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County’s Veterans Service Agency leader named to state commission for veterans

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 June 2018 at 4:34 pm

Photo by Tom Rivers: Earl Schmidt, director of the Veterans Service Agency in Orleans County, rides in the Strawberry Festival Parade on Saturday. He was promoting a medical van transport service run by the Orleans County Joint Veterans Council.

ALBION – The director of the Veterans Service Agency in Orleans County has a new role to advocate for veterans.

Earl Schmidt on Memorial Day was sworn in as a member of the Veterans Affairs Commission for the state. He was recommended for the post by Assemblyman Steve Hawley, who administered the oath to Schmidt during a Memorial Day observance at Holley.

The Commission advises staff for the State Division of Veterans’ Affairs on policies, implementing programs and coordinating services for veterans.

“This is quite an honor,” said Schmidt, who has been the county’s director of the Veterans Service Agency since December 2015. “It will give us a voice in Albany. We need to do anything that is in the right path for veterans.”

Schmidt’s term on the Commission lasts until Dec. 31, 2019, when his tenure could be extended for the voluntary position.

Schmidt served 23 years in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army National Guard, including combat in both the Persian Gulf and Afghanistan. He retired as sergeant first class and reconnaissance platoon sergeant. He earned 17 medals including a Bronze Star.

A Ridgeway resident, he worked 3 ½ years as an accredited veterans’ service officer with the Niagara County Veterans Service Agency before coming to lead the office in Orleans County.

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