Columbia County Veterans Service Agency
  About Us

Gary Flaherty, Director         Rachel Hamilton, Deputy Director
389 Fairview Ave Suite 7, Hudson, NY 12534 389 Fairview Ave Suite 7, Hudson, NY 12534
email:                                                              e-mail:
518-828-3610 (office), 518-610-0941 (cell)   fax 518-671-6149                   518-828-3610 - fax 518-671-6149

About the Columbia County Veterans Services Agency

In Columbia County, we are extremely fortunate to have a highly active Veterans Services Agency, led by Executive Director Gary Flaherty, an Army veteran who served in Vietnam. The agency currently serves 5,900 veterans, assisting with issues ranging from compensation claims to veterans’ ID cards that can be used to take advantage of discounts from county businesses. 

Services Provided: Assistance with submitting claims for all veterans benefits, assist veterans returning from war zones with re-integration into the community/family, provide mentoring in the courts for any veteran who has been in trouble with the law and has issues with their war experiences, assist with arranging funerals, helping veteran's widows with the benefit process, participate in the Battle Buddy Program, coordinate with the Veteran's Administration for all services veterans are entitled to, provide daily transportation to/from VA Hospital appointments to include the wheelchair bound.
Objective: Providing maximum services to veterans and active duty members
Target Population: Veterans, their families and widows.
Eligibility: As determined by the Department of Veteran Affairs.

Director Flaherty welcomes calls – with any issue whatsoever -- from veterans in need of services 24 hours a day at 518-610-0941 including holidays and weekends.

Types of Support Offered


Currently, the Veterans Agency operates a daily van service to the VA in Albany, with pickup stops in Ghent, Chatham, Philmont, Claverack, Hudson, Greenport, Columbiaville, and Valatie. Veterans interested in using this service are advised to call 24 hours in advance. The van returns following the last appointment of the day. Click here for Veteran's Van Pick-Up locations and schedule.


One of the most important things any service person can do upon separation from service is to file their DD Form 214 with the county clerk, advises Director Flaherty. This is the form needed before any benefits can be obtained. “I find veterans who do not want to go through the process of applying for the benefits they earn. My response is that if they do not want to apply for themselves, please do it for your family.  I see too many families that come for help after a veteran dies and we have to tell that that the veteran never applied for anything and therefore, they cannot get anything,” he said.