QUEENSBURY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Tuesday, a local chapter of the national Vietnam Veterans of America gave a gift to veterans who have returned to get a college education. The group’s Adirondack Chapter #79 gave gas cards to veteran students at SUNY Adirondack.
30 gas cards, holding $30 each, were bought from Stewart’s Shops and donated to the college. From there, cards were distributed to veteran students at the college. SUNY Adirondack’s student body is comprised largely of commuters from around Warren, Washington and northern Saratoga counties. With mounting gas prices, the demands of getting to school and back have only grown.
“A few weeks ago, I attended lunch with (SUNY Adirondack president Dr. Kristine Duffy), and she mentioned she’s concerned some students, with the price of gas, will not be able to make every class because they don’t have gas money to go back and forth,” said Sam Hill, president of Chapter #79 and a Washington County supervisor. “At the next meeting with the Vietnam Veterans of America, I said, ‘Hey, I’ve got an idea of something we can do to really help veterans.’”
SUNY Adirondack has 43 current students who are either veterans or currently active duty, guard or Army reserve. Another 98 are dependents of veterans.
Adirondack Chapter #79 can be seen helping veterans in various capacities from the Adirondacks down to Albany. Over the holidays, the chapter purchases gift cards at the Albany Veterans Affairs Center. Those cards go to veterans in hospital care, so they can buy items from the Commissary. The group also donates to Adirondack Veterans House, and holds an annual Vietnam Veterans service on Veteran’s Day.
“We are grateful for the generosity of Chapter #79 of Vietnam Veterans of America,” said Taylor Testa, director of Student Engagement & Diversity at SUNY Adirondack. “This gift will directly help veteran students overcome new and emerging financial barriers in their academic pursuits.” Testa is a veteran of the U.S. Marines.