ANNAPOLIS, Md., May 16, 2023 – Today, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) applauds Maryland Gov. Wes Moore for signing into law House Bill 629, which allows 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. and Mary A. 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. The IAM established its Veteran Services Program in 2022 to help IAM members who are U.S. military veterans get the benefits they deserve. The program’s mission is to ensure veteran members and their families are cared for and supported.
“As a proud U.S. Naval Air veteran, I understand how important this legislation is for the families of our state’s veterans,” said IAM International President Robert Martinez Jr. “Veterans and their spouses sacrifice so much for the freedom of this great nation, so it’s only right to honor them with substantial benefits for veterans and their families. This state legislation is a great benefit for aiding families of veterans. Education is so important for the growth and prosperity of our nation. We thank Governor Moore for signing this important bill into law.”
HB 629 was introduced by Maryland House Del. and military veteran Brian Crosby (D-29B) and co-sponsored by Dels. Mike Rogers (D-32) and CT Wilson (D-28). Sen. Ron Watson (D-23), a military veteran, sponsored the bill in the Senate.
“On behalf of the IAM members in Maryland, I want to thank Rep. Crosby and his colleagues for working with us to get this bill to the governor’s desk,” said IAM Eastern Territory General Vice President Dave Sullivan. “I want to personally acknowledge IAM Veteran Services Coordinator Richard Evans, IAM Local Lodge 4 President Jeremy Leissner, and Eastern Territory Grand Lodge Representative Bryan Stymacks for their role in securing this major victory for the families of Maryland’s veterans. We are proud to have played a role in making it happen.”
The IAM represents more than 10,000 workers in Maryland, including aerospace, defense, manufacturing, automotive, and library workers. The union is headquartered in Upper Marlboro.
“I am proud to live in a state that values the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families,” said IAM Veteran Services Coordinator Richard Evans. “This legislation will give families the financial benefits they deserve as they pursue their educational goals. It’s always an honor to fight every day for our veterans.”
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers is one of North America’s largest and most diverse industrial trade unions, representing approximately 600,000 active and retired members in the aerospace, defense, airlines, railroad, transit, healthcare, automotive, and other industries