WAMPSVILLE — Continuing its commitment to veterans organizations, Madison County officials asked the Canastota VFW Post 600 to come and talk about what they do and how they help area veterans.
Madison County Chairman John Becker said at the beginning of each meeting for 2020, there will be a veteran or veteran’s group speak. For the meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 11, it was Joseph Hubbard, commander of the Canastota VFW Post 600.
Hubbard enlisted with the Army in 1982 with a dream to be in an Airborne unit. Hubbard participated in Operation Urgent Fury with the 82nd Airborne during the invasion of Grenada.
He joined National Guard in 1986 and was activated for several engagements, including 9/11 in 2001. Hubbard was deployed to Iraq in 2004.
Currently, Hubbard work at the office of children and family services at the Central New York Psychiatric Center.
In 2015, Hubbard joined the Veterans of Foreign War.
“The VFW is a national association of Veterans who, as soldiers, sailors, marines, and airmen, who served this nation in war and campaigns on foreign soil and hostile water,” Hubbard said. “The Veterans of Foreign War believes America is defined by how it treats those who sacrificed to protect it. We believe in protecting and fighting for those who were brave enough to fight for us.”
The VFW takes that fight wherever it may be, whether that’s Capitol Hill or the local community, the VFW post commander added.
“The VFW fights to defend the rights of veterans, lobbying for veterans rights, helping veterans get the benefits they deserve, and assisting further their education with scholarships and living assistance for them and their families,” Hubbard said.
“To do less would be an inconceivable betrayal of our responsibility as Americans and veterans,” he said
The National VFW has many programs that can be broken down into one of two categories: community service and youth scholarships and veterans and military support.
The Canastota VFW holds and participates in several events throughout the year and includes bingo every Friday night, a car cruise-in during the spring and summer, barbecues, golf outings, flag services for local businesses, poppy drives, flag retirements, and parades.
They also do fundraising to help those in need in the community.
“Something I’m very proud of is that the last two years, we’ve given $100 to ever veteran in the nursing home for Christmas,” Hubbard said.
When it comes to scholarships for local students, the Canastota VFW has The Military Duty Scholarship worth $500 and the Airborne All the Way Scholarship worth $100.
The Military Duty Scholarship is awarded to a Madison County graduating senior who has orders assigning them to any military services of the United States and asks for a short essay, detailing plans and goals on their upcoming military service.
The Airborne All the Way Scholarship is awarded to a Madison County graduating senior who was awarded the Military Duty Scholarship and their orders show airborne school.
There is also the Yearly Artist Contest, looking for art from any Madison County students between grades nine and 12. The art can be painted, collage, drawing, or photos and must show military actions or issues. All pictures accepted become property of the VFW. First prize is $100, second is $70 and third is $50.
Madison County only has two VFW posts and Hubbard and urged residents to contact the Canastota VFW, even if they’re outside the community.
“We’re willing to work with you and do whatever we can,” Hubbard said. “Part of our job is to help the community.”
For more information about the Canastota VFW, call 315-697-5105. The Canastota VFW Post 600 is located at 3835 Canal Rd. in Canastota.