Na­tion honors CNY vet­er­ans

The Oneida Daily Dispatch (Oneida, NY) - - Local News -

VERONA, N.Y. >> The Oneida In­dian Na­tion hosted its 18th an­nual Vet­er­ans Recog­ni­tion Cer­e­mony and break­fast this past Satur­day, Nov. 3 in honor of Vet­er­ans Day. Known as Amer­ica’s First Al­lies, the Oneida In­dian Na­tion has a le­gacy of sup­port­ing the United States mil­i­tary and honors Cen­tral New York vet­er­ans and ac­tive ser­vice men and women of the mil­i­tary in many ways through­out the year.

More than 400 lo­cal vet­er­ans and ac­tive ser­vice mem­bers were in at­ten­dance. Colonel Ken­neth Dean Har­ri­son, United States Army Fort Drum Gar­ri­son Com­man­der, spoke about Fort Drum’s con­tin­ued ef­forts to boost com­mu­nity in­ter­ac­tion and in­volve­ment, high­light­ing the im­por­tance of its con­tin­ued col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Oneida Na­tion, which he cred­its for jump­start­ing the Fort’s out­reach ef­forts.

“We’re work­ing hard to open the gates of Ft. Drum to the com­mu­nity,” Har­ri­son said. “This friend­ship and co­op­er­a­tion with the Oneida Na­tion is a trea­sure.”

Pre­ced­ing Har­ri­son’s key­note ad­dress, As­sem­bly­woman Pamela Hunter, an Army vet­eran and chair of the New York State Assem­bly Sub­com­mit­tee on Women Vet­er­ans, ad­dressed the group. An Up­state New York na­tive, Hunter serves the 128th Assem­bly Dis­trict, which in­cludes parts of the city of Syra­cuse.

Hunter ad­dressed her con­tin­ued ef­forts in the New York

State Assem­bly to fight for ad­di­tional re­sources for the state’s vet­er­ans. As the only fe­male vet­eran in the state Leg­is­la­ture, she says it’s in­cum­bent on all cit­i­zens to honor the men and women in the mil­i­tary. She also high­lighted a re­cent bill that makes it eas­ier for in­di­vid­u­als to get into civil ser­vice and said she works ev­ery day to en­sure vet­er­ans have ev­ery op­por­tu­nity to suc­ceed.

U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force vet­eran and Oneida Na­tion Wolf Clan Coun­cilmem­ber Keller Ge­orge pre­sented Har­ri­son and Hunter with a friend­ship feather and a copy of the book, “For­got­ten Al­lies,” which de­tails the Oneida Na­tion’s his­tory as the coun­try’s First Al­lies.

Dur­ing Satur­day’s event, the Oneida Na­tion Foun­da­tion also do­nated $1,000 to Feed Our Vets, a non-profit or­ga­ni­za­tion ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing fully- stocked food pantries for vet­er­ans in need.

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