The Ulster County Veteran of the Month is Plattekill resident Gavin Walters.
Gavin is an Air Force Veteran who has dedicated his life to serving other Veterans in our community as the Director of the Ulster County Vet2Vet Program @vet2vetofulster and works for the The Hudson Valley National Center for Veteran Reintegration (HVNCVR).
Gavin and his wife of 8 years, Tomisha, are the proud parents of two children, Gavin Jr. who is 3, Eden who is 18 months, and “Baby Girl” who is due next month.
Gavin was born in Jamaica and came to the US in 1988. He lived in Texas for a few years before heading to New York with the rest of his family. Gavin’s a proud American and decided to join the Air Force in 2003.
Due to medical issues, his enlistment was cut short but his desire to serve remained. He went on to earn his MSW and spends his days helping Veterans in need.
The Vet2Vet program is critical to the mental and physical well-being of Ulster County Veterans. As a community partner with the Veteran Services Agency, they ensure no Veteran is left behind. Vet2Vet uses proven strategies to engage Veterans with peer mentors and in the community. No one understands a Veteran like a Veteran, and Vet2Vet puts that into practice on a daily basis. They have many programs, including Group Sessions for PTSD, Equine Therapy, Mindfulness sessions, and of course peer counseling.
Gavin has also taken the lead for New York State, serving as the leader of the Joseph P. Dwyer Coalition. This coalition works with NYS leaders to enact legislation and build better support for Veterans across the state.
The Ulster County Veteran Services Agency (UCVSA) provides support to County veterans and their families in obtaining medical, disability, pension and education benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the NYS Department of Veteran Affairs. The UCVSA also helps veterans with issues such as homelessness, burials, tax exemptions, employment, transportation and the FAVOR discount card program, and performs outreach to local communities and service organizations.