First Responders from New York Helping Vets in Sullivan County

DAVIDSON TOWNSHIP -- Men and women in the military dedicate much of their time to helping others as do first responders. Recently, a group of first responders from New York found out a veterans' organization in Sullivan County needed help

The men fixed the roof on a cabin as the crew on the ground put up walls. Most of the men are current or former first responders out of New York City.

The firefighters from New York State renovating a cabin in central Pennsylvania are from the organization "Heart 9/11." They started the nonprofit in 2007 as a way to pay back Americans for supporting them on September 11, 2001.

"We have groups from Heart 9/11 down in Houston, Texas as well as Florida, and about 15 guys in Puerto Rico," said member John Viola.

Now the group is renovating a cabin in Sullivan County, not far from Benton.

This is the Camp at Elk Tannery. It was founded four years ago by Monte Kapec, who is an army veteran. Kapec hosts veterans for three-day camps.

"Vets can play cards, they can have discussions and just have a good time, which is what this place is all about," said Kapec.

An addition will be built onto this cabin where vets can hold fellowship.

"It's a refuge so we're adding more room for more veterans," Alan Ordonez said.

Air Force veteran Norris Washington is from Queens. He's been here before and hopes other vets can come and enjoy the fresh air and hospitality here.

"Takes away a lot of things you're going through. You get time to put all your problems aside," said Washington.

The first responders tell Newswatch 16 this not only helps the veterans with their PTSD, it helps the first responders, too."

"I, myself, at the firehouse, I was a captain. We lost 14 guys that day. So it gives you an idea. Just about every guy here who was involved with 9 /11 lost friends," Viola said.

The work is expected to be done Saturday.

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