Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
April 10, 2012 Issue
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Sharon Space-Bamberger | Democrat

Army veteran Herman “Hesh” Laufer’s parents taught him, “You have to give back.”

Veteran gives back to other veterans

By Sharon Space-Bamberger
LIBERTY — Herman “Hesh” Laufer follows a simple rule of living: “You have to give back, that’s my philosophy of life. Giving back: you make it better for the next generation. That’s what my parents always said.”
At 82, the Army Corporal who served stateside during the Korean War era is still giving back. On November 19, Laufer is teaching an AARP Driver’s Safety Course at Liberty Parks & Recreation for veterans and their spouses, widows or widowers.
The course, sponsored by AARP and Liberty American Legion Post #521, is free!
To make this course available to veterans, Laufer enlisted the aid of his American Legion post and others who give back. Dan Ratner, Town of Liberty Veterans’ representative and Past Commander of American Legion Post #521, convinced Liberty Parks and Recreation to waive its classroom rental fee. The Ladies Auxiliary promised coffee and cake for attendees.
After eight years as an EMT for the Liberty Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Laufer decided to take the AARP Driver’s Safety instructor training “because I saw first hand the destruction that auto accidents can cause.”
Hesh Laufer has taught Driver’s Safety courses for eight years and is one of only 200 AARP Driver’s Safety instructors in New York State. He received a “Gold Star Award” from AARP after five years as an instructor.
Hesh stresses the importance of the courses.
“It’s needed; cars have changed. We have texting and cell phones; people are distracted. When you are older your reaction time is slower.”
In addition to volunteering as an instructor the veteran who gives back is a member of Liberty American Legion Post 521, is a Liberty Mason and a Shriner, a SCCC Foundation Board Member, and Past President of Congregation Ahavath Israel.
Hesh Laufer explains, “My parents were active in our synagogue. You’re always trying to help others. I’m fortunate, so I give back.”
It seems his parents taught him well!
Contact Laufer at 292-5252.
About the program…
In honor of Veterans Day the AARP Driver Safety Program (DSP) is waiving entrance fees to its classroom courses for veterans. Military personnel include those who serve or have served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard/Reserves, or Coast Guard. Military spouses (including widows and widowers) and dependent children are also eligible.

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