Let me please introduce myself: My name is Donovan Haye. I am both an U.S. Army veteran and Michael Blake’s oldest brother.
I served in the U.S. Army for 29 years and retired as a Sargeant First Class in December of 2015. During that time, I served in multiple combat zones during both the Gulf War and Operation Iraqi Freedom. I am proud of my service, and I know the unique challenges that veterans experience on the ground and once we return home.
When it comes to our elected officials, I believe that it is not enough to simply pass legislation, though yes, that is important and necessary. We also need to elect leaders who truly care about others and their challenges. We need leaders who are willing to listen and extend compassion.
My baby brother Michael is that kind of leader.
He understands what military families experience, including the sacrifice that our families make on a daily basis. Our struggle is personal to him.
As a member of the New York Assembly’s Committee on Veterans Affairs, Michael has worked tirelessly to pass legislation that helps veterans gain credit at CUNY and SUNY colleges. He also pushed for an alternative resolution program for veterans and service members who are accused of certain felonies related to injuries from service because he knows that our experiences are distinct, and our trauma is genuine.
I am so proud of my brother, Michael. I know that as Public Advocate, Michael will stand with veterans and our families because he stands with me.
He knows that taking care of America’s heroes is a moral obligation. I know that he will put Jobs and Justice first for our veterans — because he cares.