Assistance for Veterans available at Freedom Fest

Posted 7/26/22

District Attorney David M. Hoovler, and Carl LoFaro from the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System announced that the Orange County Veteran Suicide Prevention Coalition will put out a table in the lodge …

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Assistance for Veterans available at Freedom Fest

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District Attorney David M. Hoovler, and Carl LoFaro from the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System announced that the Orange County Veteran Suicide Prevention Coalition will put out a table in the lodge during the Orange County fireworks show, Freedom Fest on July 29, to hand out veteran crisis materials.

The coalition has already placed over 18,000 suicide prevention materials in over 500 businesses and organizations located in and near Orange County, New York. The coalition hopes to reach even more people with their message at this year’s Freedom Fest. The coalition is also partnering with several other veteran groups and government agencies during Freedom Fest to pass out information on upcoming local veteran events, activities, and benefits. The Coalition will have information on hand from the Veterans Administration, Mission 22, Hudson Valley Honor Flight, Clear Path For Veterans, Vet Center and Orange County Vet 2 Vet and others.

The coalition also wishes to thank Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus for his assistance to the coalition and congratulates him on his upcoming promotion to Commander in the U.S. Navy Reserves. The Orange County Clerk Kelly Eskew will have applications for the Orange County Veterans Discount Program and an updated vendor participation list for that program available at the information table. The Orange County Veterans Service Agency administrated by Christian Farrell will also have handouts about the services they provide to Orange County Veterans. In addition, the District Attorney’s office will have booklets to pass out on preventing senior citizen fraud and materials on the opioid crisis with a view towards preventing drug use and overdose by our young people.

The Orange County Veteran Suicide Prevention Coalition is trying to reach as many veterans and their families as possible with their suicide prevention message. Since Freedom Fest draws large crowds many of whom are veterans, this event is a great place to meet veterans who might not have seen the materials we have placed out in public already.

Carl LoFaro of the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System and Orange County ADAs will be on site if anyone would like to discuss the information in our handouts or set up a future meeting to speak to a group live about suicide prevention. The coalition has already been to several veteran organizations and sportsmen’s clubs to speak about suicide prevention and are looking to speak to more interested groups in the future.

“I am proud of the work that the Orange County Veteran Suicide Prevention Coalition has done for Orange County veterans and their families and of the strong support that has been provided to the coalition by the citizens and businesses of Orange County” said Hoovler. “If you or your organization would like any veteran crisis materials or information about any of the other Veterans groups helping us in Orange County, please stop by our table. The coalition will be happy to assist you. You can also contact Carl LoFaro of the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System at carl.lofaro@va.gov to get crisis materials sent to you or to set up a live meeting with your organization on this serious subject. Enjoy Freedom Fest and the fireworks!”

Freedom Fest will take place on Friday, July 28 at the Thomas Bull Memorial Park in Montgomery. It will include a special salute to our veterans and will feature live music from the Black Dirt Bandits as well as a variety of food trucks and vendors.
The gates will tentatively open at 4 p.m. and the fireworks will begin at dusk. Residents can purchase food and drinks from vendors throughout the evening.

“We are looking forward to hosting this family-friendly community event again and anticipate another great turnout this year,” Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus said. “Join us and bring your family and friends for a wonderful celebration. Freedom Fest encourages our community to come together to celebrate and honor our veterans and enjoy a fun evening.”

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