A Letter from a Military Vet, To the State of NY — 65 Comments

  1. 1St. Sargeant Kone,

    All I can say is New Hampshire would be delighted to have you! Thank You for your military service and helping to protect the USA!

  2. Simply awesome. Mr Kone, first of all thanks for your service. Secondly, if the above mentioned states don’t work out you would be welcome in Texas.

    • Great letter I grew up in NYS too but will never move back there Texas has been my home since 1978 and I love this big Lone Star Republic come to Texas if you can’t find any other place!

  3. Great letter and great man. It will be interesting to see if he hears back from any of his “representatives”.

    Unfortunately, my recent experience has been that the condescending attitude towards the “Citizens” is ubiquitous regardless of political party.

  4. Just so you know, Georgia is a very gun friendly state. They are passing legislation for more gun rights. You may want to look into those other states as they may follow suit with NY soon. Good luck 1SG.

    • Ohio requires you send your biometrics (fingerprints) to the Feds just for the “privilege” of carrying a firearm.

  5. we too are leaving maryland for WV as a vet to a Vet still serving thank you for all you have done and do

  6. 1St. Sargeant Kone,

    Great letter!
    I would love to have someone like you be my neighbor in New Hampshire.

  7. Mr. Kone,
    You are welcome as my neighbor in the State of Florida, your letter did not mention my State but I hope you may consider us as a home. We (The State of Florida) just re-ratified our “Stand Your Ground” law, and welcome responsible firearm owners here. Personally, I have had to exercise my second amendment rights on two occasions and on both occasions the State of Florida supported me stating that I exercised “excellent judgment” in my actions.
    I have been a longtime fan of Jack, and I respect him as a fellow survivalist. Again he has shown the ability to draw the finest among America to him with his ability to express rational thoughts and ideas.
    I am a former Marine having served proudly over ten years, and would continue to serve if my Country needed me.
    Sir, I respect what you are doing and respect how you are doing it. I feel you are making a bold statement and wish you the best luck wherever you land. I can only assume the State of New York has forgotten what happens when an oppressive government angers too many of its citizens.
    Nicholas, USMC

  8. William,
    If you’d like to talk to me about NH and/or the Free State Project feel free to contact me on the forums. I was a NY native and was stationed in Plattsburgh NY for most of my time in the Air Force. I moved to NH 20+ years ago and found that I felt more at home here than I ever had in NY.

    There are still some places I miss in NY state (particularly northern NY) but I would never consider returning.

  9. Amen 1SGT Kone.
    North Carolina would love to have a citizen like you. Our property is inexpensive and tax rate on property is very low. In most counties you can receive your conceal carry permit in 90 days or less. We are a very military friendly state. We have beautiful beaches, mountains and everything in between.
    I moved from Southern Maryland 8 years ago to escape the lunacy and will never return. NC is home for my wife and I, my children and grandchildren!

    • I’d like to 2nd central KY. Interstate highway availability to easily go in any direction. Lot’s of public hunting areas. Amazing small game hunting, fishing in the numerous Army Corps of Engineer lakes, low property tax, low energy costs, and very reasonable real estate costs when compared to the northeast.

  10. Sir:

    Please consider my home state of Texas as a relocation possibility. There is no state income tax, a stable economy, and independence-minded people. (We were a Republic before joining the US, after all!) In addition, there are many climates and terrains to choose from — semi-tropical to continental as well as ocean beaches, lakes, rivers, plains, mountains, forests, deserts, etc. Our sons and daughters have provided many, many service personnel to all branches of the military. We understand and appreciate weapons for self-defense, too.

    Texas would welcome you with open arms.

  11. Your not alone. Last year we were checking out Texas and now we are all headed to Alabama. Bids have been placed and half the family should be out of NY by next year, if not 6 months from now.

  12. Dear 1st Sergeant Kone:

    Thank you so much for your service to our country. It’s a shame that some of those in government don’t appreciate those who serve their country and those who are productive citizens. I wish you the very best in your search. May you enjoy your retirement in peace. I’ve also left my home state of New Jersey, where my family has also been for generations. It’s difficult, but be encouraged. Blessings to you and your family.

  13. Mr. Kone,
    Thank you for you service and dedication to our country. I live in northeast Ohio and would love to have someone like you as a neighbor!
    Best Regards,

  14. Hoorah, 1sg Kone; You echo my sentiments. I am just returning from the Liberty Forum (in New Hampshire) and as a lifelong NYS resident, Army Vet and former Deputy Sheriff, I am thoroughly disgusted with the path our state has gone down. I aim to be gone in the next few months, best wishes in your search.

  15. 1SG,

    I wish you the best in your search. I left Ft. Drum after 12 years and returned to NC just to see that it was slipping in the same direction… downhill. After years of wondering where I would end up one day, and finding no place where individual freedoms were still appreciated, I finally just left the country. Having a family, you have far more to stick it out for and I truly wish you the best finding someplace.

    ex SFC

  16. Thank you for your service. Well said. Standing two thumbs up to you! Wish you well and many generations in your new location. WA is not the best but is not the worst. Would love to have you here. Maybe if we had more people like you we could stop the down ward slide.

  17. Sir, your letter is pure brilliance. I will copy/paste and send out in private emails and it will be forwarded on many times from there. Sadly, my dear friend CMS Fred Marshall II is no longer on this earth but I know he would be very proud of you. He fought for liberty until his final breath. His son Fred III has now taken his place in that fight. I have no doubt your letter will be posted on his forums and beyond. I belong to a variety of liberty groups and will post your letter there as well. I pray that it will be read by tens of thousands.

    Blessings to you Sir. Stay strong, stand tall and always have a tight grip on the sword of truth and the shield of liberty.

    Ronnie in Iowa

  18. Give Texas a try. We moved here from Washington, DC/Northern Virginia and we are pleased at the quality of life.

  19. Sgt Kone, thank you for your service and your words – You speak for many of us. I’m a former resident of Florida and now living in Chemung County NY, or your neighbor to the south. I am shellshocked of the lack of liberty in this place, though it is easy to be distracted by NY’s beauty. Scared to register for a handgun as I believe one day they WILL come knocking. Already “strategizing” where to go in the great northern exodus to come. Best of luck to you in your new life – I hope you find hapiness and peace.

  20. Indiana wants you! West Central Indiana has many wonderful hills and hollers for you to explore when you retire!

  21. 1st Sgt. Kone, thank you for your service and your wonderful, well-written letter! A sad state indeed. We would be pleased to have you join us in the Hoosier Heartland – Indiana! 🙂

  22. 1sg Kone,
    Your letter to the government of NY has motivated me to write a similar one to the government of my former state. I have already made my move a few months ago for reasons very similar to yours. I am also a veteran, kept my residency in my state the entire time, came home, was employed full time and contributed to the state. I was an EMT and i was seeking employment in the fire service and planned to spend my life there. Unfortunately that state pushed me out and I voted with my feet. I have now purchased a house in another state that respects my rights and I provide my services as an LEO. I will be informing my former state government of my reasons for leaving. Thank you for your service and well said.

  23. I live in upstate NY and cant wait to leave next year when I retire.My husband was in the Army then the Guard for a total of 44 years.He has a hand gun permit,guns,rifles ,magazines etc.By NY law hes a criminal ! He wont give up or change his magazines,I dont know anyone who will,so he now faces jail time if hes “caught”.Really? After serving his country for 44 years?How can that be?
    We never planed on leaving NY.Our house is paid for and we love it here in the Catskills.My husband was born here and never lived anyplace else.Now the state of NY is turning this Vietnam Vet into a criminal. He has to either give up the rights he fought for or run.How can this being happening in America?

  24. I too currently live in New York. My wife & I have decided that we are going to look for property in New Hampshire. I think rural or semi-rural, or in a very small town. We hope to get some raw land, and if possible some lake or river access. Looking for either undeveloped or with a shack to start off in. We’ll use it on weekends & on my vacations for the first few years, as well as our BOL. Eventually, we would move there & retire to our homestead. My job is currently in NY and so I figure I’ll be mainly living in NY for 5 years at least, but hoep to live in both locations for another 5 years then fully in NH. If we can we’ll hold onto our ny property [25-year tax abatement makes it possible] as a weekend/retreat/BOL from NH[!]. Anyway, this summer we’ll styart by finding some B&B to stay in for weekends & week vacations to locate the area we wish to live.

  25. 1SG Kone I appreciate the way you have communicated your thoughts,feelings and beliefs to the people that have chosen to live in a Utopian dreamworld in their own minds,while imposing Orwellian restrictions on it’s own citizens. I also am a retired 1SG USA and have chosen to not return to live in New York for the same reasons you have elaborated so well here. Although I have family in Northern NY that I visit frequently and would love to find a nice country place to buy up there because I miss the area I was born and lived in until I enlisted in 1968, the politicians have run headlong way too far to the left for me to live there in peace or with peace of mind. I now live in a bordering state that is not much better than NY and if it wasn’t for the darned mortgage hanging around my neck, I would have departed here awhile ago and returned to the more welcoming southern states and I wouldn’t miss the snow either! Thank you for your continuing service!

  26. I am a NYer. I am so sick and tired of whats going on, I wish I could move. All my wifes family is here and I have a great job that pays the bills.

    If I could make what I make else where and have family around I would do it in a second.

    My greatest hope is that my kids grow up and move away after or during college to somewhere we can all live.

    • @Joe C, I understand fully. But let me answer just one of your points,

      “If I could make what I make else where”

      On that note I realize it doesn’t solve the family concern which I both respect and understand. On the monetary issues though people need to start thinking like businesses not the way we have been trained to.

      How much you make doesn’t matter what matters is how much you keep. I listened to a teacher say in her school district she has to live with her sister because otherwise she could not afford to live near her school, her sister pays 25,000 in property taxes. I know a family in NJ that was paying 12,500 on a house not as big as my house I have now, no where near the land and not really any nicer. My taxes are about 2k a year.

      So just on that ONE issue never mind overall cost of living, cost of housing etc. People need to focus more on quality of life afforded by income then the raw income number that in many instances just results in higher federal taxes.

      Put it this way, say you make 100K a year (I have no idea what you make) but to afford a house, taxes and state income tax alone you are spending 45K, leaving 55K to live and pay federal taxes on. If a home of equal or better quality and non existent state income taxes in a neighborhood that is just as nice came in at say 20K in Texas and we look at a pay cut what happens.

      Say a company in Dallas will only pay you 85K vs. the 100K you get now. It works like this, 85 – 20 = 60K, well with very realistic numbers (perhaps being too kind to NY and to hard on Dallas) you just got a 5k raise in money you keep by taking what looks like a 15K cut. Not to mention if you ever loose your job you are more likely to find another one in Texas. I mean I am just saying on this “I make x” concept people need to start thinking more about the bottom line vs. the top line.

      If I said Company X sold 4 million in product last year and Company B sold 2.5 million and asked most people which was more successful most would cay Company X. I would say I have no idea with only that information. X may have lot a million dollars and B may sell a high margin low cost of delivery product and posted a profit of 1.5 million for all I know.

    • @Modern Survival – Your point sounds very true. Kinda hard to figure out though. Guess the biggest problem is family. About 3 years ago we almost considered moving to South Carolina, and I was the biggest proponent against it. My wife was ready to sell as she has some cousins down there. My inlaws were considering it too. I was between jobs, so anything was up at that point.

      I guess now if I am ever in that point again in my career, I will definitely have to pursue the moving route.

  27. We all should start to consider where we will move if they ban guns! My heritage begins in 1620 in Plymouth, ma. Best to you and your family

  28. Bill,

    Thank you for your service.

    As you consider the best place to relocate, look it Upstate South Carolina. Greenville County may be one of the most Conservative areas in the South. The living is good, and the taxes are low.

    Best wishes to you and your family

  29. the utilities companies and banking cartel have us as slaves, so alternatives are go off the grid, and live in lower tax states, with like minded people who will all work together for a common good. Create local barter and food systems, become more self sufficient, build a home Not attached to the ground and they can’t tax you on the building just the ground you own, or rent property. Maintain our freedoms and liberties.

  30. I was so glad to hear this. I am active duty military and had always planned to move back to Chatauqua County, New York but now I have decided that I will never go back. I just arranged orders to west Texas so I can serve out my time to retirement and live in Texas. Way to go!!!

  31. Dear Mr. Kone, I am sorry to say, but you will never be a “former taxpayer” until you renounce your US Citizenship. Moving to another chair on the deck of the USSa Titanic, may only get you a slightly more comfortable seat during the crash. As a disabled Vet, I am ashamed of the damage I did to innocent foreigners in their country while my homeland has dropped to less than ten on the World’s Freedom Scale. The US has become just another freedom hating government among many in the world. Standing proudly with a puffed-up chest full of battle doodads will make you the perfect bureaucrat’s target as an example to the others who don’t want to stand up themselves. Please notice, the 2nd Amendment may be the last Constitutional Right we have, so what will you be fighting for? A hollowed out Constitution? If you want to live with freedoms, you need to get out of the US. I’ve moved to Chile. YMMV.

  32. You are welcome to my home and state of South Carolina…thank you for your service and your stand for our freedoms

  33. 1SG,
    I too am an Army Vet who is also a citizen of the Peoples Democratic Republic of New York. I came back to NY in 92 when my second enlistment was up and planned on a happy life in the state I’d grown up in. I should have left when it took me, a former E6 with a top secret security clearence, 2 years to get a pistol permit. I stayed because of family. I now work for the state DOCS and they are still giving me a hard time about my weapons. I have 10 more years to retirement and then NY is in the rearview for good. I myself am considering Wyoming and Texas. Best of luck to you, thank you for your service, and God bless you and yours.

  34. wale i agree with the letter iam sadly reminded of what ben franklin once side ”if we dount hang together we will hang sepretly” the problems of this state cannot be changed by moving to another state for thay will intime be nation wide,we must stick together

    • Movement is the last act of defiance before revolution, you do realize that right. Franklin being one of the founders that ensured we had a republic did. As for hanging together that is what we are doing. New York etc, have chosen their paths, let them find the end as their best producers leave. Frankly it is the only hope states like them have at this point.

    • But in either case you will “hang,” right? LOL It is human nature for people to have an ethnocentric view of the world, but agreement does not make it accurate. The whole world will not be in as dire of a situation and the US when its currency debases, its programs run out of money to feed the masses and its unpaid military is looking for a way to keep eating. There are times to stay and demand your freedoms and there are times to beat feet and wait for your opening. I am voting with my feet and ask you to also get real. Good luck with whatever you decide to do with your unique DNA code. Mykl

  35. Caution, Possible Minority View Ahead: I respect the private ownership of this list and would accept the censorship of this opinion. Being in any military does not make a hero. As a Vet just turning 65, I confess that I joined the US military for 4 years to avoid being drafted for 2 years into the Army/Marines rice paddies in Vietnam and that I was never a proud flag waver after those doses of reality. I had difficulty with: my military insisted absence from both daughters births, my subsequent divorce, my skating around a non-combat PTSD, being dumped on the street after my 4 year enlistment and wearing a backpack freigh-training around the US for a few years, … thinking. Since there is no draft, there is no excuse to enlist other than doing it as a person’s best choice in life. And, can anyone reading this give an example of a defensive (ie. non-aggressive) US war in your lifetime? Therefore, every US soldier since 1974 who voluntarily participated in our many wars of aggression are not freedom defending heroes. The Nuremberg Trials clearly decided what soldiers fighting for the Nazi “National Socialist” were, but it could be said that that was unfairly decided by the winners. You can decide for yourselves. For me, I will continue to hold war protest and anti-hero signs at Veteran’s Day hero worship formations, until our government starts to come after us Veterans “to protect the population from terrorists,” as you all well know is on the agenda. “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish!” Stop by and I’ll buy you a Pisco Sour in Santiago and we can chat in meat space.

    • What the hell does that have to do with anything said here? I didn’t call Top a hero, just a man who served and continues to do so. No different then say if he was a successful attorney. The point is NY is loosing a good citizen due to their own stupidity.

      I actually agree much on the concept of excessive aggression but taking this point to make such an off the wall, unrelated comment is why people like you have so much of a hard time reaching others.

      You just made one of the most out of place comments with nothing relevant to the subject at all. By the way many folks such as myself and Top Kone served honorably and never harmed anyone of any nation or creed. For my part I built roads and schools for people in Central America. I guess that makes me an aggressor as well right?

      I saying you get an F for “picking your battles” on this one. This isn’t about a “hero” this is about freedom of choice and how crappy states are loosing their best citizens. I am the first to say not every solider is a hero, is Top a hero, he is to me and not for his years in the military, for his pure service to his fellow man. For service as a volunteer well beyond military service, for service to TSP in helping to form and build the Disaster Response Team and now for taking a stand.

      Let me put it to you this way if you can get the dirt out of your ears enough to hear it. You are correct that not everyone in the military is a hero, absolutely correct, that doesn’t mean that none are either.

      Top is a hero to me for his SERVICE and far more for his service as a man and a civilian then as a solider.

  36. Thank you all. I had not expected much of my letter other than a slight mention on one of the feed back shows. To see such support and recommending that I look at their state is impressive.

    I feel these replies need an answer as best I can. The response from the government officials has been limited. The one RINO in the list at the end sent me a form letter email telling me how he fought the more restrictive aspects of the SAFE law. (yeah, it could have been worse: a 5 round limit, cap on number of mags you could own total, limits on number of weapons owned, mandatory safes, insurance, and such) But nothing about my letter. My best guess is some staffer scanned it and said “gun control-form letter 5, send”

    I sent it to five papers, three have not run it as of now, one has but is not on line so I can’t see it. My understanding is that it has prompted several replies saying I should stay and fight or they also are going to leave. The editor asked if he could have someone interview me but nothing has followed up on that.

    Personally it has been effective. My Uncle who is an officer in the National Public Health (as well as his wife) have decided not to return to New York when they retire and are looking to drop their NY registrations and such for Florida’s where his wife’s family is. (two more highly educated adults not returning and ending their tax support of the state, which he will be sending a similar letter.)

    My middle sister’s Significant Other is now looking to leave and when they do will also send a letter as soon as the job search allows them to go. Two of the Soldiers in my unit have changed their residency to West VA or PA not for firearm reasons but the taxes. After showing them my letter they sent one out also.

    I know my situation is different than others, I’m not living in the state right now. All i’m doing is choosing not to come back. This is harder for others who are there. One of my two brothers has already left years before the other is a teacher who owns a small farm house and land. While he could move to PA and drive the 20 miles they are really attached to the home and town. It is hard for them to leave. The farm which has been in the family since 1890’s can’t be moved. But the youngest generation is not interested in staying and fighting all the land use rules. It is sad because we are talking 8 generations of this being the family farm.

    Everyone has a cost benefit ratio, i’m sure that if I was there running the farm, I would not be leaving. I don’t blame anyone for not leaving when you have family still there. (heck, Jack even moved back because in part for family)

    It will be 10 or more years before we “retire”. The wife’s church is likely going to move her soon to another state and my time in my current position is reaching the recommended time (meaning you really, really, really! should do something different now). We picked the Kentuckyana/ohio area because she has family there and NH because of the Free State Project. A lot will depend on were our families are in 10 years. Mine has already had half move to PA, NC, and VA. Hers is moving into the tri-state area or WI.

    I have been stationed in Texas, Ft. Hood, and i’ll pass. Texas has Hot down way to well for me. (Alaska is out after doing a winter at Ft. Greeley too, so don’t feel bad.)

    I hope others will join with the sending “goodbye” letters. I think they can have an impact, maybe not on the gov officials, but on the citizens. By making it clear why people are leaving, they will start saying the same things and asking for changes. This kind of leaving is different than the 18 year old going off to college/army and just not coming back. That gets written off as “life happens”. With these letters it is clear it is the oppressive taxes, rules and other BS (soda limits anyone?) that is the choice.

    I have fought the good fight the best I can away from home. When I lived up there I worked hard to keep NY free, but was out numbered. I admire those who keep trying, but I have less to fight for now. No land, less family living up there, the knowledge that I won’t be able to bring home my rifles, etc just does not motivate me to keep paying NY taxes, fee’s and such so I could keep writing letters and voting for lost causes.

    I would love to return to New York, like I said, overturning or removing the SAFE law won’t be enough any more. If NY makes a major change, I pray it would, I can’t think of a nicer place to live if it was not for the government.

    Thank you all for your support and I hope this and the new Walking to Freedom site will make a difference. If gov officials see people leaving vocally, they can’t keep pretending that all is well and have to start doing things that is more than deck chair shuffling.

    Liberty for All
    William “Top” Kone.

  37. so where is a safe place to live? Skousen advocates Northwest Territory st choice he says only redoubt in Tn, Cumberland Gap region 2nd choice on east side of Mississippi. He is leaving out weather, water supply, dark good soil for growing, like minded community, so what do you suggest TY?

  38. Sbrooke just asked, “So where is a safe place to live?” When you finally realize it’s too late to get out and the obedient green gangs have been deployed back here in country, they will pick you off in the night. Last century more people died by the hands of their own government than in all the wars. Check your history books on that. You don’t hear those folks complaining, because they died quietly in the night without much of a chance. Jacks ideas are perfect for holding out during the “Greater Depression,” but you won’t leave the bounty of your homestead, if the time ever comes to bolt. It will be too late. Some say that won’t happen? Ask for a guarantee. I prefer “to be watching safely at my YouTube screen, not out my front window.” Remember, ask for the guarantee that this won’t happen.

  39. so from your answer you seem to suggest to get out of the country, I know in the Bible it says, He will come like a thief in the night, I’m sure this is what you are suggesting. I’m not that stupid to think this doesn’t happen when history has repeated this over and over again. This goes on every day even today. RI sure isn’t the place to be, but where is a realistic alternative even if it is out of the country. I’ve prepared thru CERTs to train for EMT, police duty, Ham License, gun license, water supply, tools, especially hand tools, learned permaculture, growing herbs and sprouts. I’m looking at survival skills. When I move I can only do it once, so it has to count big time.

  40. Thank you for your service! Please move to TEXAS!!!
    We would love to have more people like you here.

  41. I left Illinois years ago and haven’t looked back. I wish I would have known how great everywhere else was. I would have changed my permanent residence while I was in the Marine Corps. That way I wouldn’t have had to go back there and deal with their stupidity.

  42. Dear Sir;
    First of all thanks for your service to our great country, you are a hero and a patriot. I too am a Veteran (USN) and a life-long (multi-generational) New York resident, well at least until this coming September. As a family we have had to make the difficult decision to leave our beloved NY and our extended family for all the reasons you mentioned in your letter. We have traveled extensively and lived in Africa and Spain for 8 years, serving as missionaries, so while we have different vocations, I feel our stories are similar. We are now on home assignment and after our exhaustive research and prayer we have decided on Idaho as our landing spot. We will be in our new home by the end of this year. Blessings to you and your family wherever you wind-up settling. “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”?’Numbers 6:24