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December 25th, 2013

This Week in Orange County 12-25-13

Orange County Executive Edward Diana
As we continue to get closer to Christmas Day in Orange County, it is important that we not forget about those who will not be home to celebrate with their families. For families who have a loved one serving in the armed forces, the holiday season can be a bittersweet time. In Orange County we never lose sight of the sacrifices that our armed forces and their families make for us on a daily basis. If you know someone who has a loved one serving overseas, make a point to spend time with that person and let them know how much their loved one’s service means to you.

Another way you can help our active duty personnel and veterans is to donate food to the Orange County Veterans Food Pantry. Now in its fifth year, the Veterans Food Pantry serves more than 200 households. The Orange County Veterans Service and volunteers prepare the food for delivery each week at the Pantry’s donated space at the Montgomery ShopRite. The food is then delivered directly to the veterans’ homes. For more information on the Orange County Veterans Food Pantry, please contact the Orange County Veterans Service Agency at 291-2740.

This week is also a bittersweet time in the County because we are saying goodbye to Orange County Veterans Service Director Tony Zippo. Tony is retiring at the end of the month after having served the veterans of Orange County for the last 13 years. Tony is a United States Navy veteran who served two tours of duty in Vietnam. Prior to joining the County, Tony served as Veterans Employment Representative for the New York State Department of Labor for 10 years.

Tony’s accomplishments during his tenure as director have been numerous. Tony and I worked closely together to establish and organize veterans’ events including the annual Veterans’ Spring Picnic and Resource Fair and the POW-MIA Day of Remembrance every fall. He established the Orange County Veterans Service Agency building at the Orange County Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, thereby creating a more convenient and accessible main office for Orange County’s Veterans.

In addition, Tony has supervised over 2,000 internments in the Orange County Veterans Memorial Cemetery since it opened in June of 2000. He has organized and supervised the Orange County Veterans Food Pantry, which now delivers food directly to the front doors of more than 200 needy and disabled veterans and their families across Orange County every week. Tony has been a strong advocate for Orange County’s veterans’ during his time as Director, and I know I speak for anyone who has seen Tony’s work firsthand when I say, we’ll miss him.

Until next week, I wish you all health and happiness.

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