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A Two Star Major General was in Rochester Saturday to honor a local company. Tony's Tree and Landscaping was recognized for hiring veterans. They say veterans make up a majority of the company's workforce. The owners of Tony's Trees and Landscaping have made a commitment to help veterans returning home from war. And they're doing so, by giving veterans an opportunity to work at the family's business. With five generations of veterans, this is something the family holds close to heart. "We're passionate about this mission," said Tony Bartucca. "I think it's one of the most important missions because it helps employee these veterans coming back so they can support their family and keep their homes and make them feel like they're contributing member to society like they were when they were abroad fighting in a war for our freedom that's the least we can do." More than 60 percent of the company's workforce are veterans. The family's work in the community and their passion to make veterans a priority earned the company an award presented by a two-star major general. Tony Bartucca hopes this recognition shines light on a problem he's seen in the community veterans coming home from war only to find themselves without a job. "They can't support their families. They're losing their homes. They're losing their family vehicle and to me that's absolutely disturbing that it's even happening." It's also concerning for retired major general Norbert Rappl. He says although there are resources available for veterans to find work, it's still proving to be difficult in most cases. That's why its important to recognize the companies that make a significant effort to employee veterans. "They go out of their way to hire veterans," said Major Gen. (Ret) Norbert Rappl, Army Reserve Ambassador. "They understand veterans have skills that a none veteran may not necessarily have. They know that these people coming back from the military bring these unique skills and principals with them." But new legislation could make more people aware of the skills veterans can bring to the workforce. Senator Ted O'Brien called for five percent of all state contracts to be set aside for companies owned by veterans with disabilities. It's known as the "Jobs for Heroes Acts." "We really owe a debt of gratitude to our service men and women who come back and face a disproportionate unemployment rate in New York and we need to compensate for that," said O'Brien.O'Brien says those business owners have faced obstacles getting contracts in the past."There's been a frustration by many of these business owners that they can't get contracts with New York State. It's time for us to try and rectify that problem," he says.O'Brien says the legislation should be introduced during this legislative session. He's confident it will pass through the senate. Veteran and business owners like the Bartucca family say this is a step in the right direction. "It's a start. I think we can do a lot more. They've given us a lot as veterans." - See more at: http://rochester.twcnews.com/content/news/all_news/rochester/716947/landscaping-company-honored-for-helping-veterans/#sthash.C1SoQE68.dpuf

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