MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Joseph Ferraro was one of two World War II veterans presented with overdue service medals Thursday by U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Harrison) at the Mamaroneck Library.
Ferraro, 89, served in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1946. He was an infantryman and combat medic stationed in France. On Thursday, Lowey presented the Rye Neck resident with the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Honorable Service Lapel Button for his service.
"It's nice, I'm very thankful for it," said Ferraro, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1156, on 1288 Boston Post Road. "I'm a very strong American. I believe in our policies right to the end."
Lowey also honored Hollis Chase of Rye, who also served in WWII.
"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 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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