By Eden Laikin
There was a great turnout of veterans at the recent Veterans Casework Seminar in Hicksville, co-hosted by Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano and U.S. Congressman Steve Israel. The seminars, being held by Congressman Israel across Long Island, aim to provide veterans with information on benefits to which they are entitled.
Representatives from the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs, also attend and participate in the discussion and information sessions to which Long Island veterans and their families are invited.
Mangano has said, since taking office in 2010, that it’s a priority to “honor our veterans and active duty military who are serving our nation here and abroad.”
“That is why we have enhanced services for veterans,” the County Executive told those gathered for the seminar, at the Hicksville VFW Post earlier this month.
The Mangano administration established 42 homes, located on Mitchel Field, to provide affordable housing for veterans and their families and an additional 18 homes for active-duty military personnel. The County also transferred land in Hicksville to Homes For Our Homecoming Heroes, a not-for-profit who is constructing a home for a veteran returning from the Middle East. Along with the County Legislature, he opened a new office for the Nassau Veterans Service Agency in East Meadow at Nassau University Medical Center and joined in the opening of a new Veterans Affairs (VA) health clinic at this same location to provide state-of-the-art medical care for our veterans.
For local veterans who struggle with drug addiction, the County is holding a special Overdose Prevention Workshop – with Narcan Training – just for veterans, their family members and friends, their counselors or caregivers, It will be held on Wednesday, November 12th, at the County Executive’s office – in Mineola from 9:30am-11:30am. No prior medical training is necessary to participate and become trained as an overdose responder.
In September, the County held its 4th Annual Veterans BBQ, which served thousands of veterans who enjoyed a day of music and food. Also, twice a year, Nassau’s Veteran Stand Down’s provide food, clothing and access to valuable services for our veterans in need. The Winter Stand Down will be held on Tuesday, November 25th from 10a.m. – 2p.m. at the Freeport Armory.
Mangano told the veterans attending the seminar that he was “truly humbled to be in the presence of so many great men and women.” And, he quoted former President Ronald Reagan who once said; “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.”
“I thank you all for your service to your country and for protecting our freedom and thank you again for taking part in today’s event and God bless you for your service,” Mangano said in closing.