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From Brendan Schweigart

Steuben Legislature approves peer-to-peer services for vets

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Funding for the service is through the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Fund

From Steuben County NY,

BATH – A program for underserved military veterans in Steuben County is set to begin soon, thanks to a

$100,000 state grant to provide peer-to-peer support.

The service, administered by the county Office of Community Services through a contract with Veterans One-Stop Center of Western New York (VOCWNY) in Buffalo, was approved Monday by the county Legislature.

“I am excited for our veterans in Steuben County,” said county Veterans Services Agency Director Gary Smith. “This is an opportunity for our veterans to engage with each other and build a peer support system similar to what they experienced in the military.”

Smith said the program is designed for veterans to engage with each other through social activities and meaningful peer support to build trust-based relationships.

Both Livingston and Yates counties recently and successfully started their VOCWNY peer-to-peer programs, Smith said.

Funding for the service is through the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Fund. A combat medic in the US Army 3rd Infantry Division, Dwyer enlisted after the terrorist attacks on the US on Sept. 11. 2001.

He died on June 28, 2008 after taking prescription pills and inhaling fumes from a computer cleaner aerosol.

“Our hope is that through this program we continue to embrace the military value of never leaving a fallen comrade,” Smith said. “If our veterans need help, they have a community they can count on and trust.

For more information, call the Steuben County Veterans Services Agency at (607) 664-2527. For information on Veterans One-Stop Center of Western New York, go to https://www.vocwny.org/

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