(Binghamton, NY) Broome County Executive Debbie Preston joined Broome County Clerk Rick Blythe, Director of Veteran Services Brian Vojtisek and Commander of the Bill Gaspar Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 60 Jeffrey Largue to discuss ways the community can help disabled veterans in our community.
“These brave men and women set their lives aside for the good of our Country,” says Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. “We have a local group that does its best to help these veterans out in any way they can.”
In 2014, Broome County purchased a van and donated it to the DAV to help transport disabled veterans travel to and from doctor’s appointments.
On top of that, the group is constantly trying to raise money that is used to help our local disabled veterans with financial needs.
“I have spoken to people who do not even know that we exist, or they think they have to have been wounded or hurt to be a member of our organization. We help all veterans that are having trouble,” says DAV Commander Jeffrey Largue. “I think the most important thing we can do for our veterans is to get exposure to the services that are available to our servicemen who have come home.”
The Disabled American Veterans meet the second Monday of every month except for the months of July and August, but we are available at any time to help when someone is in need.
They meet on the second floor of American Legion Post 80 on Main Street in Binghamton. There is an elevator for those veterans who have trouble climbing stairs.
Donations from the public are the only way they keep the organization running.
They do fund raisers by selling forget-me-nots at certain functions and at department stores.
Anyone wishing to donate can do so by sending a check to the Disabled American Veterans P.O. Box# 308 Binghamton, New York 13902.
To get more information on the D.A.V. you can call me at (607) 242-2798
“Every little bit helps to get these veterans what they need, we have wheelchairs and small motorized scooters available for loan,” Largue says.
Also Wednesday, Preston joined Broome County Clerk Rick Blythe to honor a former member of the DAV.
Known as “Mr. Wednesday,” Carl Oliver was a decorated World War II veteran who would visit County Clerk Rick Blythe every Wednesday.
During his military career, Oliver served as an Army medic and was involved in 5 major battles and campaigns, including the Battle of the Bulge.
After his discharge in Paris in 1946, Oliver had a hard time receiving his VA benefits because he was discharged overseas.
Blythe worked with the DAV and the Broome County Veterans Services Office, and obtained Oliver’s medals, which are proudly hung on display in the County Clerk’s office.
“Carl Oliver was a wonderful man, who proudly served his Country,” says County Clerk Blythe. “I am honored to be able to call Carl a friend and to have his medals on display in my office as a reminder of not only his dedication to his Country, but also to our friendship.”
Oliver passed away in 2006 and is buried in the Chenango Valley Cemetery.