LOCKPORT, NY - On this Veterans Day to honor all who have served, veteran's service groups say there is a lack of veteran's resources in Western New York.
That is despite a growing number of groups like theirs.
Moreover, they predict the need for veteran's services will increase in the coming years.
"Veterans are being served to a point, but some do fall through the cracks," said Philip Arnold, founder and President of Vets H.E.R.D (Helping Empower Returning and Disabled veterans).
Arnold was on hand Monday at the Lockport home of retired Lt. Colonel Edward M. Kolek, as the group presented Kolek with a much-needed Rascal 6000 power chair.
Kolek, 91, spent almost four decades of his life in active military service, including 50 combat missions as a bomber pilot in World War II.
"This is a prime example of what we do," said Arnold. "This gentleman is a world war two hero who unfortunately couldn't get a power chair... so that's where we come in we try to assist where other people just can't get to it."
Those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan now comprise the largest group of surviving U.S. veterans, and are also the youngest veterans. Thus, Arnold predicts the need for assistance to veterans will only increase in the coming years.
"We're going to be busy, unfortunately, for a long time," said Arnold. "And we need to be accepting that it's our responsibility as citizens to take care of our veterans and sometimes that doesn't happen."
According to Arnold, there are currently 72,000 veterans living in Western New York.
The myriad of services available to them through local agencies is extensive.
The following is a list of just some of those groups:
-U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (Buffalo Office)
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