Smithtown, NY: A new Committee, acting as an avenue for local veterans to obtain information on veterans services, has been created in the Town of Smithtown. This group, is led by Councilman Thomas Lohmann, Town Clerk Vincent Puleo and members of local veterans organizations. The mission and objectives of the committee were discussed at the introductory meeting, in addition to discovering new ways to disseminate information to military families, veterans and active duty members.
“The Town of Smithtown, we’re in a new direction. We’re going to be here for all of our residents, but we’re certainly going to be here for our veterans. We’re going to make sure that they have all the information they deserve and they could use if need be to help them in whatever issues or problems they have.” - Councilman Thomas Lohmann
The idea began in the Town Clerk’s Office with a Veterans resource center. Computer access, pamphlets and brochures are available for veterans or loved ones. The information covers a range of assistance from veterans housing and loan assistance, to help with starting a business, support for families and other services offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Additionally, icons redirecting to veterans sites on the public computer in the office make for a user-friendly experience.
“It’s imperative that our town has the most up to date information that we can offer any one of our veterans. That’s why we created the pamphlet case, and I put together those icons on the computer so people can search things that they’re looking for in a timely fashion. The millennial is not going to come in here and look on our computer. They’re savvy enough to look that stuff up.”
- Town Clerk Vincent Puleo
The Committee has done extensive research and spoken to other towns who have implemented similar initiatives. The Town of Babylon sends a quarterly newsletter to local veterans and maintains an active presence online to connect with the military service community. The Town of Smithtown will seek to emulate similar efforts, hoping to gather subscribers for an online newsletter. The Veterans Resource Committee have also expressed interest in sending updates and information via text messages, dedicated emails and Facebook posts as the Town of Smithtown remains committed to helping our veterans.