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County to 'Return the FAVOR'

Andy Davis of the Veteran's Service Agency said those working on FAVOR have been cautious about giving out too much information to veterans because they don't want people too excited about a program that isn't ready yet.

"We've kept it a little tighter lipped until the official roll out date but some found out because we told various organizations about it. We wanted to make them aware but not overly anxious," said Davis.

The program is looking at a start date of either Memorial Day or the Fourth of July, depending on when necessary equipment arrives. Marchione said the clerk's office needed additional software and minor renovation to accommodate the additional foot traffic expected.

"A veteran can file their discharge papers with the county clerk's office and they'll get a discount card with their picture and will be able to look on the website to find merchants," said Marchione.

According to Davis, there are about 60 different types of discharges from military service.

"You have to do something fairly wrong to get something other than honorable; either a mistake you've made or didn't meet standards," said Davis.

Eligible veterans will be able to discover businesses that will save them money by looking online.

"As we continue to add merchants to the program there will be more and more places within Saratoga that our veterans will be able to secure discounts. The amount of discount will depend on the place."

Besides benefiting veterans, Marchione said businesses can also reap positives from the FAVOR program.

"It's also I think a great opportunity for businesses. They're able to say 'thank you' and we believe it will bring more traffic into their business so hopefully it will be a win for them," said Marchione. "Many [businesses] are excited about the program. I thought the response was overwhelming from businesses and I got the feeling they were very excited about wanting to participate in the program."

Interested businesses can sign up on the county's website, www.saratogacountyny.gov by clicking on "County Initiatives" and following the link to the discount program and online application.

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