New legislation aims to help military families transporting fall - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

New legislation aims to help military families transporting fallen loved ones

Photo: Lt. Colonel Todd Clark Photo: Lt. Colonel Todd Clark

ALBANY, N.Y. -- Just months after Albany native Lt. Colonel Todd Clark died while serving in Afghanistan, some local lawmakers have introduced new legislation that would help military families making final arraignments for their loved ones.

When Clark died, his family found out that the military only paid for one flight for service members remains.  The problem the family faced was Todd's family wanted a funeral here in the Capital Region, but his widow was from Texas, and that is where he requested to be buried.

"We just knew it wasn't right, we had to change that," said his father Jack Clark.

The new bill, called the Lt. Colonel Todd J. Clark Hero Flight Act, would provide additional funding for more flights if necessary.

"It keeps him going," said Clark.  "He would want this."

Clark is obviously excited by the legislation. If the new legislation passes, other families will have more flexibility when it comes to flying their loved ones to burial sites if they are killed in combat.

Congressman Paul Tonko is the sponsor of the bill.

"This is the sensitive response," Tonko said. "This is the nation responding to the extreme sacrifice of our service men an women."

For Todd's family, it was Southwest Airlines that ended up stepping in to pay for that additional flight from Albany to Texas.

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