Veterans advocates in Columbia-Greene say file for benefits as early as possible

Veterans

By Richard Moody

Command Sgt. Maj. Gary Flaherty, executive director of the Columbia County Veterans Services Department, said 34 of the veterans he served died since the start of the year and is warning veterans to file their claims paperwork and make family members aware of posthumous desires as early as possible.

Flaherty said of the 34 veterans who died so far this year 10 percent had not filed any paperwork with him or the county clerk’s office including the DD214 form, which indicates if a veteran is eligible to be buried with military honors, the information about the veteran’s service and if the veteran received any awards for his or her service.

“We did not have any paperwork or wishes from the veterans,” Flaherty said. “We had to search for the information.”

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