IAM Veteran Services Steering Committee members recently testified before a Maryland House of Delegates committee in support of Maryland House Bill 629(HB 629) in Annapolis, MD. The legislation, HB629/SB886, allows for a surviving service member’s spouse, under certain conditions such as death, suffering a service-connected disability, being declared a prisoner of war, or missing in action, to apply for a scholarship under the Edward T. Conroy Memorial Scholarship Program.
The IAM helped draft the state legislation, which aligns with the union’s platform to grow efforts to assist U.S. armed forces veterans, which includes tens of thousands among the 600,000-member organization. That effort included the IAM Veterans Services Steering Committee taking a break from their annual meeting at the Winpinsinger Center to make this vital trip to Annapolis in support of the legislation.
“As a proud U.S. Naval Air veteran, I know firsthand the importance our nation’s veterans have to our nation,” testified IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “We’ve sacrificed much for the freedom of this great nation, and that should be honored with strong benefits for veterans and their families. This state legislation is a great benefit for aiding family of veterans. Education is so important for the growth and prosperity of our nation.”
HB 629 was introduced by Brian Crosby (D- 29B), a veteran, and co-sponsored by Dels. Mike Rogers (D- 32) and CT Wilson (D- 28). The bill was cross-filed in the Senate by Sen. Ron Watson (D-23), who is also a veteran.
“The mission of the Veteran Services Department and this Committee is to assist our military veterans and their families,” said Richard Evans, IAM Veterans Services Coordinator. “Our assistance doesn’t end with helping veterans file for benefits. It also includes advocating on our veteran’s behalf on legislation.”
You can read the testimony supporting this legislation from International President Martinez, Bryan Stymacks, Eastern Territory Grand Lodge Representative, and Local Lodge 4 President Jeremy Leissner.