HUDSON–“There’s a major cutback in the armed forces. So all of these guys are now coming back and applying for veterans’ health benefits,” Gary Flaherty, executive director of the Columbia County Veterans Service Department told the County Board of Supervisors Human Services Committee meeting Wednesday, February 17.
Mr. Flaherty also had good news to report, telling the committee that though the two vans his department uses to transport veterans to appointments broke down frequently last year, “since we put money into them, we haven’t had problems.”
Nevertheless, Supervisor Matt Murell (R-Stockport), chairman of both the full Board of Supervisors and the Human Services Committee, said, “We’re definitely going to buy a bus for the veterans. There will be a new vehicle by the end of the year. We have specs for the vehicle.”
Albert Wassenhove of Ghent asked if the county had back-up drivers for the vans.
“I have a list,” Mr. Flaherty assured him. Mr. Wassenhove asked if the county would do the maintenance on a new vehicle and Mr. Murell answered, yes.
“We hear about military cutbacks,” added Mr. Wassenhove. “It’s a dangerous path this country is on. These cutbacks aren’t only in the active military but also in the Veterans Administration.”
Supervisor Reverend Edward Cross (D-Hudson, 2nd Ward) thanked Mr. Wassenhove for contributing to the meeting, “It’s good to have you come up and state your concern,” he said.
The next Human Services Committee meeting will be Wednesday, March 16 at the County Office Building, 401 State Street.