Aileen Gunther

Honors Our Veterans

Supporting troops and their families
Protecting soldiers’ families at home

The newest protections signed into law to help soldiers and their families include:

  • Eligible public employees who give their life while on active duty in the Armed Forces will receive the same death benefits - and their survivors would receive the same health insurance benefits - that they would be entitled to through the individual’s public employment

  • Survivors’ life insurance premium payments will be reimbursed up to $400,000 for members of the New York State organized militia killed during non-training active service.

Beyond the new additions, the Patriot Plan exists to ensure financial burdens for survivors of those who make the ultimate sacrifice are easier to manage:

  • The plan provides four years of free tuition, room and board to any SUNY undergraduate school or an equal amount to attend any other college or university in New York for the children, spouses and dependents of New Yorkers killed or severely disabled in the line of duty after August 2, 1990 (Visit, search site for "scholarships" or call DMNA Government and Community Affairs 518.786.4580 for more information)

  • The plan also provides up to $6,000 for funeral costs (1-888-VETSNYS)

Protecting active military members’ finance

photo To protect the finances and families of New York’s active military, Assemblymember Gunther helped pass the Patriot Plan, which has been helping military personnel for three years. The plan:

  • Imposes a cap on installment loan interest

  • Extends eviction protections

  • Allows for the termination of car leases without penalty

  • Extends mortgage foreclosure protections

  • Extends the deadline to pay property taxes, contingent upon approval by locality

  • Protects against lapse in life insurance for non-payment of premiums

  • Prohibits enforcement of storage liens on household goods

  • Extends the law that allows people who served in Indochina from December 22, 1961 through May 7, 1975 and were injured by exposure to chemical herbicides to take legal action (Ch. 68 of 2004)

  • Prohibits adverse credit reporting for individuals who previously obtained a stay, postponement or suspension of obligations under the Civil Relief Act. For more information, visit the Division of Military and Naval Affairs Web site, or call the DMNA Legal Affairs Office at 518.786.4541

Ensuring our troops return to good-paying jobs

photo To help our military personnel find meaningful work upon their return, the Patriot Plan helps our troops by:

  • Extending the certification period for emergency technicians on active duty (DMNA Government and Community Affairs 518.786.4580)

  • Waiving continuing professional education requirements and automatically extending professional licenses (Appropriate Licensing Authority or DMNA Legal Affairs Office 518.786.4541)

  • Protecting soldiers who have to suspend their education, allowing them to retain credits, standings or scholarships, and the student has the option of requesting a refund or credit of tuition and fees (DMNA Government and Community Affairs 518.786.4580)

  • Allowing special military make-up exams for military members who, due to military service, missed the application deadline for a scheduled competitive examination (Ch. 425 of 2005)

Honoring Prisoners of War and Soldiers Missing in Action

Our brave veterans have sacrificed much to protect us. That is why Assemblywoman Gunther has authored legislation, which has recently been signed into law (Ch. 411 of 2005), to encourage New York State Police facilities to fly the POW/MIA flag on the same days when the American flag is flown to honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. The flag is flown for our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers who disappeared fighting for our country.

"Many families have received the peace of mind they have sorely needed...On behalf of the American Legion family...a heartfelt thanks to all for making this legislation a reality."

- Al Etkin, Chairman
Legislative Rehab.
The American Legion
Dept. of New York
american flag

Recognizing our recent veterans

Veterans of the Persian Gulf or Afghanistan conflicts can now receive, upon request, a new "War on Terror" license plate.

For more information, go to


Helping our veterans get their high school diplomas

Operation Recognition was created to recognize the dedication and sacrifice of World War II and Korean War veterans who left school before graduation by awarding them with a high school diploma. The experiences and skills learned in the defense of freedom have given veterans unique knowledge and special insight most could never attain. This diploma reflects our pride and gratitude for their sacrifice and bravery.

To participate, veterans need only present one of the following as proof of service:

  • DD Form 214 (Report of Separation)

  • Certificate of Service (Honorably served)

  • Certificate of Release or Discharge from Department of Defense (Merchant Marines)

  • Letter from a recognized veterans’ agency affirming such service

Candidates that possess a High School Equivalency (GED) diploma and can provide proof of service are eligible for the program. Diplomas may be awarded to next of kin if eligibility is established.

***Click here for printablew view.***

I wish to receive my high school diploma in recognition of my duty during World War II or the Korean War.



Phone number:

Name and address of high school attended:

Please return to:
Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther
18 Anawana Lake Road • Monticello, NY 12701
(845) 794-5807 •