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By Abigail Fridmann (SYRACUSE N.Y.)- Today’s Veteran’s Forum at City Hall was designed to allow veterans a chance to express the changes they want to see in the community. But before the talk began, they paused to honor those who lost their lives 77 years ago at Pearl Harbor.
“We should take a moment,” said Jeff Bastable, a board member for Syracuse Honor Flight, “to reflect on the lives lost, and how those lives impacted ours.”
Honor flight, was just one of the organizations in attendance. Veterans Association, Catholic Charities, and other groups spoke to the many options available to those who served.
And while there are efforts being made, some people at the forum asked is this enough, can the community be doing more? We talked to some people, and they said there really isn’t anything they think they can be doing for the community.
“You can pretty much guarantee, if you’re a veteran and you need something and you need some place to go, those people can direct you to the right place,” said Bob Haughfman.
Haughfman is a proud former marine, but now is the commander of a veterans post. He says helping others has become his mission in life, but that the county has never let him down.
“95 percent of the time, I get these people straightened out. I think Onondaga county does a great job.”
But Bastable says some programs still need improvement. He says they are working to make their services more inclusive to the indigenous people of Central New York.
“There are a lot of veterans on the Onondaga nation, this is disheartening to us, we talk about it at our board meetings, do we know anybody, how can we integrate. We haven’t figured out the answer yet, so help.”