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Source: United States House of Representatives – Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19)

BRUNSWICK, NY— In advance of Veterans Day, Representative Antonio Delgado (NY-19) held a panel discussion this afternoon with elected officials, community leaders, veteran support organizations, and non-profits focused on easing veterans’ transition to civilian life. The panel identified gaps in local services and discussed ways to expand upon successful programs that connect veterans with employment opportunities, housing and mental health support, and vet-to-vet peer mentorship programs. 

“From meeting with my Veterans Advisory Committee to visiting the many upstate organizations that support transitioning veterans, serving those who have served this country has been a top priority during my time in Congress,” said Delgado. “I’m committed to supporting the work of those on the ground who are helping veterans and their families find employment, housing, and other support services that ease the transition to civilian life. Today’s conversation was robust and informative, and it gave me a number of ideas about how we can work together at the state and federal level to better support our veterans.”

 “I’d like to thank Congressman Antonio Delgado for hosting this Veteran’s panel,” said Assemblyman Jake Ashby (R, C, I, Reform – Castleton). “Current issues affecting Veterans and their families require deliberate examination and our consideration every day. I am grateful to have been able to participate.”

“The Cornell Small Farms Program’s ‘Farm Ops’ team appreciates the opportunity to join Congressman Delgado in this panel, as part of our work to help connect veterans interested in agricultural careers with the latest research and educational resources as they pursue their post-service lives,” said Mr. Dean Koyanagi, Program Director, Cornell Farm Ops Program.

“Our therapeutic programs utilize peer support and occupational therapy techniques that create a welcoming and familiar environment that give veterans access to the tools required for successful reintegration. We look forward to working with the congressman to ensure the veteran community is made aware of the many alternative therapeutic programs and that resources are made available to such programs federally,” said Kevin Keaveny, co-founder of The Hudson Valley Center for Veteran Reintegration.

“We can and need to do more to help veterans find new career options after their service to our country. Military service often provides training and experiences uniquely suited to the challenges of small business ownership, developing traits such as perseverance, adaptability, and determination,” said Deputy District Director Dan Rickman, Small Business Association. “SBA programs can help veterans make the transition from serving our nation to owning their future through entrepreneurship. SBA’s expansive network of district offices, resource partners, and collaborating Veteran Service Organizations support veteran small business owners through entrepreneurial training and mentoring as well as expanding access to capital and government contracts.”

“I am the daughter, granddaughter, sister, and soon to be mother of a veteran/service member. I came to this organization to give back to our veterans in need by providing the supportive services necessary to successfully integrate our veterans back into society. Our organization is an outlet of information and services for our veterans and their family members and the community. We provide case management, referrals to legal assistance, referrals to VA benefits, food pantries, donation rooms, transportation, housing assistance, moving assistance, and so much more – for free. We are a non-profit agency that works off of grants, community support, and tons of fundraising,” said Nicole Caquias, Outreach/Community Engagement Coordinator for the CNY Veterans Outreach Center/Utica Center for Development.

Today’s panel also included Mr. Carlos Prince, Chairman of the Hudson Valley Veterans Alliance. The panel hosted today was part of Rep. Delgado’s in-district work week focused on veterans in New York’s 19th Congressional District. Prior to the event, Rep. Delgado spoke at the Berlin Central School District Veterans Day Assembly.