Working on behalf of our nation's veterans to ensure they receive the health care and benefits they have earned is truly an honor and also one of my most important duties as your Congressman. This week, I would like to share with you some recent actions I have taken to honor and support those who served on our behalf at home and overseas.
Captain Robert Battenfeld saved lives as a battlefield surgeon in the 68th Armored Infantry Battalion, 14th Armored "Liberator" Division. Though he has passed away, I recently had the honor to present the medals he earned during his service, including the prestigious Legion of Merit, to his descendants at a ceremony in Hampton Bays. My office has secured overdue medals for hundreds of veterans in the past decade and if you or a veteran you know would like to request medals earned in service, please contact my office at 631-289-6500.
Last week, I was contacted by local veterans concerned that Department of Defense budget cuts could potentially force an end to the traditional playing of "Taps" by a live bugler at Calverton National Cemetery. I felt this special tribute to departed servicemembers should be preserved, so I joined with my colleague Peter King to request that the Pentagon reconsider the planned cut and I am pleased to announce that they agreed to preserve this traditional tribute for the funerals of veterans. You can read more in Newsday coverage.
Finally, last week I was honored to present an American Flag that had been flown over the US Capitol and a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition to Joe Cognitore, Commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Fischer-Hewins Post #6249 in Rocky Point in a ceremony at the Post (learn more and watch a video on the Rocky Point Patch website). Everybody on the North Shore knows how much Joe contributes to the community and his fellow veterans, and I am proud to work with him. In 2010, I secured $200,000 in federal funding to renovate Post #6249 and install handicapped-accessible bathrooms. The Post is the unofficial center of the Rocky Point community, and I always enjoy visiting.
A member of my staff is dedicated full-time to assisting veterans. If you or a veteran you know needs assistance of any kind, please contact my office at 631-289-6500 today. It's our honor to stand up for those who stood up for us.
Congressman Tim Bishop
First District of New York