MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Hollis Chase was one of two World War II veterans presented with overdue service medals by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-18th Congressional District) at the Mamaroneck Library Thursday.
Chase joined the Air Force in 1942 and flew more than 41 combat missions as a B-24 pilot stationed in the South Pacific during World War II. The energetic 95-year-old said he had never flown a plane before joining the Air Force.
Lowey presented him with the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal, the Philippine Liberation Campaign Ribbon, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Presidential Unit Citation.
"It comes as a very nice surprise," said Chase, a member of the Rye American Legion.
Lowey also honored Joseph Ferraro, of Rye Neck, who also served in WWII. For more information on Ferraro's service, click here.
"Our nation owes brave veterans like Mr. Chase, Mr. Ferraro, and all those who have served in the Armed Forces a debt of gratitude," Lowey said. "This Veterans Day, we must recommit ourselves not only to ensuring veterans have the health care and financial security they deserve, but also the ability to find good-paying jobs after their service."
Lowey introduced a bill called the American Heroes Act, which would take steps to help secure jobs for the men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Currently, 20 percent of veterans under the age of 24 are unemployed, according to the Department of Labor Statistics.
Businesses would receive a tax credit for hiring veterans under the Act, which Lowey hopes to see passed. David Singer, president of Robison Oil, said he had been hiring veterans for most of his adult life and found them, "more dedicated and easier to train."
Although he doesn't think the Act should be necessary, he'll take the tax credit, he said. The Act would also strengthen training programs for returning service members, in addition to encouraging business and government contractors to hire veterans, according to a press release from Lowey.
"The Senate must pass this critical legislation today, and Speaker Boehner should follow suit and put this at the top of the House agenda," Lowey said.
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