State Rep. Jason Perillo of Shelton is criticizing Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s proposal to cut $469,000 from the state Military Department’s honor guard, which provides military funeral honors for Connecticut veterans.
The military funeral honors include rifle teams that fire graveside salutes and play Taps.
“I think we all recognize that there are some very tough choices that have to be made when it comes to this budget,” Perillo said.
“However, there really is little excuse for the governor trying to overcome his poor budgeting over the past four years by stripping veterans of the honors due to them for their service to our nation upon their passing. It’s a disgrace,” he said.
Presentation of American flag
Under federal law, veterans of any military branch are entitled to the rendering of military funeral honors by two representatives of the armed forces, with at least one being from the veteran’s branch, for graveside services.
This includes the playing of Taps and the folding of the American flag with presentation to the veteran’s next of kin.
The service is free of charge, and available to those military members who are on active duty, selected reserve, former members with discharges other than dishonorable, and former military members discharged selected reserve due to disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
‘We owe it to our veterans’
The state of Connecticut Military Department often augments these minimum mandatory requirements with rifle teams that fire a salute volley.
“We owe it to our veterans and their families to provide the finest rendering of military honors possible for those who served and sacrificed to preserve our freedom,” Perillo said.
“If this legislature allows Gov. Malloy’s plan to cut back on military funeral honors, I honestly don’t like what that will say about us as a state,” he said.
Perillo is a Republican who represents the 113th District, which covers more than half of Shelton. He was first elected in 2007.
Malloy is a Democrat re-elected to a second term as governor in 2014.