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August 31, 2015

Oswego County Veterans Director Is Honored by NYS American Legion

BUFFALO - The director of the Oswego County Veterans Services Agency, Donna W. Kestner,was honored by the New York American Legion as "Service Officer of the Year" at the annual state convention held in Buffalo in July.

The award was announced by R. Michael Suter, Chairman of the U.S. Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission, who noted that Kestner is the first woman to receive the award in New York State.

Kestner is a U.S. Army veteran and has worked as the Veterans Services Director of Oswego County for more than 16 years. Professional veterans service officers are considered annually for the award. Nominations are received from across New YorkState and are selected by a committee of peers.

"I'm proud to be a woman veteran," Kestner said when the award was announced, adding that she was humbled by the honor and "only a small link" in the county service officer chain. She is 1st Vice Commander of Fulton American Legion Post 587.

A proclamation presented to Kestner by Frank Peters, Commander of the New York State American Legion, reads, "In recognition of outstanding professional proficiency in her role as Director of Oswego County Veterans Agency, her innovative services to veterans and her outstanding advocacy, personal initiative embodying the high standards of accredited representativeof the American Legion ---To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and orphan."

"Donna plays a very important role in helping Oswego County veterans receive the services they have earned," said County Legislator Shane Broadwell, Oswego, chairman of the Oswego County Legislature's Human Services Committee. "She has dedicated her career to doing what is right for veterans and their families. She certainly deserves this honor."

To qualify for the award, candidates must be accredited by U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide representation on behalf of veterans and their families through the American Legion. Kestner is the 18th veterans advocate to receive the prestigious award.

For more information about services to Oswego County veterans, contact the Veterans Service Agency at 591-9100, email Kestner at dkestner@oswegocounty.com, or call 591-9100. The Oswego County Veterans Services office is located in the County Branch Office Building, 200 N. Second St., Fulton.

Pictured from left are R. Michael Suter, Chairman of the U.S. Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation Commission; Donna W. Kestner, Service Officer of the Year and Director of the Oswego County Veterans Service Agency; Frank Peters, Department of New York American Legion Commander; and John W. Kavanagh, Director NYC Office, Service Officer. Standing behind Kestner is Tony Druzbik, Department Service Officer for the American Legion Department of NY.

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