RockVets E-Newsletter: August 2016 Edition
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County, New York 
Jerry Donnellan, Director      Telephone: 845-638-5244 
Website: www:
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RockVets Newsletter

August 2016        845-638-5244
Volume 7
Issue 8


New City VA Clinic To Cut Needed Medical Staff

I arrived in Vietnam at the ripe old age of 22.  I say that because the average age in my platoon was 19. Think about the 19-year olds you know.  It’s like last year’s high school football team -- now armed to the teeth with weapons they have been taught to use very well.  The sole purpose of that was to kill the enemy, which is easier to say than to kill other teenagers.  The Army did its best to beat any individuality out of them in those days.  Drill Sgts. were not prohibited from saying or doing almost anything.  If my Drill Sgt. had to adhere to today’s political correctness, he’d be a mime!

We’ve been trained not to think but to act reflexively, because if you are caught in an ambush, there’s no time for focus groups.  In the average ambush in the Central Highlands, the right thing to do is to run at the enemy screaming like a banshee even though every brain cell is screaming, "No!  Actually, it’s the safest thing to do because if you don’t get killed, you’ll be behind the bad guys and have the advantage.  
So after a year of this being now a 20-year old, is dropped back on Main Street in Pearl River with Uncle Sam’s thanks and that’s about all.  He arrives back in a country that is mad at him for doing what they asked him to do.  His hometown friends seem childish and their main interest is the new Nanuet Mall – a place where he couldn’t stand to go because of the crowds.  The question that comes up regularly is, “Did you kill anyone”?  That you would brush off so as not to add to the ‘baby killer’ image we already had.  It doesn’t take long until most of these friends fall away.  His true friends are still in the Central Highlands and so is his soul.  He actually felt badly about leaving them a man short.  But there was a tonic for this called Jack Daniels.  That worked for a while but soon regardless of how much you drank you couldn’t get high – you just got numb.  But numb was preferable and seemed to help block the rage.
So we took these teenagers, turned them into weapons, loaded that weapon, and set it off to war.  Now the weapon has come home and nobody has taken the time to unload it.  Today it’s worse.  At least after ‘Nam there were jobs.  We had numbers – the WWII and Korean vets h
ad our back.  But now the Draft has been gone for more than 40 years and the numbers aren’t there.  

There was a time when we went to war as a country.  Now we just send our troops and make no accommodation when they return.  Then we are surprised when things like Dallas and Baton Rouge happen.  Thank God there haven’t been more.  

What we need is a reverse basic training.  Perhaps a month of counseling, job skills, resume writing, etc. before they’re allowed to get their discharge.  Perhaps they should be prepared for society in the same way we prepare them for war.  We can’t leave it up to the VA.  Veterans don’t have to join the VA and many don’t want to based on their experience, what they’ve heard from other vets, and extremely poor media.  Not to say that’s by design, but it does help to keep the patient load down.  
In the past 10 years the number of veterans has dropped markedly.  At the same time the VA budget has more than doubled.  Understand what I’m saying.  If I were to triple your salary and gave you an extra day off each week, do you think you could handle that?  Well apparently they can’t.  

Now at a time when the suicide rate is setting records and there doesn’t seem to be anything our government can do and PTSD claims are through the roof, the VA in its ultimate wisdom is laying off psychiatrists.  I don’t know about the rest of the country, but by September, two of the three psychiatrists now at the New City VA Clinic will be gone.  Mr. Long said of the VA, “They didn’t want to help me.” Mr. Long was the shooter in Baton Rouge who killed 3 police officers and wounded 3 others.  

Jerry Donnellan, Director
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County
20 Squadron Boulevard - Suite 480
New City, NY  10956
Telephone  (845)-638-5244

World War II Veterans - Certificate of Recognition

The 71st Anniversary of the end of World War II will be coming soon.  We are trying to locate Rockland County World War II veterans to present them with a Certificate of Recognition.  If you know of any World War II veterans, please contact us at 845-638-5244 or send an e-mail to:  County Executive Ed Day will present these certificates at 1:00 p.m. on August 28th, 2016 at the Clarkstown Town Hall in New City, New York 10956.  

The street address for the Clarkstown Town Hall is 10 Maple Avenue. If you come in from either of the two entrances on Maple Avenue, you will be in the lobby of the auditorium, where the event will be held. Once you're in the front doors, the entrance to the Auditorium is right in front of you - about 15 feet.  

Pearl Harbor Veterans

USS Arizona (BB-39)

The USS Arizona (BB-39) was a US Navy battleship stationed at Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941. Built in the 1910s, she was commissioned in 1916 and later transferred to the Pacific Fleet. The USS Arizona was bombed in the first few minutes of the Pearl Harbor attack. She exploded and sank, killing 1,177 officers and crewmen.

Returning our Pearl Harbor veterans to the USS Arizona in Hawaii....This is what takes place after the tourists have gone for the day....

RockVets Radio Show - Thursday, August 25th, 2016

The RockVets Radio Show has a change in scheduling. The RockVets radio show will now be scheduled on the last Thursday of each month, starting at 9:30 a.m.  The next show will be on Thursday, August 25th, 2016 at 9:30 a.m.

RockVets is a live call-in talk show on Rockland County's local radio station - WRCR 1700 AM dial, hosted by Jerry Donnellan.  We encourage you to call-in and ask any questions you may have relating to veterans or the military.  This is also a good opportunity to promote any upcoming events for your organization that would be of interest to the veteran/military community.  The call-in number is 845-362-0013. 
The show is also live on the internet at:

Veterans Showing Support for Law Enforcement

Reflective stickers with the Thin Blue Line American Flag are available to veterans for free in the Rockland County Veterans' Office.  If veterans would like to show their support of our law enforcement community by displaying one of these stickers, just bring your DD214 to the Veterans Service Agency, 20 Squadron Blvd., New City, New York 10956.  For further information call the veteran's office at 845-638-5244.

Displaying the USA Flag with the thin blue line shows support of our brothers and sisters in law enforcement.  The Thin Blue Line represents the relationship of the police in the community as the protectors of the citizenry from the criminal element.

It signifies those men and women that are willing to give their life for the peace and harmony of the community they serve. 

Police and Patrol Officer Exam/Vets Add Points

The Rockland County Sheriff's Department and our Town and Village Police Departments are seeking applicants who want to step up and make a difference in our community. The 2016 Police Officer and Patrol Officer Exam has been scheduled for November 19, 2016.  The last date to file an application for the exam is September 30, 2016.  You can apply on-line at (see Personnel link) or in person at: Rockland County Department of Personnel, 18 New Hempstead Road in New City, New York 10956. There is a $30.00 application filing fee for each application.  For further information or to verify eligibility, please call the Rockland County Department of Personnel, 845-638-5200, extension 5205.  You can also file at any Town or Village Police Station or at the Rockland County Sheriff's Department office.  

View this link for detailed information:                                

As a veteran, please be aware that your military time counts towards your retirement from law enforcement.  Additionally, you can add 5 points to your test score just for being a veteran.  

Veterans Are Still Getting A Raw Deal

“Listen my children and ye shall hear...”  Longfellow continues, “on the 18th of April, ‘75” – that was the start of the Revolutionary War which didn’t officially end until the Continental Congress signed off on it on January 14th of 1784.  Then what did Congress do for the soldiers who had given up to 9 years fighting that war?  Not a lot. You see, once the war is over there’s not much need for soldiers.  Some attempts were made to help veterans without a great deal of success.
Ongoing after the Civil War, the Northern veterans made some progress but we faded back and forth until things finally came to a head in 1932 when the veterans became so desperate for help, they marched on Washington.  Then President Herbert Hoover called out the Army, headed up by Douglas MacArthur and his Aide, Dwight Eisenhower, to put down the 43,000 marchers.  And so they did with Calvary, Infantry, and 6 tanks.  In the end 1,017 veterans were wounded and 2 were killed.  

That began the Veterans Administration, today known as the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).
So here we are 241 years later.  The Continental Congress has done rather well for itself – but for the veterans -- not so much.  For that matter, Congress is still trying to take benefits away from the veterans.  

Senate Bill 2943, Section 1134 of the National Defense Authorization Act seeks to limit veterans’ preference in the federal hiring system.  Also recently a move was made to help returning veterans in this poor job market by requiring the VA to hire 1 of every 3 new hires be veterans.  

But get this:  The unions that make up the VA came together and stopped that Senate Bill dead in its tracks.  Yes, you heard it right.  The people who owe their very jobs to the fact that there are veterans, don’t want to hire them.  Worse is that the leadership allowed that to stand - that’s right,  Secretary Robert McDonald, who was brought in to the VA in July 30, 2014 to straighten things out.  You remember – when veterans were dying waiting for care.  The same guy who recently compared the VA to Disney World and refused to apologize, saying he was misunderstood.  

I get it – it was us dumb old veterans who were wrong again.  McDonald is the same guy who is overseeing construction of the new VA Hospital in Denver that was originally budgeted for 450 million dollars and now is one billion dollars over-budget and 3 years behind schedule.  He also has managed to keep the VA in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.  Although lately we aren’t seeing it so much.

That’s not to say the VA is getting better.  It’s now so common, it’s no longer news.  The stories are falling farther and farther back in the papers until some cases aren’t even covered.  For example, USA Today’s July 1, 2016 headline is, “Email Shows VA Hotline Failed Vets.”  The story goes on to tell how up to 50% of the incoming crisis calls are rolled over to untrained personnel.  And worse, a large percentage of those go to voice mail.  I checked to see if any of the other news media outlets covered the story - The NY Times, The NY Daily News, The NY Post, CNN, and Fox had no mention of what I thought was an important story, since the suicide rate among veterans is now at 1 an hour.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not blaming the media.  They are only responding to what their readers want, and crises at the VA are becoming so commonplace, they’re regarded as the norm.  

Perhaps it’s time to outsource the things that the VA has proven incapable of handling – that is, if the unions will allow us.    

Jerry Donnellan, Veterans Service Agency of Rockland - 845-638-5244 or

100th Anniversary of Marine Corps Reserve

August 29th, 2016 marks the 100th Anniversary of the United States Marine Corps Reserve.  Lt. General Rex C. McMillian, Commander, Marine Forces Reserve and Marine Forces North, is leading a formation of Marines in Times Square, New York to celebrate this historic milestone.  He cordially invites all Marines -- past and present to attend the "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" Formation.  All Marines are invited:  Veterans, Retired, Active and Reserve. 

Uniform:  Marines - Dress Blues "D"
Prior Service Marines:  Come as you are.

The celebration will be held in Times Square, New York City, New York (junction of Broadway and Seventh Avenue, and stretching from West 42nd Street to West 43rd Street.)  The time is 0900, August 29th, 2016.  Muster begins at 0800.  

To get involved and participate in the Centennial Campaign, contact USMCR100 Team Lead:  Cori Parker at or (703) 604-4669.  For public affairs matters contact Adam Bashaw at or (504) 697-8191.

Free Guitar Lessons for Veterans

Guitar teacher, Al Balas, has offered to give free guitar lessons to veterans.  He'd like to do this in a group setting. You can go to the website at:  Look up Albert B. under zip code 10994. When you select it, Al will make special arrangements to cancel any fees.  For further information, contact Al directly via e-mail:

Veteran Owned Businesses in Rockland

If you are a vet with a business in Rockland County, you can send us some information about what you do and we'll promote it in an upcoming newsletter.  Send us a copy of your DD214, a photo of you with your business, and a photo of you from your time in service. No need to be a combat veteran.  Hopefully, many of our readers will use your business services.  
You can e-mail the photos and details to:  Westrock Pools and Spa is our featured business this month:

Westrock Pools and Spas - a veteran-owned business in Rockland and Westchester Counties, has served the Tri-State area for over 45 years.  Westrock Pool and Spa in Nanuet, New York offers eco-friendly chlorine alternatives to keep your pool sparkling clear all season long.  

Westrock Pools & Spas invites Service Men and Women, Paramedics, Fire Fighters and Police Officers to take advantage or their "HEROES DISCOUNT."  

For further information, contact Ron Orecchio, Westrock Industries: Phone: (845)-623-3844 Fax: (845)-623-1156 Address:  21 N. Middletown Rd. Nanuet, NY 10954 
Visit their store in Nanuet, NY  or view their website: 

The Nam Knights, Hudson Valley will be hosting a "Halfway to St. Patrick's Day Bash" on Saturday, September 17th, 2016 from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.  

This will be held at the Leo Laders American Legion Post #130, 130 American Legion Way, Thiells, New York 10984.  Admission is $30.00 per ticket and will feature live music with DJ Dave, Food, 50/50 and more.  

Proceeds of the event will benefit numerous community charities and causes. For further information or to sign up for the event, contact Charlie Maushardt at 845-359-4005.

Upcoming Events

Sunday, August 7th, 2016:  Iron Chef BBQ Competition - America's First Responders.  Day long BBQ, Live Music by:  Three Pints Shy and Ulster County AOH Pipe and Drum Band.  It will be held at Black Rock Fish and Game Club, 5 Pleasant Hill Road / Route 32, Mountainville, New York.  Adults:  $15.00 Seniors and Kids ages 4-12  $12.00.  Advanced Discount Tickets Suggested:  Call MJ at 845-590-4449.
For more information contact Rick Walls at 845-325-8224 or e-mail:

Thursday, August 25th, 2016:  RockVets Radio Show on WRCR 1700 AM dial, with host Jerry Donnellan.  The live show starts at 9:30 a.m.  Call in number is 845-362-0013.

Saturday, August 27th, 2016:  New York's Wounded Vet Run honoring LCPL Mark Beyers.  Motorcycle Ride and BBQ - registration starts at 0800 - 10:45.  Starts at Empire Harley-Davidson, 8 Industrial Lane, New Rochelle, New York 10805, and ends at Marine Corps League, Detachment 246, 46 Ontario Avenue, Staten Island, New York 10301.  Ride Donation:  $20.00 per rider / $10.00 per passenger (includes BBQ at Marine Corps League.)  $20.00 for non-riders (includes BBQ.)  For further information, contact Mark at (718) 815-2484.

Saturday, August 27th, 2016:  The Bob Hope Division will visit the VA Nursing Home in Montrose for Puzzle Day.  Muster times 12:00 p.m. in the lobby. The VA Nursing Home is located at 2090 Albany Post Road, (Route 9) Montrose, NY 10548. For further information contact Chip via e-mail:  

Monday, August 29th, 2016:  "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" Formation celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Marine Corps Reserve.  This will be held in Times Square, New York City at 0900 - muster at 0800.  All Marines - veterans, retired, active or reserve are invited.  For further information contact Cori Parker at or (703) 604-4669.
Employment Opportunities

Rockland Fire Equipment Co., Inc.: 
Established fire protection company is seeking a sales and service technician for clients across Rockland County. Full-time or Part-time positions available.  Knowledge of NFPA standards or experience with fire protection equipment preferred, but we will train. Experience with piping tools and light electrical work is a plus.  This is a physical job requiring the ability to lift at least 40 lbs., consistent bending and comfort working on a ladder.  Contact us today for consideration.  Harold R. Hill, President, Rockland Fire Equipment Co., Inc., P.O. Box 830 - 76-78 South Franklin Street, Nyack, NY 10960
TEL: 845-358-1939 - FAX: 845-358-1974  e-mail:

Carpenters Recruit Apprentices
The New York State Department of Labor announces that Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee for the New York City District Council of Carpenters will conduct a recruitment from July 13, 2016 through June 14, 2017 for 40 carpenter (piledriver/dockbuilder) apprentices; 25 linoleum, resilient tile, and carpet layer apprentices; and 10 cabinet maker apprentices.

Applications must be obtained in person at the NYCDCC Labor Technical College, 395 Hudson Street (Clarkson Street entrance), New York City, NY, on the second Wednesday of each month, excluding December 14, 2016 and January 10, 2017. Applications will be available from 7:00 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. There will be no admittance after 7:30 a.m. Only the applicant will be allowed to complete an application. In order to receive an application, applicants must provide government-issued picture identification. Applications will include an instruction sheet regarding the requirements to return the application. 

For further information, applicants should contact their nearest New York State Department of Labor office or the NYC District Council of Carpenters JATC at (212) 727-2224.  For details and further information, please view their website:

McDonald's Sloatsburg, New York:  
Sloatsburg (Ramapo Travel Plaza 10974) McDonald's, Pizza Uno/Lavazza Espresso Shop and Carvel are actively seeking the best Management Trainees and/or experienced managers they can hire in the coming weeks. They hope to hire veterans.  They need some key individuals who will take the keys to the store and help to drive them to success - learn the McDonald's System, set a blazing fast pace, being friendly and accurate all the while. If you think you can do this, apply today!  Apply Online at:
They also operate stores in Middletown, Wallkill, Ellenville and Chester (NeXXt Enterprises)
Please see this link to one of their full ads: 
For further information, contact:  David Dentico, Director of Operations, L-K Bennett Enterprises, LLC
NeXXt Enterprises, LLC, 914-490-2361,

Plumbing and Heating Company:  This local plumbing and heating company is looking for service technicians.  Candidates must have clear driver's license, and be able to work full-time, as well as overtime; must be in good physical condition as heavy lifting is required at times.  Salary is based on experience.  For further information, contact Joey via email:

RJ Staffing:  If you are looking for work, I can help!  My name is Jennifer and I work for RJ-Staffing in Rockland County, New York.  We have many job opportunities available and would love to speak with you if you're looking for work!  Please contact Jennifer directly via e-mail: or call Jennifer at 845-624-0400.

Civil Service Exams:  Scheduled Examinations Open to All Qualified Individuals
These examinations are open to anyone who meets the minimum qualifications specified on an examination announcement. See the announcement(s) for details. You may apply for most examinations on-line or by using our paper application (form NYS-APP). See How to Apply on the respective announcement(s).  For further information, visit their website:

Useful Telephone Numbers for Veterans

Rockland County Veterans Service Agency


Rockland County Sheriff’s Office


Veterans Peer-to-Peer (Counseling)


People to People (Food)


Montrose VA Hospital


New City VA Clinic


Housing Unit


Rape Crisis Services (Main)


Rape Crisis Services (24/7)


Home Health Care


Good Samaritan Hospital Emergency


Nyack Hospital Emergency


Domestic Violence


Suicide Hotline


Mental Health Association of Rockland County


Mobile Mental Health


West Point (nearest military base)


New York National Guard (Orangeburg, NY)


Army Reserve (Orangeburg, NY)


Military Recruiter


Rockland County Housing Action Coalition


Alcoholics Anonymous


Emergency Shelter


Meals on Wheels


Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial and Monument

New York State Senator William J. Larkin (R, C) 39th Senate District, has recently secured a generous grant to help support this Memorial.  Senator Larkin is himself a veteran and we appreciate his efforts to honor our Iraq and Afghanistan troops.  Thank you again, Senator Larkin.

The Rockland County Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial and Monument will honor those from Rockland who served in those two theaters of war, whether in the Persian Gulf War, Operations Iraqi Freedom, New Dawn, or Inherent Resolve in Iraq, or Operations Enduring Freedom or Freedom's Sentinel in Afghanistan - particularly those who gave their lives.
It is being designed by cadets from the United States Military Academy at West Point and, with the support of the County of Rockland, will be located in Haverstraw Bay County Park nearby to the Rockland County 9/11 Memorial.  It is currently scheduled to be completed by Memorial Day 2017.
The content, design, and visuals of the memorial and monument is guided by, and will be approved by, a committee made up of local veterans of these conflicts.
Chapter 120 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart is accepting tax-free donations in support of this memorial and monument and providing a structure through which to coordinate and arrange for its construction.  For further information, please visit our website at: 

Local Veterans' Organizations

For your information, here are the addresses for some of our local veterans' organizations:
  • Rockland County Marine Corps League, 20 Station Road, Pomona, New York 10970                     
  • Vietnam Veterans of America, P.O. Box 243, New City, New York 10956
  • Nam Knights, 1 Western Highway, Tappan, New York 10983
  • Korean War Veterans, P.O. Box 304, New City, New York 10956
  • R.C. Military Order of the Purple Heart, 20 Station Road, Pomona, New York 10970
  • Jewish War Veterans, P.O. Box 38, New City, New York 10956
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars, P.O. Box 921, New City, New York 10956
  • Air Force Association, Chapter 251, 207 Treetop Circle, Nanuet, New York 10954
Rockland County Marine Corps League Auxiliary

The Rockland County Marine Corps League Auxiliary continues its on-going campaign - Pet Rescue - to reunite our troops with pets they may have had to leave in Afghanistan. Cans and bottles (no glass bottles) that can be recycled for cash, may be brought to Kearsing Edwards American Legion Post 1600, 20 Station Road in Pomona, New York. They are collected by ARC Pet Rescue volunteers and recycled. Contributions for the Pet Rescue Project are also welcome! The funds pay for food and water to sustain pets on their journey home; their transportation is free. For more information contact Chairman Dale Fisher 845-304- 3595.

Rockland County Marine Corps League - MASH Unit

We regularly receive donations of handicap assistance equipment for disabled veterans from people who want to help.  Our donated equipment is available for free to military veterans and their families.  The items include the following:
  • Motorized Wheelchairs
  • Manual Wheelchairs
  • Lifts
  • Walkers
  • Bath Chairs
  • Transfer Benches
  • Braces
  • Crutches
  • Canes 
If you have need of any of this equipment, contact the folks at the Rockland County Marine Corps League - 845-323-8774 or via e-mail:

RockVets Newsletter  

You can find information, useful links, and view our webpage at Previous copies of our newsletters are also available on our website at

RockVets has a live call-in talk show on Rockland County's local radio station - WRCR 1700 AM dial. This live show is hosted by Jerry Donnellan.  We encourage you to call-in and ask any questions you may have relating to veterans or the military.  This is also a good opportunity to promote any upcoming events for your organization that would be of interest to the veteran/military community.  
The call-in number is 845-362-0013. Please note, WRCR is now on 1700 AM dial. 
The show is also live on the internet at:  The new schedule for RockVets radio show will be the last Thursday of each month, at 9:30 a.m.  

At the discretion of the editor, we'd be happy to add your upcoming events to our newsletter.  Please submit the details to us as soon as possible, but no later than the 20th of each month so we can get the information in the following issue. Send information to

Veterans Service Agency of Rockland

If you plan to come to the Veterans Service Agency office, please call to make an appointment so we can give you the time you need:  845-638-5244.   

Jerry Donnellan, Director 

Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County

20 Squadron Blvd., - Suite 480

New City, New York  10956   


RockVets website:

RockVets newsletters:




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