Veterans upset over proposed cut to honor guards

(WTNH)–Veterans are upset at Gov. Dan Malloy’s proposed budget that cuts the money for state honor guards.

Bruce Zigko served in Vietnam and comes from a proud military family. He expects that the honor guard will be at his funeral, and says the guard was at his father’s service. He Zigko says they represented the pride and respect his father deserved for serving his country.

“He was in the Navy and he had an a honor guard, and they were dressed in the uniforms and they played taps,” Zigko said.

The governor’s office wanted to point out that there are five government positions on an honor guard. Three of those are funded federally, and two by the state. The $470,000 proposed cut would only be to the honor guard. However, many Democrats and Republicans seem to agree with the veterans that they deserve a full honor guard at their funeral.

“The most important thing we need to do as a society is to take the time and thank the veterans for their service. If it weren’t for them we wouldn’t be here.”

“This is a difficult one for a lot of us to swallow. Because this is about our military the people who served our country and who we honor in such a way because of their service.”

The governors office released this statement:

“The Governor believes we must honor our veterans and give them the respect and benefits they have earned serving our country. That’s why he is working to and funding efforts towards ending veteran homelessness by the end of the year. There are no easy choices in a tough year, but the Governor has presented a budget that doesn’t balance on the backs of working and middle class families, keeps funding to local governments level – avoiding property tax increases – and doesn’t cut funding for our public schools. The legislature now has to face the same difficult decisions as it deliberates on the budget.”

Sen. Mae Flexer’s father served in Vietnam, and still serves today.

“Part of his work as a veteran’s Chaplin is going to veterans funerals, and I have heard through him that how sometimes it is a challenge to get an honor guard to come to the funerals of. A veteran and that is how I know personally just how important these monies are.”

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