans of "The Great War." WBFO visited one of the ceremonies held Monday, at Salvatore's Patriots and Heroes Park in Williamsville.

pbs.org

Native Americans have played an important role in the US military and despite a contentious relationship with the federal government, their service in America's armed forces outpaces other groups. Why would Indian men and women sacfrifice so much for the very government that took their homelands? 

The answer is something called "the Warrior Tradition", which is also the name of a  WNED-produced documentary which debuts nationwide on PBS tonight and pays tribute to their stories, their culutre and heritage. 


U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

On this 100th anniversary of Veterans Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he is introducing legislation to streamline the process for establishing New York's first State Veterans Cemetery.

David Bellavia in a Washington Post Live online session
The Washington Post

In advance of Veterans Day, Medal of Honor winner David Bellavia spoke of his mission to spread the word about sacrifice, service and the love that he says is liberated in a veteran's life by serving in the Armed Forces.

“I found love on the battlefield and it blew me away. War is horrible. All the clichés--you know, you've all seen the movies or have experienced it yourself. That's obvious. But there's love," said Bellavia, the Western New York native who in June became the only living veteran of the Iraq War to receive the nation's highest military honor.

Original Purple Heart documents awarded to a World War II soldier from Buffalo were presented to his family Saturday by Congressman Brian Higgins.

File Photo / WBFO News

Suicide, and an increase in adults committing it, is a growing concern among mental health professionals. Military veterans are among those who end their lives each day. A recently-released U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs report offers mixed trends over a 12-year period.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A South Buffalo native who was captured by the Japanese during World War II and died while still in captivity will finally be interred in Western New York, decades later. The remains of Coast Guard Lieutenant Thomas James Eugene Crotty, known by friends and loved ones as "Jimmy," were returned Friday in a solemn ceremony at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station.

imvf.syracuse.edu

Syracuse University's Institute for Veterans and Military Families program is bringing a three-day workshop to Buffalo, which begins today, that develops and encourages women veterans and wives of veterans as small business entrepreneurs.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

State Assemblyman David DiPietro unveiled propsed legislation Thursday that, if passed, would result in free dental coverage for all military veterans living in New York State.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

The National Commander of the American Legion is in Buffalo for one of his many regional visits. While in town, Bill Oxford was shown a tour of the ongoing World War One exhibit inside the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library's downtown central branch. He also sat one-on-one with WBFO.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A Buffalo native who now serves as Commandant of the Naval District in Washington, D.C. is in Western New York, where he will help welcome 20 new sailors into the Navy during his stay.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

While the first burials in a new Western New York veterans' cemetery may begin by the end of 2020, the next phase of the project is now rescheduled to start 2022, and some elements of the cemetery will not be finished for several more years. Veterans were among those airing their thoughts - and discontent - at a Wednesday afternoon public hearing in Corfu.

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

A fourth annual symposium was held in Cheektowaga Wednesday, bringing veterans and community caregivers together as a means to improve awareness of and access to critical needs.

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