Moving Forward On The Veteran’s Service Credit

I have some wonderful news about a bill that so many people have been asking about in recent weeks – the Veteran’s Service Credit. I am proud to announce, along with Senator Bill Larkin (R-39), that the Assembly and Senate’s one-house budget resolutions contain the Veteran’s Service Credit.

This legislation would allow all honorably discharged veterans who are members of a New York State retirement system to purchase service credit for up to three years of military service performed. Under current law, only veterans who served during certain specified periods of war are eligible for this benefit, excluding a substantial number of veterans, like those who have served recently in Afghanistan.

I have worked tirelessly on this bill because our veteran’s deserve this. Thank you for all your service. The Veterans’ Service Credit will now be negotiated on to be part of the final state budget expected to be voted on later this month to meet the April 1st deadline.


49 thoughts on “Moving Forward On The Veteran’s Service Credit

  1. Thank you and your staff for your tireless support. Don’t let the governor take this accomplishment away from you, us and your staff. There should be no compromise in the negotiations. The governor needs to be the one that needs to recognize the contributions of our veterans. We love you all so very much.

  2. You have fought the good fight for us and built intense and bipartisan legislative support for the bill only to be undercut by two consecutive governor vetoes over the last two years. This year, at last, must be the year for military service credit for excluded NY veterans. All veterans will be grateful this year if you can even move one of us from the ranks of the excluded to the ranks of the included within New York’s military service credit program. Thank you and please keep up the fight.

  3. Your dedication and support on this important veterans issue is commendable. Without Sen. Larkin and yourself, leading the charge on fair / equitable treatment for all veterans, I know we would be cast aside as refuse. In particular, how can a law recognize one set of wartime veterans and exclude another set of veterans in the same war? We all raised our hands to serve our country. We would gladly do it again. All veterans deserve to be equally recognized. It’s about time, it’s long overdue, and it’s the right thing to do. Thank you for your tireless efforts.

  4. There aren’t enough thank you’s that you should hear. I have followed you and Sen.Larkin from the beginning. The ups the downs,the shame and the many broken promises. I thank you for your hard work and dedication that you have done a great job. So I ask to stay strong and please follow this through, because every veteran deserves to equal. We wore the uniforms donned our dog tags, left our families behind to fight for not just America but for the less fortunate. So many dangerous areas that aren’t recognized . Again thank you for your time and great service you have done for us.

  5. Veterans are people who volunteer to put their lives on the line for this great nation. A very small percentage of citizens actually service. To recognize ALL those who served is the right thing to do. Thanks Goodness some people appreciate the service of veterans. The current governor certainly does not.

  6. As a female veteran who served aboard a Navy ship, did multiple Mediterranean deployments during the Lebanon conflict, and was honorably discharged …yet cannot purchase 3 years of military time in New York…I want to say “Thank You!”

    Thank you for appreciating my service!

    I am a native of this great state. At the age of nineteen I signed my name to enlistment papers and dedicated my life to defending this nation. I gave control of my future to the United States Navy….and was proud to do it. I went where I was ordered; did what I was ordered. At the end of my enlistment and after “seeing the world” I returned to upstate New York – by far the most beautiful place on earth!

    I have often wondered why my service and sacrifice is seen as somehow less deserving than others in the eyes of the New York State lawmakers. So…thank you again for all your efforts to correct the inequities.

  7. I am a woman veteran who served our country during the Lebanon conflict and was honorably discharged in 1987. I am also a public employee who has served our State for over 20 years. Because I was not allowed to step foot on the soil in Lebanon (and thereby did not receive the expeditionary medal required for buyback),I am not allowed to purchase my service credit. The opportunity to buy back this service time would mean the world to me.

    I very much appreciate all that you are doing to help secure my right to purchase military service credit. I personally thank you for all that you have done and continue to do in that regard. We are out here. We appreciate you. We believe in you.

    Please keep fighting for us.


    Chantelle (Chris) Saxby

  8. I would like to thank you and Sen. Larkin for your dedication and hard work. Please keep fighting the hard fight and get playing field level for all those who proudly served.

  9. Ma’am, thank you to you and your staff and your colleagues in the NYS legislature for all that you have done on this matter. I truly appreciate your effort. It’s good to know that so many people in government – almost unanimously – recognize the importance of this benefit to veterans, even if the Governor does not. Please keep up the fight!

  10. My husband served in the navy on active duty for 7 years. Unfortunately, it was not in the designated areas that the law currently requires. But that should not belittle his service. He went where he was ordered. While others were in combat zones, he and his shipmates maintained the vigilance and peace in other parts of the world. In his municiple job, his counterparts can retire sooner than he because they didn’t serve in the armed forces and started earlier. This bill, although for only 3 years maximum, helps brings him up to his retirement date almost as equal to his coworkers. This means alot to our family and other families in the same situation. Why should any veteran be penalized by this Governor because of where they served? They served honorably and should be recognized that they gave their all to defend this country while others enjoyed the freedom that all veterans provided.

    Keep up the good fight. This Governor does not fully comprehend a veteran’s sacrifice. Please do not let him defeat our efforts for equal recognition. It’s not just a veteran, it’s their families who also sacrificed during long periods of seperation. We are proud of our veterans. They’ve done their job. It’s about time the governor does his, with his signature on the VEA.

  11. Four Years Active Army 1975-1979. On the DMZ and two trips to Germany. I am also a 27 year NYS Employee. I am hoping that all of the efforts that yourself, Senator Larkin, and those of us who tirelessly call our Representatives and the Governors office have the desired effect, the Veterans Equality Act for ALL NYS Honorably Discharged Veterans. We all signed on the dotted line! Thanks for all of your tireless efforts!

  12. Thank you Assemblywoman Paulin for all your efforts to make the Veteran’s Service Credit fair and equitable. We veterans didn’t get to pick-and-choose when or where we were sent into harm’s way. Since the legislature has chosen to recognize some periods of military conflict, it should not get to pick-and-choose which conflicts can serve as the basis for special treatment.

  13. Prior service Navy Seabee teaching construction in a Public School. Thank you for your continued fight for all veterans. We deserve to be equal and you clearly understand that. Keep up the fight.

  14. Thank you Assemblywoman Paulin and Sen. Larkin, for your successful efforts to include the Veterans Equality Act in your respective one-house budgets.
    The most important battle lies ahead.
    Now is the time to stand and deliver on the “debt of gratitude owed to veterans” of which many people in high places have spoken at one time or another, by including the full Veterans Equality Act, including language for funding, in this year’s final budget (due April 1 2016).
    After many years of work to reform the existing military service credit law, the members of both houses of the legislature, in bipartisan fashion, overwhelmingly approved the Veterans Equality Act, only to be vetoed twice by Gov. Cuomo.
    The governor stated that this issue should be addressed in the context of the budget, and led our elected representatives, and therefore the People of the State of New York, to believe that this would be accomplished this year.
    This long-overdue reform to existing law is needed to correct the exclusionary and discriminatory inequities of the current law.
    This is a small price to pay to bring equity and honor to all veterans, no matter when or where they served, who ensured the protections and the liberties that we all enjoy (which some take for granted, and which some abuse), and continue their honorable service to the public which they serve.
    Veterans have earned this. No one is “giving” us anything other than the OPPORTUNITY to PURCHASE up to (possibly) three years (maximum) towards our retirement. Some may choose to purchase less time, some may choose not to purchase any time, as this decision is highly personal. But we should all have an equal opportunity
    Keep fighting to include the full Veterans Equality Act, complete with funding, in this year’s final budget.

    Honor ALL Who Serve Honorably

  15. Wow. All of the above comments hit the nail on the head! For those of us near the end of our careers, the incluson of the VEA in the budget process and the potential to have it signed into law is amazing and so very important to us and our families. So many of us have been waiting a very long time for the results which you and Senator Larkin have produced. Thanks so much for your unceasing efforts in making this a possibility. We could not have done it without you, Assemblywoman Paulin. Hate to be a downer, but it is hard to hold much hope after the two recent gut-wrenching, depressing vetoes of the bill. I had 7.5 years active duty, mostly overseas, none of which can count toward my total years worked, at pesent time. It feels like wasted time and I feel we are being penalized for serving in the military. To think that I might be able to purchase the time I need to be able to catch up to my peers and be able to retire is a dream come true. Keep up the good fight. Godspeed. Best wishes. And… thank you.

  16. Assemblywoman Paulin – A quick ‘thank you’ for your continued efforts and unwavering support for all honorably discharged NYS veterans. It is much appreciated. Be well Jim

  17. This is the final charge Assemblywoman Paulin, hopefully the last battle to fight for all veterans. We appreciate your commitment to this cause and for being the voice for the men and women who have served this great country with pride and honor. Thank you!

  18. Thank you so much for your unwavering efforts to finally make the Veterans Equality Act a reality for “all” of our Veterans this year!

  19. Thank you for your steadfast support of the veteran service credit legislation and your continuing effort to ensure that it is included in this years budget. Thank you!!

  20. Thank you Assemblywoman Paulin and Senator Larkin for you unwavering support and commitment to the VEA Bill despite 2 Governor Cuomo veto’s. I am hopeful that the Governor can be convinced that this Bill is deserving for all Veterans. Good luck in your future efforts in getting this bill passed for all Veterans.

  21. I am a retired Army officer and a public high school teacher. I think it is fair to say that the state pension system is uneven in its treatment of veterans. The military, on the other hand, treats us the same and the VEA is in that same spirit.

    I do not blame our elected leaders for their lack of knowledge of our service in this era of volunteerism. They should, however, understand that, for example, service on the DMZ in Korea during the Cold War, could be every bit as hazardous as service during Desert Storm or even Iraq and Afghanistan. They need an education!

    Your tireless efforts are greatly appreciated. This is a tough fight in the face of a relentless adversary. Keep up the good work!

  22. Thank you for your endurance and hard work in standing with us and moving the VEA forward! Thanks to your staff for their energetic support of this worthy legislation. You are all truly friends of New York’s veterans. ALL VETS!

  23. Thanks again to you and your staff for your enduring support of New York’s veterans who work in state and local jobs around our beautiful state.

  24. Thank you for your tireless support of veterans. Without your support, we would not be acknowledged. You should be very proud, as we are, of your commitment

  25. Thank you so very much for your tireless efforts and immeasurable persistence on our behalf. Your absolute refusal to give up or give in means more to us than words can express. With sincere hope that your work will be rewarded…

  26. I am very grateful for you and your political colleagues who have worked very hard to support those who have served their country as veterans 🙂

  27. Just wanted to thank you for everything you have done to make us veterans feel appreciated in our home state of New York. No matter which way this goes, you can not be thanked enough for your efforts. Again, thank you.

  28. God bless you and thank you, from the bottom of this old Marine’s heart. You have displayed tremendous RESPECT for veterans that is deeply appreciated.

  29. Thank you for your continued support of this bill. I’m a female USAF veteran who served on active duty during 1981 – 1990 and I am currently a public school teacher. I am many years behind my peers in retirement credits because of the years I served on active duty and am currently excluded from NY’s Military Service Credit Program. This bill will allow me to purchase up to three years towards retirement. Because of my long service on active duty, I will not yet have enough years to retire but I will be a little closer. Many people think I already have this benefit but the current veterans’ bill excludes nearly all women who served during this time period.

  30. Thank you for your continued support on the Veterans Equality Act. You have been fighting for this for quite some time now and we all thank you so much.

  31. Many thanks to you and Senator Larkin for all that you have done to support this bill. I am a veteran who served from 1981 – 1984 in Frankfurt, Germany with the 3rd Armored Division, (Cold War Veteran). I am currently a high school teacher on Long Island. For years I have been hoping that the present law regarding veterans and their military service would change. I am hopeful that the Governor will recognize the inequities in the current law and make things right!

  32. I want to say thank you for everything you have done and are doing for veterans. The Veterans Equality Act is a big step for equality for the Veterans of our State.
    I pray we get the outcome this month of the full bill in the budget.
    Again thank you.

  33. Senator Larkin and AWM Paulin I am a Kosovo combat action infantry marine and under the current law I can’t buy back my time due to the inequality of the current law. I know all military personal, no matter their job are equal, but for whatever reason some don’t see the obvious. You guys have been instrumental for equality for all, specially our military.
    My family and friends thank you!!!
    You have our support.

  34. I am member of the 10 mountain division and 2id in Korea. I just want to thank you and Senator Larkin for your hard work and genuine concern for Vets!
    Thank you

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