Veterans Service Agency Awarded Grant to Aid in Active Duty Transition, Veteran Mental Heath Resources
OWEGO (WBNG) -- When the Director of the Tioga County Veterans’ Service Agency, Michael Middaugh, saw a need for additional resources in the area for those transitioning from Active Military Duty to Civilian life, he took action.
Middaugh applied for New York State’s CARES Up Grant through the Office for Mental Health and became one of three areas to be awarded the funding.
“I have been concerned and harping on the fact that we train our men and women to go to war but we don’t teach them how to come home we don’t give them the opportunities to transition we don’t give them the ability to succeed and that needed to change,” Middaugh said.
With the help of the two-year grant, the Veteran’s Agency was able to partner with the End of Term of Service or ‘ETS Sponsorship Program’. A non-profit organization that works with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs in Washington, D.C. Chair of the Tioga County Legislature, Martha Sauerbrey said that she was proud of the agency for reaching out and finding support on both the state and national level.
“I am so proud of this department and I can tell you that this legislature will support them every step of the way they’re going to make some significant inroads for veterans as they come out of the service and they make adjustments and certainly to address veteran suicide,” said Sauerbrey.
For Legislator William Stadinger, veteran suicide is an issue that is personal.
“I had a nephew that committed suicide a few years back,” he said at the podium.“It was because of a situation that he had tried to deal with and he didn’t have the proper resources. Unfortunately, he’s represented by one of the flags out there that Mike puts out every year.”
Middaugh said his own experience as a veteran has made this partnership more than just something written on paper.
“I think of those that come home that we’ve lost in our community, friends and neighbors, and I don’t want to see that keep happening. I want to bring our folks home”. He added that the Southern Tier and the six counties that this partnership will benefit have a lot to offer those transitioning out of the armed forces.
The Director of Veteran Services said this program will require hep from sponsors such as other veterans, or community members that want to help those who served. To find our more about becoming a sponsor, or more information on ETS, you can click here.