Madison County, Driver’s Village co-purchased van a tremendous asset for Clear Path for Veterans

Clear Path for Veterans had a vision four years ago to provide transportation for Veterans across Onondaga and Madison counties to its headquarters in Chittenango.

In 2018, that vision became reality.

Today, Clear Path operates a 2017 Ford Transit 12-passenger van to transport Veterans from multiple pick-up locations to its headquarters for its weekly Canteen lunch.

On the first and third Wednesdays of the month, it picks up at American Legion Post 1353 in Sylvan Beach, American Legion Post 169 in Oneida, Tower 1 of the Oneida Housing Authority and American Legion Post 140 in Canastota. On the second and fourth Wednesdays it picks up at the Behavioral Health Clinic on Erie Boulevard, the Syracuse VA, The Vet Center on Pine Street and at VanKeuren Square on East Genesee Street – all in Syracuse. When a month has a fifth Wednesday, the van stops at the former Big M in Morrisville and at American Legion Post 88 in Cazenovia.

“This van has been a tremendous asset to us, helping us connect Veterans in rural areas to our programs and services through our complimentary lunch,” said Clear Path’s Chief Operations Officer Alex Behm, a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran. “Although our staff of peer mentors travels extensively across the region, this van affords us the opportunity to bring Veterans to us, to experience all that Clear Path has to offer: our staff, our programs, the serenity of our location. We are extremely grateful.”

In 2018, then newly-elected Oneida City Supervisor Tom Boylan – a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran – recognized the need to transport Veterans from the County’s rural areas to Clear Path’s facility. Boylan approached Roger Burdick, president and owner of Driver’s Village in Cicero, to cover half of the anticipated $30,000 needed for the van. The county ultimately approved funding of $17,300 toward the purchase, and in the summer of 2018 the van was delivered. Driver’s Village also covered the cost of a full-color vehicle wrap of the Clear Path logo and contact information.

Veterans who may be isolated or unable to get to Clear Path are encouraged to secure a spot on the van by calling Clear Path’s front desk at (315) 687-3300.

Clear Path for Veterans is Central New York’s Veterans Resource Center, offering a variety of complimentary programs and services to Veterans, active duty, Guard, Reserves, their immediate family and caregivers. Its Canteen lunch on Wednesdays, served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., has an average weekly attendance of 150 people, with Veterans attending from all eras – World War II to Vietnam to Post-9/11. The complimentary Canteen lunch features a variety of delicious and nutritious offerings. All meals are prepared in Clear Path’s professional kitchen under the direction of its executive chef and dozens of volunteers.

At times during the year, coinciding with the Canteen, Clear Path offers woodworking classes in its workshop, a variety of art classes, modalities by appointment – including Reiki, polarity, acupuncture, acupressure and massage, a variety of employment services (such as career counseling, resume support and even mock interviews) and much more.

To learn more about Clear Path for Veterans, visit ClearPathForVets.com.

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