Veterans honored and connected to support services at annual event

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Veterans and their families gathered at the Wings of Eagles Discovery Center for the third-annual “Salute our Veterans” campaign. The goal– connect them with resources and to honor them.

“There are organizations here that really do want to help veterans,” Gerald Tompkins, the chairman of Salute and chairman of the Chemung County Veteran’s Affairs Commission, said. “What they don’t know is what support services are really out there. There are a ton of support groups in the area for veterans.”

Some of those services included a PTSD treatment procedure that doesn’t use any pharmaceutical drugs and even wreath commemorations for soldiers buried at Woodlawn Cemetery.

“It’s really connecting with all of us together to bring forth a society that really supports veterans,” Tompkins said.

It wasn’t just to connect veterans to essential services. Two veteran was commemorated in a very honorary way

Kelly Harkness and her father, David, were each given a Quilt of Valor, a hand-made quilt awarded to veterans for their military service

“Well, I don’t consider myself to be a hero,” Kelly said. “So I’m proud and humbled to be chosen for this award.”

For David, it was “quite a surprise, we set it out for Kelly and then I discovered I’m getting my own so it’s extremely nice of the organization to do that for all the veterans.”

She was in the Navy. Her father was in the Army.

“When one veteran serves, their family also serves,” Tompkins said.

For veterans, friends and family who would like to utilize Salute’s services and assistance, more information can be found on Salute’s website.

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