Thank you for your service to our State and Nation. Your courage and sacrifice on behalf of freedom and democracy have provided peace and prosperity to our great Nation and millions around the globe.
As the son of a Marine Corps Drill Instructor and as an individual named for my uncle who was awarded the Navy Cross posthumously for extraordinary heroic action on Iwo Jima, I seriously recognize our moral and legal obligation to serve the members of our veteran community.
As Governor, I pledge my administration and the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will work ceaselessly to demand the best for our veterans. We will accept nothing less.
With your continued support and with the assistance of Veterans organizations throughout the state, we are meeting that pledge. On September 27, we broke ground on the new $50.4 million-dollar Vineland Memorial Home. In April, we began a $6 million-dollar improvement project at the General Doyle Cemetery. Last month, I received the Nursing Shortage Task Force report and directed BG Glenn Rieth to implement the recommendations so that we can hire the nurses necessary to open the Old Glory Wing at the Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home.
Throughout my career, I have consistently been a strong and unwavering advocate for the brave men and women who have served and sacrificed for our Nation. I have challenged both Democratic and Republican administrations when they set forth proposals that would jeopardize our veterans. This year when the State confronted historic budget problems, I renewed my commitment and ensured that all State veterans services were fully funded and ensured the necessary State matching dollars to protect veterans programs.
Under the leadership of BG Rieth, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs and my office are working aggressively to obtain Federal funding and provide State dollars to support veteran’s benefits and program. We are working on these issues on a daily basis.
Lastly, I look forward to working with the Veterans Advisory Council, the commanders of our veterans’ organizations and with each of you to improve the quality of life of veterans in New Jersey. Together we will make New Jersey the Veterans State. Thank you.