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Central New York – The Veteran Friendly Destination

Central New York – The Veteran Friendly Destination

United States Navy Veteran Jared Lyon served as a submariner and diver, and has traveled the world. He chose Central New York as his home because it had the key elements he was looking for in a community: comprehensive veteran support, a graduate program and university that matched his needs, and a vibrant environment full of opportunities to connect with others and enjoy the outdoors.

Once part of the elite and dangerous submarine division of the Navy, Lyon’s current life in Syracuse, New York, is a far cry from traversing the seas in a submarine. He relocated three years ago, when he started working for the Institute for Veterans and Military Affairs (IVMF) at Syracuse University. “To be completely honest, if somebody had given me a map and asked me to pick a place to live in, I would not have chosen Syracuse,” he laughs. The Massachusetts and Florida native not only moved upstate but also had his wedding here and bought a house in Central New York.

Here’s why Lyon thinks Central New York is not just livable but veteran friendly.

Veteran Support

RWB Run

Jared (second from right) with participants at a Team Red, White and Blue run

Having served in the Navy, Lyon believes it’s important to have a close-knit support system of veterans. Central New York is home to many veterans both old and young, and the community is full of organizations that offer support and activities for veterans. Clear Path for Veterans is a not-for-profit organization based in Chittenango. It oversees programs and services that support veterans and bring them together. Another popular organization is Team Red, White and Blue, with over 75 chapters and programs nationwide. Its local chapters host weekly running groups, hiking, yoga classes, functional fitness, and volunteering. Lyon is an active member of both organizations and says that there are many  more like them in the area.

University Environment

Syracuse University provides support for the veteran community and plays an integral part in veteran life here. As an alumnus of the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at SU, Lyon loved every minute of his time as a graduate student veteran. “There were a number of veterans and active military members in the student body in addition to a number of internal students. You get an unbelievable global perspective,” he says. There are multiple graduate programs specially designed for veterans in addition to benefits given for undergrad programs. IVMF provides support and services for veterans making the transition from military life. The university also participates in many initiatives that encourage the pursuit of education by veterans, such as its Veterans Success on Campus program.

Outdoor Activities

Scenic Central New York is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Abundant hiking trails and parks abound. Locals and visitors enjoy spectacular fall colors during winery tours and apple picking. “Among the veteran community, we participate in so many activities. The older guys really get involved, especially in the golf tournaments and they turn out to be really fun,” says Lyon. Syracuse hosts art and cultural festivals year round and its downtown has an active nightlife as well.

“The community is absolutely vibrant,” says Lyon. “We’ve made so many friends and are even part of an adult kickball league. The seasons are absolutely beautiful. We love everything about the place.”

About The Author

Meghavaty Suresh

Master of Science in New Media Management

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This site celebrates the people places, and culture that make Central New York one of the most vibrant and livable regions in the country. From Auburn to Utica, from Syracuse, to Ithaca, this is LivableCNY.

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