By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The City of Philadelphia held a ribbon-cutting today for a new office that will serve as a one-stop shop for local veterans, part of both a city and statewide effort to improve the quality of life for area veterans.

The Veterans Advisory Commission office is located in Room 127 on the first floor of City Hall, just off Market Street East (near Macy’s).  It’s handicap accessible, and will provide the city’s more than 70,000 veterans easy access to services.

“It’s long overdue,” said City Council president Darrell Clarke today.  “We now will be in position to provide support for housing, jobs, training, and all those things being provided by the federal and state government.  They can just come to City Hall and take advantage of that.”

Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice Seamus McCaffery (wearing yellow necktie in photo), who served in the US Marines, says veterans’ court and a new law that allows veterans to be identified with a “V” on their drivers’ license will help ensure that our heroes suffering with post-traumatic stress are treated with dignity.

“Should they be arrested, should they come into our system because they are self-medicating on drugs or alcohol or whatever it may be, police and law enforcement will know immediately and they will diverted into our veterans’ courts. This is something that we have never had before. And this is because of our legislators.”

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