POTSDAM -- A Veterans Appreciation Day is set for Saturday, Jan. 5 at Clarkson University’s Student Center from 1 to 4:30 p.m.
Veterans who attend will be informed about benefits they may be entitled to, including in the healthcare, education and legal fields.
The highlight of the event will be a special recognition of Korean War veterans in honor of the upcoming 50th anniversary of the end of the war this summer. All veterans will be honored at the opening ceremony.
Information and opportunities will be offered for military veterans, retirees, wounded warriors, families, and anyone interested in advancing the lives of veterans, military retirees, and their families, especially those in search of employment and educational opportunities.
Representatives from veterans services, retiree services, and organizations will be on hand.
More than 40,000 veterans live in the North Country counties of St. Lawrence, Lewis, Jefferson, Franklin and Clinton. Some may not be aware of, or have questions about, the benefits to which they are entitled.
The event is designed to answer those questions.
Registration starts at 11:30 a.m. or can be done beforehand online.
There will be no charge for the event. Both Clarkson University and St. Lawrence University have donated tickets to their respective men’s hockey games that evening for those who pre-register at http://www.northcountryveterans.com/event-details.html.
The public is invited to an opening ceremony, complete with a color guard and Prisoner of War/Missing in Action presentation from 1 to 1:30 p.m.
After that, Clarkson will host nearly 60 organizations providing veterans’ services, including representatives from area colleges, hospitals and community groups. A full list of participating organizations, as well as registration information, can be found at http://www.northcountryveterans.com/event-details.html .
Those organizations and three “town hall” style meetings on healthcare, VA and educational benefits will address any questions veterans might have, or provide them with information they weren't aware of previously, according to Michael Boprey, director of St. Lawrence County Veteran’s Services.
“The main goal at this event is to get veterans connected to their benefits,” says Boprey.
The first Veteran’s Appreciation Day, held last June at Clarkson, drew more than 400 visitors, according to committee member and retired Army Col. William Murphy. This year, organizers are hoping for 400 to 500 guests.
“We need to remember the veterans that have served this country and have protected this country from the different conflicts that existed in the world,” says Murphy. “We owe a debt of gratitude to our veterans.”