Around the Town: April 2, 2010


Veterans Services

I have great news for the almost 45,000 Hempstead Town veterans who fought to defend our nation’s freedom. The veteran’s booth at Hempstead Town Hall has reopened and is serving more clients than ever.

After being closed this past summer by the governor and the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs, we are pleased to say that thanks to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, veterans, as well as their spouses and children, can again come to our counseling center every Thursday at Hempstead Town Hall, to discuss veteran benefits and other veteran issues.

Counselor Rick Gales, National Service Officer with the Military Order of the Purple Heart, is available for one-on-one interviews from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursdays. All interviews are confidential.

The counselor’s office is located under the “Veterans Information” sign on the ground floor lobby of Hempstead Town Hall. Appointments are not necessary, but please call ahead of time to make sure Rick Gales will be in on the day you would like to visit. Mr. Gales may be reached at 516-812-3506 on Thursdays.

The town is excited to have this service available once again to our residents. It’s important to make sure your personal information on file is current and that you are getting all the veteran benefits to which you are entitled. As testament to the value of the office, the counselor has secured almost $200,000 in benefits for veterans in the first 2-1/2 months of 2010. I encourage you to call today.

In addition, the Town of Hempstead, in conjunction with The Nassau County American Legion, continues to ask residents to donate their used and unwanted cell phones. Since July 1, 2007, Town of Hempstead residents have dropped off hundreds of cell phones at the town’s four designated collection points.

The American Legion sends the phones to a recycle center and is paid for each phone. The money collected is donated by The American Legion to the Legacy Fund, which provides scholarships for children of American soldiers killed in Iraq or Afghanistan; and The National Disaster Fund, which provide financial support to veterans in time of disaster. The four Town of Hempstead drop-off points are: Hempstead Town Hall, One Washington St., Hempstead (812-3497); Echo Park Pool Complex, 399 Nassau Blvd., West Hempstead (483-7400); Levittown Hall, 201 Levittown Parkway, Hicksville (933-6400); and Rock Hall Museum, 199 Broadway, Lawrence (239-1157).

I urge you to take advantage of both of these great services. Veterans and their families will obtain valuable information through meeting with the veteran’s counselor. By participating in the American Legion Cell Phone Collection Program, you are not only helping veterans and their loved ones, you will be assisting our eco-system by properly disposing cell phones, keeping materials such as arsenic and lead out of our landfills and waterways.

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