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Veterans Defense Program Staff
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Gary A. Horton, Director of the Veterans Defense Program. Gary directs the VDP, and provides training, support, and legal assistance to justice-involved veterans in Western New York. Previously, he worked i public defense for over 30 years, 20 years of which he was the Chief Public Defender of Genesee County. He is past President of the Genesee Veterans Support Network, and served on NYSDA's Board of Directors. He received the National Legal Aid & Defenders Association Kutak-Dodds Award in 2018; National Alliance for Mental Health-NYS Criminal Justice Award in 2016; U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York Special Service Award in 2005; the NYS Bar Association Criminal Justice Section David S. Michaels Award in 2006; and the NYSDA Wilfred R. O'Connor Award in 2011. He has a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Hobart College. 


Roy M. Diehl, VDP Deputy Director. Roy provides legal assistance to justice-involved veterans in the Hudson Valley, Bronx, New York and Staten Island.He enlisted in the Army in 1984, was commissioned in 1998, and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2015. He graduated from Albany Law School in 1992. His military career includes service at Ground Zero in 200, Iraq in 2005 with the NY Army National Guard's 42nd Infantry Division, and four tours of duty at the Pentagon. Awards include the Army Meritorious Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and the New York Defense of Liberty Medal with WTC device. His positions include Senior Defense Counsel, International Law Officer, Operational Law Attorney, Russian Transcriber, and Tank Gunner.  


Sandra Cassidy, VDP Staff Attorney. Sandra provides legal assistance to justice-involved veterans in the North Country and Central New York. A graduate of Northern Arizona University and the SUNY University of Buffalo (UB) Law School cum laude, she is admitted to practice in all New York State Courts; the Federal Court Western District of New York; the U.S. Court of Federal Claims; and the U.S. Supreme Court. She graduated from Gerry Spence's trial Lawyers College, and served as an adjunct professor of criminal law. She attended Medical School for Lawyers and obtained a UB School of Management certification in Bioinformatics; and practiced medical malpractice law. 


Richard Henry, VDP Case Manager. Richard mentors veteran clients by providing guidance, support, and expert referrals, as well as support to the VDP staff a the Albany office. He served as a corporal (E-4) Motor Transport Operator for four years in the Marine Corps. During his time in service, he trained for Marine Corps Lieutenants, along with officers from other nations, in convoy operations during Logistics Officer Course field exercises. He was also attached to a small group in charge of training an advisory team prior to a deployment to Iraq. Upon separation from the USMC, he enrolled at SUNY Brockport College where he received Bachelor of Science degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice. He is currently enrolled at Albany Law School pursing a JD.


Blair Hill, VDP Staff Attorney. Blair provides legal assistance to justice-involved veterans in Long Island, Brooklyn, and Queens. A graduate of Hofstra University School of Law, she graduated summa cum laude as a Psychology Major, Pre-Law Minor from Montclair State University in New Jersey. She focused on Public Interest Law at Hofstra, interning with the VDP and Mercy Haven in Islip Terrace, and was a member of the Veteran Law Student Association and Veteran Legal Assistance Program. Previously, she worked at Sunrise House Foundation as a recreational therapist for people suffering from substance abuse; Nassau/Suffolk Law Services Veterans Rights Program; and Brooklyn Legal Services Corp., representing low-income tenants.


Barbara LombardiVDP Assistant Program Coordinator. Barbara coordinates the VDP Long Island office, and assists with staff support, expert referrals, and events coordination. She has extensive administrative experience working for non-profit organizations and  businesses. She has expert knowledge in Section 8 HUD-VASH Housing for homeless veterans, and a desire to assist all who served. She lives on Long Island with her four children, husband, and various pets. She enjoys volunteering at the local animal rescue groups, hiking, and camping.


Deanne Quinn Miller, VDP Program Coordinator. Dee assists with trainings and expert referrals, provides mentoring, and navigates the VA and Department of Defense systems to obtain military records for veteran cases at the VDP's Batavia office. She has extensive knowledge of veteran issues and benefits. Previously, she was Executive Director of the Genesee Veterans Support Network. She received the VA of Western New York’s Women Veterans in the Justice System Award in 2016, andaWomen of Distinction Award in 2017 for her work with veterans. She is a spokesperson and Director of the Forgotten Victims of Attica. She graduated cum laude from the University of NY at Buffalo with a B.S. in Consumer & Family Studies.


Anne Rabe, VDP Organizing Coordinator. Anne conducts fundraising and communication outreach for the VDP, Previously, she was a Senior Legislative Associate for Assemblyman R. Gottfried, Executive Director of NY Environmental Institute; Exceutive Director of Citizens' Environmnetal Coalition; and an organizer for the National Center for Health, Environment & Justice. She has received twelve awards for her work including from the NYS Council of Veterans Organizations, NYS Attorney General's Office, and the NYS Department of Health. She graduated from SUNY Albany with a Political Science and Journalism.


Juan Sosa, VDP Case Manager. Juan mentors veteran clients by providing guidance, support, and expert referrals, as well as support to the VDP staff in the Long Island office. Juan holds a Biology degree from Mercy College. In 1993,he joined the Army Reserves as a Motor Transport Operator and was deployed to Iraq in 2002 and 2006. Juan has extensive firsthand knowledge of military culture and the many issues and struggles that veterans face. Juan is currently completing 20 years as an Active Army Reservist.


Michael White, VDP Case Manager. provides direct support to attorneys, staff, and veteran clients of the VDP. Michael retired from the Marine Corps in 2014 with 22 years of military experience, including deployments to Haiti, Philippines, Korea, and Afghanistan. Michael has firsthand knowledge of the many issues that veterans face and extensive knowledge of military culture and health and education benefits. Michael assists our clients with peer-to-peer support, counselling, and referrals. He graduated from Genesee Community College in May 2018 with an Associate's Degree in Human Services and a certificate in Deaf Studies. Recently, he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Health and Human Services with a concentration in Community Mental Health from the University at Buffalo, and he is currently pursing his Master's Degree in Social Work at the University at Buffalo.

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