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Town Board honors Liz Stokes for role on veterans advisory committee

The Riverhead Town Board issued a proclamation Tuesday to Liz Stokes, who is stepping down from her role on the town’s veterans advisory committee after five years.

Ms. Stokes was a founder of the committee, which was first established in 2014, and has served as its co-chair with attorney Kimberly Judd ever since.

Among the committee’s efforts, according to Councilwoman Giglio, were the creation of a Riverhead Veterans Merchant Card, which gives discounts to vets; sponsoring a veteran’s resource fair at Riverhead Free Library, where Ms. Stokes works; visiting veterans at Acadia nursing home in Riverhead; working with Suffolk County United Veterans to assist homeless veterans, and assisting homeless vets with funding for housing.

“We really do appreciate all that you’ve done, and there’s still more in the works, like the Wall of Honor at the high school,” Ms. Giglio said, referring to an upcoming project Ms. Stokes has been involved in.

“It’s going to be really tough to fill Liz’s shoes,” said Mike Pankowski, commander of the Suffolk County American Legion and a member of the town committee. “I never met a more tireless worker anywhere.”

But Mr. Pankowski wasn’t sold on the retiring part.

“You’re not retiring,” he said. “You’re just stepping back a bit to recharge your batteries. If there’s a veteran that needs help, you’re there. And that will never change.”

“It’s been an honor” to serve on the committee, said Ms. Stokes.

“We will never repay the debt that we owe our veterans in this country,” she said.

Photo caption: Liz Stokes joined by the Riverhead Town Board members Tuesday. (Credit: Tim Gannon)