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Nassau County legislator proposes Veterans' Bill of Rights

Vietnam veterans salute during the 10th annual Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration at the Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial March 29, hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1067. (U.S. Army Photo by Lindsay Grant)
U.S. Army Photo by Lindsay Grant
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Vietnam veterans salute during the 10th annual Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration at the Huntsville-Madison County Veterans Memorial March 29, hosted by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1067.

A Nassau County proposal would establish a bill of rights for veterans. County legislator Josh Lafazan said it’s part of his plan to push veterans benefits into the 21st century.

Dignified housing, gainful employment and freedom from discrimination — those are the fundamental rights that all veterans are entitled to according to Lafazan.

“While our veterans had fulfilled their end of the deal, of the contract to protect and serve us, we as a government and as a country have not done a good enough job of upholding our ends of the contract: to protect and serve them,” Lafazan said at the VFW in Syosset last week.

He said he’ll introduce a bill to reaffirm those rights, and create a task force to study how the county’s veterans can be better served.

"And like the 68,000 homeless veterans in the United States of America, 5,000 of them right here in Nassau County are at risk of homelessness," Lafazan said. "It is time for a 21st century approach to protecting our veterans."

He wants the task force to study how to reach homeless veterans, and how to make technology more accessible for older veterans.

Almost 70,000 veterans live on Long Island, one of the highest populations in the country.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.