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Department of Veterans Services


Seal for each branch of military including space force

The weekend of June 16-19, 2023, many across Tompkins County will celebrate Juneteenth, the annual celebration of Black liberation, commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the United States. In addition June 19 being declared a federal and New York State holiday, the governments of Tompkins County and City of Ithaca also observe the holiday for employees.

Feel free to join the celebrations taking place this weekend hosted at theJuneteenth Commemorative Monument outside St. James AME Zion Church, Ithaca, NY Southside Community Center. While there, feel free to visit the historic St. James AME Zion Church and the monument dedicated to the African-American County residents who enlisted in the U.S. Colored Infantry to fight in the Civil War.



Monday, June 12, is Women Veterans Recognition Day, a day designated to celebrate women who have served in our national armed forces and contributed to our nation's defense since its founding.

The date commemorates the signing of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act of 1948, groundbreaking legislation that opened opportunities for women to serve as a career choice and more. While celebrating that act and the many achievements of Women Veterans, this 75th anniversary since its signing also calls for continued attention and solutions to the various issues they face while serving -- and sacrificing -- alongside their male counterparts in harm's way and elsewhere.

The Tompkins County Legislature issued a proclamation in honor of this day at it’s June 6, 2023, meeting and encourages all residents of Tompkins County to salute its Women Veterans and honor them this day and beyond. Through the proclamation, the County celebrates three Women Veterans among its leadership:  

  • Legislator Deborah Dawson,  District No. 10 (Villages of Lansing and Cayuga Heights), U.S. Army Reserve
  • Clerk of the Legislature Katrina McCloy, U.S. Navy
  • Deputy Director of the Department of Emergency Response Jessica Verfuss, U.S. Navy.

On the level of New York State, the newly promoted Department of Veterans Services heralds Rev. Viviana DeCohen, U.S. Marine Corps, as its director. New York was the first state to honor women in this way through an act of the state Assembly that declared June 12 Women Veterans’ Recognition Day in 2008.

Please take time to honor and celebrate our Women Veterans during this time and beyond.

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Tompkins County Department of Veterans Services exists to connect local Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces – and their families – with federal, state, and local resources.

Departmental staff make these connections through a combination of counseling, referral, and direct assistance with the following benefits:

  • Compensation for service-connected and non-service-connected disabilities

  • Compensation to caregiving family of homebound Veterans

  • Compensation/pension to families of deceased Veterans

  • Burial benefits and grave markers

  • Health care

  • Life insurance

  • Education Benefits

  • Home loan guarantees

  • Obtaining military records


  • Federal, State & Local medals/awards

  • New York State blind annuity

  • New York State property tax exemption

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