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New York governor to order free in-state college tuition for Gold Star families
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said he'll order the state to immediately provide free college tuition to families of military service members killed anywhere in the line of duty.
Cuomo's executive order would bypass the state Legislature, ending a weeklong controversy that attracted national attention.
Assembly Democrats last week blocked a bill in the Higher Education Committee that would have changed a state scholarship program for Gold Star families.
The existing MERIT scholarship program provides tuition aid to family members only if the service member was killed or disabled in a combat zone or while training to enter a combat zone.
Cuomo's order would make free SUNY tuition or its equivalent available if the service member is killed or disabled anywhere in the U.S. or overseas while performing official duties.
"Military service is more than just the active military member," Cuomo said in his announcement. "I believe the entire family is in service, and we will honor that sacrifice and respect that service not just in words, not just with symbols, but with deeds."
Assembly Democrats had defended their move to block the GOP-backed bill because its costs had not been determined and it came up after approval of the state budget.
Veterans organizations and President Donald Trump were among those who criticized the Assembly committee vote.
Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-Canandaigua, welcomed Cuomo's order Wednesday and said it caps off an 11-year effort by Republicans to make the changes proposed in the bill.
Kolb called Cuomo's announcement "a victory for all of New York's courageous veterans and the end of a long, but worthwhile, fight."
Cuomo's announcement came as Kolb and Republicans had appealed to the public to sign an online petition in support of the bill.
©2019 Syracuse Media Group, N.Y. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Actor Mark Wahlberg will be visiting troops overseas to plug Wahlburgers, a fast-casual restaurant chain owned by the actor and his two brothers, Donnie Wahlberg, and chef Paul Wahlberg.
US troops will not burn and pillage like Genghis Khan's hordes as a result of Trump intervening in war crimes cases, Milley says
The U.S. military will not disintegrate into an undisciplined horde following President Donald Trump's recent intervention in three war crimes cases, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley assured lawmakers on Wednesday.
Milley was testifying before the House Armed Services Committee when he was pressed by Iraq war veteran Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) about the president's actions in the cases of former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, retired Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, and retired Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher.
Taliban fighters attempted to fight their way into Bagram Airfield on Wednesday by invading a medical facility just outside of the base's perimeter, a spokesman for Operation Resolute Support said Wednesday.
J.P. Lawrence of Stars and Stripes and Jim LaPorta of Newsweek first reported that the battle lasted for several hours after using car bombs to attack the hospital, which is near the base's northern corner. Helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft were reportedly used to drop ordnance on the hospital.
An armed suspect was taken into custody at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi on Wednesday morning after a brief lockdown period, according to the Texas base's Facebook account.
Though the exact nature of the incident is unclear, base officials wrote that no shots were fired and no injuries were reported.
The new defense bill would create a public database for every complaint made about privatized housing
Among the dozens of requirements outlined in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act is the requirement for the Secretary of Defense to create a public database for privatized housing complaints.
So, that will be... a lot.