Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs salutes area businesses for participating in 'Thank-A-Vet' discount program
“Not many veterans were aware this program existed, and neither were any local merchants,” said Jacobs. “There were only twenty-four businesses signed up offering veterans discounts. Now, after almost a year of actively promoting the benefits of the “Thank-A-Vet” Discount Program, over 2,000 veterans have enrolled in the program and there are over 330 local businesses offering various discounts on their goods and services.”
County Clerk Jacobs states that he enjoys going out and meeting with business owners throughout the county who take part and personally “thanking” them for their involvement in the “Thank-A-Vet” Discount Program. He presents the businesses with a “merchant” decal for their door or window, which makes enrolled veterans aware that the business joined the program and accepts the discount card.
One such local business is Bison Automotive & Detail, 1370 Kenmore Avenue in Kenmore. The 3rd generation service center is owned by Robert Gugino, Jr., whose father and uncle both served in the Korean War and who currently has two active duty sons serving in the Navy as well. “Participating as a “Thank-A-Vet” merchant is a fitting tribute to my family’s military service,” said Gugino.
The complementary program is available to any veteran in Erie County who files their original military discharge forms (DD-214) with the County Clerk's Office. Filing discharge or separation papers is free of charge and certified copies of recorded discharges are made, for veterans or their immediate families whenever needed. Discharge papers are proof of one’s military service, and can be used to establish eligibility for a variety of benefits including property tax exemptions and civil service credits.
Eligible veterans looking to enroll in the Erie County Clerk’s “Thank-A-Vet” Discount Program can do so 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday thru Friday, Old County Hall, 92 Franklin Street, Buffalo or by visiting www.erie.gov/clerk or call 858-6985 for a complete listing of future outreach events.