RI marks Veterans Day with monument, commitment to housing help

(WPRI) — Among many ceremonies Wednesday honoring those Rhode Island citizens who’ve served in the U.S. Armed Forces or died while on duty, a new monument was unveiled in Cumberland, and a Rhode Island congressman announced a new commitment to helping put service members and their families in homes.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo released a statement which expressed a commitment to appointing soon the state’s first director of veterans affairs.

veterans day 2015 collage
Photos: Veterans Day 2015 »

“Veterans Day is a time to honor and thank the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much to keep our nation and families safe. It is because of their bravery and courage that we can peacefully pursue our own dreams and opportunities,” Raimondo said.

New veterans’ monument at Cumberland cemetery

After local veterans’ groups expressed difficulty at choosing burial space — Exeter was far for people in northern Rhode Island to travel — a special section was dedicated Wednesday at Resurrection Cemetery on West Wrentham Road in Cumberland.

Bishop Thomas Tobin of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence was on hand for the dedication. “It’s meant to give a very dignified and sacred burial place for our veterans and their families, especially in this part of the state.”

The monument features a small patio, a cross, the insignias of the five branches of the military and a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, the patron saint of soldiers — as well as the oft-invoked memorial statement: “All gave some; Some gave all.”

Home tax credit proposed for veterans

Rep. Jim Langevin is re-introducing the Veterans Homebuyer Accessibility Act in order to make it easier for veterans to purchase homes — and for disabled veterans to make adaptive modifications to their homes.

Langevin made the announcement Wednesday at the fifth annual Women Warriors luncheon coordinated by Operation Stand Down.

“We must make the transition easier from military life overseas to successful, independent lives at home, and that includes support for safe, affordable, accessible housing,” said Langevin. “We owe our veterans a debt of gratitude, and the Veterans Homebuyer Accessibility Act is one way we can show our support and provide them with the welcome home they deserve.”

The Act would provide a tax credit of up to $8,000 for specially adaptive housing improvements, and a first-time homebuyer tax credit of up to $8,000 to eligible veterans.

The legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nevada) and Rep. Paul Cook (R-California), and a companion bill has been introduced in the United States Senate by Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pennsylvania).

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