Veterans in Steuben County have earned the county a top ranking in New York State, with the New York State Association of Counties citing a report out of Salamanca noting Steuben is ranked No. 2 in terms of resident veterans.
The Salamanca Press reported 10 percent – or 7,522 – of all residents 18 and older living in Steuben County are veterans, outpaced only by Jefferson County.
Jefferson County is home to Fort Drum, located northeast of Watertown, and was recommissioned as a U.S. Army base in 1984. Jefferson records 13.2 percent – or 9,829 – of all residents 18 and older are veterans.
“I think it’s a testament to our common values,” Steuben County Veterans Service Agency Director Gary Smith said. “We have a tradition of military service in this county and it shows.”
Smith noted neighboring counties such as Chemung, Schuyler and Allegany also were ranked by stacker.com in the top 7 with veteran residents in the state.
Fort Drum’s numbers were sharply boosted by enlistments during the two Gulf Wars, he noted.
“I’m proud of this,” said Smith, a Gulf War veteran stationed at one time at Fort Drum. “I think it says a lot about this county and all our people.”
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