Assemblyman Walczyk called to active duty during pandemic

WATERTOWN, NY —  Assemblyman Mark C. Walczyk (R-Watertown) released the following statement on Monday, April 13, 2020:

I have proudly served as an engineer in the US Army Reserve for 8 years. In the fight against COVID-19, I have been temporarily called to active duty to perform my role as a Captain in a Forward Engineer Support Team (FEST). Our FEST will be working closely with the Army Corps of Engineers to address some of the evolving needs of our Nation as we battle the coronavirus.

I will return to the New York State Assembly after the conclusion of my Army Reserve mission, in support of the response to this pandemic. Until then, my hardworking staff will provide regular updates to the citizens of the 116th Assembly District.

Luckily, I have been very fortunate in recruiting some of Northern New York’s most dedicated and effective public servants to my staff. I’m confident that this team will be able to carry on in my stead and I will be calling to check in when possible. The residents of NNY should expect the same great service they always get from my office. If you have a question or an issue with New York State we can help with, reach out to either the Watertown or Canton office anytime.

If you don’t have any questions for my staff, call someone else. Call a front-line worker and thank them for the risks they take to keep our community moving and our Nation safe.  Call a family member you haven’t spoken to recently to tell them you love them or a friend you know could use a boost. If you’re able, consider calling an elderly neighbor and ask if you can make a grocery store run for them.

It’s difficult to express in words how proud I am to represent our area. Northern New York is resilient; we’ve weathered ice storms, wars, floods, and economic downturns. We have the grit, fortitude, and toughness to weather this storm together.

I truly believe that with all this doubt, uncertainty, and strife, we will not be returning to “normal” in Northern New York; we’re better than that. “Normal” was families struggling with high taxes; “normal” was importing things we can make here, while shipping our youth out of State; “normal” was too much government red tape, a restrictive business climate, and lost faith in the entrepreneur of NNY; it was “normal” to remember fondly the way things used to be before thinking about what they could be tomorrow; it was “normal” to take the beauty in our region for granted; and “normal” to consider greener grass somewhere else. Like you, I wish I knew when this would end and what the best way to navigate it is. But what I do know, is that if we’re in it together and we stick together, when we’re out of it, we can do a lot better than “normal.”

The Front Yard of America is a place of exceptional people surrounded by exceptional beauty – and I look forward to coming home to helping us all achieve what happens next.