State Rep. Pam Staneski (Milford & Orange) has been named the 2017 Republican Legislator of the Year by the American Legion.

Staneski was cited for her contribution to the interests of all service members and for going "above and beyond the call of duty,'' for veterans and their families, according to the American Legion.

Staneski served on the legislature’s Veterans Affairs committee in 2015 and 2016 and was one of the keynote speakers at the April 2015 ‘Hands off our Honor Guard’ veterans’ rally at the State Capitol.

The American Legion was chartered and incorporated by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization devoted to mutual helpfulness.

Staneski praised her local veterans organizations in Milford and Orange, citing their work in the community meeting their mission.

"I am humbled to be honored by an organization that has done so much for our veterans, active military, their families, and our state,” Staneski said. “This recognition is very special to me as I consider the members of the American Legion part of my extended military family. Upon becoming a state legislator, my first point of contact was with our veterans’ community. As a Navy ‘brat’ I have first-hand knowledge of the sacrifices made by our military families — I lived it.  The Connecticut legislature has made our veterans a significant priority through our actions at the State Capitol every day.

"From someone who did not serve, to those who did, I want to thank all of you for this award but more importantly, I want to thank you for your tremendous service and sense of duty,” Staneski said.

Last week, Staneski called on Governor Dannel Malloy to restore state funding for military funeral honors for veterans of the armed forces.