The Chautauqua County Clerk's office recently began the Return The Favor program, which provides a photo identification card, free of charge, certifying the individual is an honorably discharged veteran and has filed their original discharge paperwork with the Chautauqua County Clerk's office.
The card will then be able to be used at participating area businesses who have agreed to offer a discount or benefit to the veteran who presents the card.
"This is a wonderful program for our military veterans," said Sandra Sopak, county clerk. "This is a great way for our community to say 'thank you for your service and sacrifice' by offering them discounts and benefits from area businesses."
Kicking off the Return The Favor discount program for military veterans and showing off their new Return The Favor cards are, from left: Doug Diers, Chautauqua County veterans services director; Sandy Sopak, Chautauqua County clerk; Jim Hurley, veterans services officer; Tracie Kaminski Haskin, Chautauqua County deputy clerk; and Mike Rauh, veterans services officer.
Veterans may enroll in the program by contacting Tracie Kaminski Haskin, deputy county clerk, at 753-4977 to make an appointment.
"All the veteran needs is to have his or her DD214 military discharge papers on file with our office. If they're not already filed, they can bring them to the appointment and we'll file them then, take their picture and provide them with the Return The Favor card all in one visit," Kaminski Haskin said. "We currently have more than 45 businesses who have agreed to offer a discount, but we're still looking for more."
A list of participating businesses is available on the county clerk's website at co.chautauqua.ny. us/departments/clerk.
Businesses wishing to become a partnering sponsor may visit the county clerk's website for complete information and a merchant partner agreement form or contact the deputy county clerk. Information is also available on the Chautauqua County Clerk Facebook page.
Veterans who have lost their discharge papers may contact the Chautauqua County Veterans Services Agency at 661-8255 in Jamestown or 363-3842 in Dunkirk for assistance in obtaining a duplicate copy.