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Ronald Clarke, a veteran, makes a plea to Cape Breton Regional Council to support a rally in the community to protest the closure of the Veterans Affairs office in Sydney. (Hal Higgins/CBC)

The Cape Breton Regional Council has voted to support veterans in their fight to save the Veterans Affairs office in Sydney by supporting a rally to protest the closure.

Veterans are organizing a March of Concern on Nov. 9, to protest the federal government's planned shutdown of nine Veteran Affairs offices across the country — including the one in Sydney.

Ronald Clarke, a veteran, spoke at the Cape Breton Regional Council meeting on Tuesday about his 36 years of service in the Canadian military.

Clarke said he suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, as do many other veterans.

"It's not well understood, especially by our politicians. We could go off the deep end at any time," he said.

Clarke argued veterans need the local office. He said a toll-free numbers, smartphone applications and websites can't provide provide the counselling so many veterans have come to rely on.

"We need a one-on-one counsel. How do we get that? We have to get that by going to our local vet office," he said.

"That is why we're fighting like hell to keep our veterans' office open. I will fight this battle to the end. But believe me, if we lose this battle we haven't lost the war. There's going to be another federal election in two years and we'll be in that war."

Coun. Mae Rowe made a motion to support the rally to protest Ottawa's intention to close the Sydney office. She said the directive from a recent town hall meeting is clear.

"They want thousands in the streets. Their challenge is for everybody to bring a hundred people to that march of concern," she said.

"The veterans fought for us; now it's time for us to fight for them."

The March of Concern will be held at the Royal Canadian Legion in downtown Sydney.