There are about 19,000 honorably discharged veterans in Saratoga County, and pretty soon they'll get a thank you for their years of military service in the form of FAVOR identification cards.
"This is a wonderful way to be able to say 'thank you' to our vets for all they've done for us and at a time when the economy isn't the best, having the ability to get discounts throughout the county is a wonderful benefit for veterans," said Kathy Marchione, Saratoga County town clerk.
It's still months away from completion and implementation, but the county clerk's office, offices of the Board of Supervisors and the Veteran's Services Agency are hard at work trying to bring the "Return the FAVOR" program to fruition.
FAVOR, meaning Find and Assist Veterans of Record, is a discount program that will enable Saratoga County veterans to receive discounts from select businesses. To be eligible, veterans with an honorable discharge must file their paperwork with the county clerk and will in turn receive a picture ID card to present to participating merchants for discounts.
Saratoga County will be the first in the Capital Region to offer such a service. FAVOR already exists in 11 other counties around the state, though, which is how Marchione first heard about it.
"I first heard about the project from a county clerk in Rockland County I brought it to chairman of the Board of Supervisors Tom Wood and he was very excited about it and took it as a county initiative, so it's a cooperative project," said Marchione.
FAVOR is still in the early planning stages, said Marchione, with the primary focus being to find businesses willing to get involved. Many veterans are already expressing interest and wondering when they can enroll.
"We had an influx of veterans wanting to apply for the program but we're not ready yet," said Marchione.