Almost 7,000 New York National Guard troops responded to the 9/11 attacks 20 years ago. Governor Kathy Hochul said they deserve access to veteran benefits, and introduced a bill to make that happen.
National Guard troops who served at Ground Zero are not currently eligible for benefits because they were activated by a state emergency order instead of the federal government.
Hochul addressed the Guard at a special ceremony to honor their service.
“We sleep better at night because you're willing to show up on a 9/11 or to show up in places like Afghanistan, or sometimes just show up with me and a sandbag up on Lake Ontario and help keep back mother nature to protect families and lives. You are always there when we need you,” Hochul said.
Hochul said the recognition was long overdue.
She also signed into law several bills that would expand eligibility for benefits to other first responders who were at Ground Zero.