Thursday, October 30, 2014

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Soldier On comes to the Capital Region

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Albany/HV: Soldier On comes to the Capital Region
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In honor of Veteran's Day, Albany County officials announced exciting news. As YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, they have partnered up with Soldier On to offer veterans in the Capital Region a safe haven.


ALBANY COUNTY, N.Y. -- Colonel David Sutherland said, "I'm a father, I'm a husband, I'm an uncle, I'm an American soldier. I serve for you, I will fight with you, and I would die for you."

Soldiers make the ultimate sacrifice for our country every single day. But when they return from war, transitioning back to society can be difficult. That's why Albany County officials celebrated this Veteran's Day by bringing 'Soldier On' to the Capital Region.

"Soldier On is an organization committed to serve started off homeless veterans, and now with our new mission it's veterans at risk of being homeless and all veterans," said Soldier On president, John Downing.

Based in Massachusetts, Soldier On has helped veterans for more than five years. This building is the first New York office for the organization.

Albany County Executive, Dan McCoy, said, "We'll have counselors for everything they need to get the help to re-establish them back to society."

"I've been in a lot a lot of programs and this is the only one I've ever liked," said veteran, Dennis O'Malley.

Because while soldiers are trained on how to go to war and fight for our country, no one trains them on how to come home and re-adjust to society.

McCoy said, "A safe haven for veterans who feel they can't turn anywhere else, will have a place, and God forbid if they become homeless we have a place we'll get them back on their feet, we'll get housing for them, they'll get the counseling they need."

"They helped me stay clean and sober and do the right thing," said O'Malley.

When asked if O'Malley thought he'd be where he is today without Soldier On, he said, "No, no, I'd probably be in jail or in a mental institution, or be dead."

A comeback story officials hope the New York office will bring more of.

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