As citizens of the United States, we have many freedoms people of other countries do not have. We have luxuries, both materialistic and untouchable, making our lives and our children's lives so very much better. We have the power to choose, to state our thoughts and ideas and to move freely within our own country. We have the right to protest, vote and purchase our own homes. We can protect our families and ourselves.
These luxuries did not come without a price. Many U.S. military men and women encountered some of the most gruesome battles, triumphing over some of the biggest nations to maintain the very freedoms we have today. As U.S. soldiers, they left the soil of their own country to save the solid ground we walk on today, forever changing their lives and that of their families. Sadly, many soldiers paid for our freedom with their own lives. As U.S. citizens, we all owe much gratitude to those who have fought for us and our country, because we treasure the peace and freedom we have.
You might (or might not) be surprised to know that there are approximately 15,223 veterans in Niagara County according to the census. Veterans from Vietnam represent the largest number in Niagara County at just over 5,600. We have approximately 4,500 veterans between the ages of 65-74, and approximately 4,000 Veterans 75 years and older and also between the ages of 35-54 in Niagara County.
The wellbeing of our Niagara County veterans is a priority. The public is invited to a Veteran's Informational Meeting being offered for our veterans and their families. The event is sponsored by Pete Andolina, Low Vision Distributor. The informational meeting will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Friday at 33 Ontario St., Lockport. Special presentations will be given by Pete Andolina; Kellie Nickerson, Visually Impaired Services Team Coordinator with Veteran's Administration; attorneys from Pfalzgraf, Beinhauer & Menzies who will speak about Veterans Aid and Estate Planning; and much more. The event is free.
Veterans of all ages and their family members are encouraged to attend this informative, free community event. What better way to honor the vet in your life, than by attending the workshop that may prove beneficial for them. For more information or to RSVP, please call 433-1886.
Maureen A. Wendt is president and CEO of The Dale Association, a non-profit organization that provides senior, mental health, in-home care, caregiver support services and enrichment activities for adults. For more information, call 433-1937 or visit www.daleassociation.com .