More on Veterans
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) spoke on the Floor of the House of Representatives this week in support of the “Restore Honor to Service Members Act.” The bill, cosponsored by Higgins and introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Mark Pocan, seeks to upgrade the discharge status of thousands of veterans that received less-than-honorable discharges from the military for being gay.
Congressman Brian Higgins, New York State Senator Robert Ortt and City of North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas remembered the life and service of Robert “Bob” Clark, former Alderman and longtime member of the United States Armed Forces during a special ceremony at Veterans’ Park.
“Bob Clark’s life service represents an extraordinary commitment to his community and country,” said Congressman Higgins. “It is our honor to see that his service and that of a devoted military family be forever remembered.”
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) joined local veterans, including members of the Vietnam Veterans of America and Military Order of the Purple Heart, to announce the addition of 280 names, of Vietnam veterans from Western New York who were killed in action, to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
“This is truly an incredible undertaking led by veterans on a mission to remember their own,” said Congressman Higgins. “We are honored to assist the effort to forever memorialize the service and sacrifices of these fallen Western New York service members.”
During the Wingate Wallace “National Night Out” Block Party, community leaders and residents took time to recognize the military service of two of their neighbors who served during World War II. 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the war. Private First Class Frank W. Parlato served in the United States Army and Claire Ruth Swanson Smith served in the United States Navy WAVES program during the war.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) was joined by VA Western New York Healthcare System Director Brian Stiller and local veterans to announce the introduction of a bill to improve access to child care for veterans receiving health care at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs medical centers.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) and City of Tonawanda Mayor Rick Davis presented United States Army veteran Albin Mazur, a City of Tonawanda resident, with a Bronze Star and other military recognitions for his service during World War II.
At a special presentation, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the day that Charles J. Dolan was killed in action by enemy forces during World War II, Congressman Brian Higgins and Village of Williamsville Mayor Brian Kulpa presented the Dolan family with the Purple Heart and Bronze Star in recognition of his sacrifices. In addition, a Bronze Star was presented to the family of Frank A. Grassia, Charles Dolan’s brother-in-law, who served with him in the U.S. Army.
Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) named local residents to serve as members of his Service Academy Advisory Committee. The panel recently met to interview students applying to a military academy and make recommendations to the Congressman.
United States Army Corporal Norman Blatner was captured during the Battle of Hurtgen Forest and held as a Prisoner of War during World War II but made it back to Western New York thanks to a brave escape and special encounter with a German prison guard. Today, Congressman Brian Higgins will be joined by North Tonawanda Mayor Robert Ortt and others as he presents the Blatner family with the Bronze Star, Prisoner of War medal and other recognitions earned by Corporal Blatner for his service.