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News Release    

March 31, 2003

Steinhaus Reaches Out to Military Families

Poughkeepsie… These are anxious times, according to County Executive William R. Steinhaus, especially for those in the armed forces and their families. “In order to address the needs and concerns of local military families, we are reaching out to veterans, military personnel, and their children, spouses, parents, and other family members, in an effort to assist them during this difficult period. We also want to provide an opportunity to connect with others who share their concern,” Steinhaus said.

“Specifically, we are sponsoring a community event and inviting all military families in Dutchess County to come and talk with representatives of various service and community agencies. These experienced personnel will have information about services, benefits and entitlements which are available to military personnel and their families, for example: security and safety; veterans affairs; health; mental health; youth; aging; and other support systems that they believe they need. It will also be an opportunity for local military families to meet one another and share their feelings and stories,” Steinhaus stated.

Allan Thomas, President and CEO of Family Services, Inc. in Poughkeepsie is representing one community organization involved with the day’s event. “I agree with County Executive Steinhaus that a valuable aspect of the day is the potential for families to connect with other families in a similar situation – the power of this type of personal networking and support is immeasurable,” noted Mr. Thomas. “Family Services is committed to being a part of this important outreach for our veterans and the families of local military personnel.”

Dutchess County American Legion Commander Peter Pavelock, representing 18 American Legion posts in the county with more than 2500 members, commented, “As Commander of the American Legion of Dutchess County, I speak for our members in saying we are in full support of our troops. We are also in full support of the County Executive’s invitation to local military families for a community event to let them know of the full array of support resources and services available – the American Legion will be there to offer our assistance and to help take care of local military families and the veterans in our community.”

Nelson Rivera, Deputy Director of Dutchess County Veteran's Affairs, added, “This event will be an outstanding opportunity for our military families and veterans to gather and obtain important and necessary information to get through the current crises. It will also bring together many families and friends to share the special bond that we as military personnel and families have.”

This community event is a wonderful gesture and shows how our residents can quickly respond to help those in need.. United Way is pleased to join with our County Executive and other community agencies in creating this forum. It's another demonstration of how, by working together, we can build a stronger, healthier Dutchess County community." said James G. Williamson, President &CEO of United Way of Dutchess County.

The event will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2003, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., at Dutchess Community College in Drumlin Hall’s cafeteria. Parking is best accessed off Cottage Road.

“We in Dutchess County care, and we always strive to improve the quality of life for our citizens and to help our fellow residents in need,” Steinhaus concluded.


PLEASE NOTE: If recent events are taking an emotional toll on any Dutchess County residents --- military-related or civilians --- and are negatively affecting their feelings, thoughts, or behavior, Dutchess County HELPLINE, operated by the Department of Mental Hygiene, is available 24 hours a day, everyday, by simply calling 485-9700, or toll-free 877-485-9700.

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