With Veterans Day just around the corner, New York Assemblyman Billy Jones made several stops around Clinton and Franklin counties Monday to meet with North Country vets.

“No veteran should ever feel alone out there,” Jones said.

The assemblyman says there are wonderful services on hand, but many veterans struggle to reach out or simply don’t know who to turn to, for help. “It’s not only enough to just thank them, we have to make them aware of what is out there, what they’re entitled to,” he said.

The first stop on his Veterans tour was the North Country Veterans Association in Plattsburgh.

“We’re the safety net,” Secretary Ken Hynes said. “We take care of the vets and families that fall through the cracks for whatever reason. So if we get a call from a veteran and/or his family, we’re there for them.”

Hynes says hundreds of thousands of dollars in state grants have helped the non-profit expand, while local fundraisers really only cover essential bills. They’re now able to pave the driveway, build a solar farm, and improve their veterans museum. They’ve also purchased a handful of touch-screen computers to showcase military traditions and combat history.

“We can’t afford to lose that,” Hynes said. “We felt it was important to capture the generational things from a historical perspective but also bring it down to a local level of our involvement in these wars.”

Assemblyman Jones also continues to push for a state department for vet services to create a continuity of resources at the ground level.