Our incredible servicemen and women sacrifice so much to keep us safe and preserve our freedoms. Their willingness to go into harm’s way for our benefit is something we can only hope to appropriately express thanks for. We are forever in their debt.  Their family members deserve our gratitude and admiration, too: military family members make tremendous sacrifices and they are an incredible source of support for the U.S. Armed Forces.

November is Military Family Appreciation Month. During this time, we recognize the families of our service members and offer our thanks, respect and support to those waiting at home for their loved ones serving at home and abroad. Their collective sacrifices are truly laudable and vital to the success of our military.

Without the support of their families, the job of our Armed Forces becomes much more challenging. Regularly, military families send care packages, family photos and hold down the fort to help our service members stay connected and in touch with the land they are serving to protect.

The life of a military family member is not easy and yet, they accept this life of service. During long deployments, family members might go months without seeing or hearing from their loved ones. The emotional toll on these family members, young and old, is apparent. Their quiet strength, endurance and steadfast commitment to those serving warrant our admiration.

The Assembly Republican Conference has always fought for the interests of military veterans and their families. From beating back state budget cuts to veterans’ programs, to pushing through college tuition expansion for the families of deceased or disabled military members, to offering legislation that eases financial burdens on military families, our support for New York’s  veterans will never waver.

We take time in November to recognize this sacrifice, but for those living it, it’s truly a year-round commitment. The stress and uncertainty for military family members can be extremely difficult. Not only are long deployments anxiety-inducing, but in situations where our armed forces must engage with the enemy, that anxiety can turn into outright fear. Outreach, information and counseling is available to military personnel and their families to help them cope; those who need assistance with common issues and the challenges of military life, or looking to connect with other military families, can find helpful information and guidance by contacting my office with the info below.

For anyone who knows members of the military and their family members, please thank them for their service. Offer help and support when you can and be mindful of the needs of these family members not just this month, but year round. Our troops need them just as much as we need our troops. Remember, our brave and selfless service members and their families bear a heavy burden for everything they have sacrificed for the common good and the freedoms that define our lives and liberty.

Assembly Minority Leader Will Baclay, R-Pulaski, can be reached by mail at 200 N. 2nd St., Fulton, New York 13069, by email at barclayw@nyassembly.gov or Facebook and Twitter at @WillABarclay.

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Speaking to members of the military during his surprise trip overseas this week, President Donald Trump spoke about the raises they received.

"You haven't gotten one in more than 10 years - more than 10 years," he said Wednesday. "And we got you a big one. I got you a big one. I got you a big one.""They said: 'You know, we could make it smaller. We could make it 3 percent. We could make it 2 percent. We could make it 4 percent.' I said, 'No. Make it 10 percent. Make it more than 10 percent.' "

The problem with those statements? They're not true.

As The Washington Post's Philip Rucker and Paul Sonne reported, the pay raise Trump authorized this year amounted to 2.6 percent, not 10 percent. And the troops have received a pay raise every year for decades.

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