RockVets E-Newsletter: August 2018 Edition
Editor: Pat McGlade, Email:
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RockVets Newsletter

August 2018              
Volume 10
Issue 8


Intrusive Thoughts - Post Traumatic Stress

No one ever returns from war. We are all casualties, as are the victims of terrorism. Not just those who are killed or maimed, but those who are there. They saw war in a very small place. Some say that with time they will get over it. Not true. It fades. Goes out of focus. Takes up less space in your consciousness, but spiritually you have been captured. Your soul remains a prisoner. Then days, years, even decades later, one of your senses will be a trigger. A smell, a sound – and instantly you’ll be back there in full color. But only you can see it and as quickly as it came, it’s gone. As fast as gunfire – and nothing’s faster than gunfire! It’s past you before you hear it. They’re not flashbacks. It’s not some Rambo-rampage. It’s more subtle, more fleeting. Often triggered by something mundane – harmless and innocent. They’re just sights, sounds, and smells that happen to be around you when your world went crazy. They’re like daydreams. The professionals call them, ‘intrusive thoughts’. I’m not a psychiatrist or a doctor. Hell, I’m not even a good patient. But I’ve been around this block a couple of times. We all have had these experiences. For the "normal" people, whoever they are, usually intrusive thoughts are things that come back from childhood. When you were a kid you had more time to dwell on things. Also, you had less on your mind so things made more of an impression. Colors were brighter. Smells were more pungent. Sounds were sharper. Tastes were stronger. So today you may smell a turkey cooking and for a brief moment it will take you back to your grandmother’s house during the holidays. The sound of wind chimes might bring you back to your uncle’s back porch. Get the picture? We all have had them.

However, for the combat veteran they’re far less pleasant and in a funny way, far more nuanced. For me there were no more beautiful sunsets after Vietnam. It took me years to figure this one out. I could be sitting completely comfortable on a pleasant deck after a day’s work with a beer, watching the sun go down. Tranquil, right? I would become uneasy, uncomfortable, hyper-alert, hyper-vigilant, and there was nothing that I understood that should have caused that. There were no bad thoughts and I wasn’t concerned about anything in particular. I thought I must have been going crazy. But I wasn’t. However, there are those that would argue that point. I was having a perfectly normal reaction to an abnormal set of circumstances. In Vietnam, the setting sun was a warning of night. Night belonged to Charlie and my platoon would soon be moving into an ambush position. That smoky, hazy, jungle twilight was soon
followed by the inky Asian night, and you would lie silent praying for morning, or a quick death. It’d been decades since the dust-off helicopter lifted me out of my war. I thought at least for me the war was over. It was over for me like it was over for others. For anyone who’s been to war, it was over, and over, and over. Even today, if I hear the sound of a Huey helicopter, I have to stop and look up. The difference is, at least today I know why I’m doing it.

Trauma is trauma – whether in Boston or Baghdad, and if you were there your mind becomes a dry sponge, which is thrown into a raging river of sound and fury absorbing all of it – even the seemingly peaceful things. And they will come back and remind you when you least expect it.

[Editorial written by Jerry Donnellan....July 2013]

Re-Dedication of VVA Memorial and Honoring Jerry

On Wednesday, August 8th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m., the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #333, will have a re-dedication honoring the 46 young men from Rockland County who were killed in Vietnam. There will be a special presentation for Sgt. Jerry Donnellan.

The ceremony will be held at Veterans Memorial Park, Hunt Road in Orangeburg, New York 10962.  For further information, please call Charlie Maushardt at 845-641-8760.

Gulf of Tonkin 54 Years Ago

This month, we remember the beginning of the Vietnam War - 54 years ago.  The Gulf of Tonkin incidents were reported to have happened on August 2nd and August 4th of 1964, when the United States Destroyers Maddox and Turner Joy made contact with North Vietnamese patrol boats. Over the years there has been much debate as to the facts of what actually happened there. However, there's no debate that it was the beginning of the most unpopular war of our time.

We remember those 46 young men from Rockland, who went with us to Vietnam – never to return to this County along the Hudson.  

They are:  Heinz Ahlmeyer Jr., Walter E. Andrews Jr., Robert M. Bates, Robert E. Bauer, Robert Berntsen, Andre M. Brooks, Stephen A. Broquist, Richard C. Brown, Richard B. Brush, Frederick Burris, Bernard Conklin, Joseph P. Conklin, Peter E. Conlin, Andrew J. Daniel, Raymond W. De Meola, William T. Dorsey, Harold J. Faldermeyer, William L. Garrison, James F. Gillies, Robert Hagan, Joseph E. Hartz, John M. Horton Jr., Frank Jacaruso, Harold J. Kaufman, Kenneth A. Keith, Michael R. Kernan, John T. Kile, Harold D. Krashes, Paul J. Lifrieri, James A. Margro, Michael D. McGovern, Anthony J. Morina, Giraud D. Muntz, Patrick H. Natale, James E. Parker, Paul E. Paquin Jr., Kenneth C. Rakentine, Lawrence O. Rose, Robert S. Schettig, Walter C. Shellito, James P. Spruill, Alfred L. Stonehouse, Darrell C. Trojahn, William R. Turner Jr., Robert C. Witzel, and John J. Woodrum

"The Wall That Heals" Coming to Newburgh, NY

NEWBURGH – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund “The Wall that Heals” replica and mobile education center will visit the City of Newburgh August 2nd through August 5th, 2018.

The Wall will be open for visitors 24 hours a day at the Newburgh Waterfront - Riverfront Marina.   This is the only official stop for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund “The Wall That Heals” in New York State in 2018, though there are other "Moving Walls" coming to New York this year by other groups.  For more information on "The Wall That Heals" check out their website:

Visitors will be able to rub on names on the Wall as they do on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.  The public is invited and admission is free for all visitors.  For a complete listing of events, visit facebook page for:  "The Wall That Heals Visits Newburgh."  For further information, send an e-mail to:

VA's Decision Ready Claims (DRC) Program

Discover the fastest way to get your claim processed with VA’s Decision Ready Claims (DRC) Program:
Do you have a disability, medical condition or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service? You may be eligible for tax-free disability compensation.   VA’s Decision Ready Claims (DRC) program allows you to expedite your claim and have an answer within 30 days of when VA receives it.

To submit a DRC, you should:
  • Work on the submission with an accredited Veteran Service Organization (VSO).
  • Gather the required supporting evidence, such as military service records and medical exams.
  • Attend a VA claim exam, if needed, before submitting your claim.
  • In addition to claims for increases, DRC covers certain claims related to direct service, presumptive service and secondary service connections. Surviving spouses can file certain claims under DRC and transitioning service members can use it to file pre-discharge claims less than 90 days from leaving the military.
Visit to learn more about all VA benefits and how to apply.

Remains of 55 KIA From North Korea Returned

Stars and Stripes | N. Korea Hands Over 55 Cases of Remains Though to be US War Dead
Fifty-five cases of remains thought to belong to U.S. servicemembers were flown out of North Korea Friday – one of the first tangible results of last month’s historic summit between Washington and Pyongyang. “The Remains of American Servicemen will soon be leaving North Korea and heading to the United States!"  

Freedom Is Not Free 

American Minute with Bill Federer
"Freedom is Not Free" - Korean War, Cold War, & rising threat of Socialism/Communism
"FREEDOM IS NOT FREE" is the inscription on the Korean War Memoria l in Washington, D.C.

The Korean War started June 25, 1950. Communist North Korea invaded South Korea, killing thousands.
Outnumbered South Korean and American troops, as part of a U.N. police action, fought courageously against the Communist Chinese and North Korean troops, who were supplied with arms and MIG fighters from the Soviet Union.Five-star General Douglas MacArthur was Supreme U.N. Commander, leading the United Nations Command from 1950 to 1951.MacArthur made a daring landing of troops at Inchon, deep behind North Korean lines, and recaptured the city of Seoul.  With temperatures sometimes forty degrees below zero in the Korean mountains, and Washington politicians limiting the use of air power against the Communists, there were nearly 140,000 American casualties:
  • in the defense of the Pusan Perimeter and Taego;
  • in the landing at Inchon and the freeing of Seoul;
  • in the capture of Pyongyang;
  • in the Yalu River where nearly a million Communist Chinese soldiers invaded;
  • in the Battles of Changjin Reservoir, Old Baldy, White Horse Mountain, Heartbreak Ridge, Pork Chop Hill, T-Bone Hill, and Siberia Hill.

Free Workshop for Military/Veteran Couples

Hold Me Tight(r) Workshop for Couples for Veterans and Their Partners to be held at Steven A. Cohen Military Family Center NYU Langone Health on August 17-18 2018, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 

This FREE workshop is for couples who want to strengthen their relationship and communication skills, decrease conflict, and connect in a more effective and powerful way. The workshop will teach skills the couples can take home once they leave the workshop. The workshop is based on the Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples - a Gold Standard of couples therapy. The workshop emphasizes privacy and confidentiality and includes presentations, guided couple exercises, video clips of couple interactions, and group discussion. Participants do not need to speak in the group if they do not wish to. Assistant counselors are available for support. To sign up for the workshop please call 646-754-4743, or email:

9/11 Heroes Run 

The 9/11 Heroes Run 5k welcomes runners, ruckers, and walkers of all levels and of all ages. Events take place all over the world, on or near September 11th, and are 100% organized by local community volunteers. It is the perfect opportunity for your community to personally come out and thank your local veterans, their families, and first responders in an annual, fun, and family-friendly environment!

Employment Opportunities

Here is a link to current job openings available in Rockland County

And this link will give you information on Veterans' Credits:

New York City Civil Service Jobs, Tests, and Results as listed in The Chief:

MTA Metro-North Railroad has ongoing employment opportunities:
To apply for current jobs with the MTA, please go to the MTA Employment Portal at:

Local Veterans Organization

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  
  • Military Order of the Purple Heart, 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 American Legion, 86 South Reld Drive, Pearl River, New York 10965
Combat Vet ID Cards Available
Combat Veteran ID Cards are available.  If you are a combat veteran, you can get this card at the County Clerk's Office which is located at 1 South Main Street, Suite 100, New City, New York 10956.  To apply for the Combat Veteran ID Card, or the F.A.V.O.R. card for all veterans, if you don't already have one, bring your DD214 to the County Clerk's Office.  They'll take your photo and make up a card for you. 

For further information, contact the Rockland County Clerk's Office at (845) 638-5076.

This new Combat Veteran ID Card offers all of the same benefits as the F.A.V.O.R. (Find and Assist Veterans of Record) card, which includes almost 1000 discounts to Rockland's veterans, but this new CVID card has specific advantages. The CVID card is co-sponsored by the Rockland County Police Benevolent Association and will be recognized by our local law enforcement agencies. So if you ever get pulled over, along with your license, registration, and insurance card, show the police officer your Combat Vet ID card so he knows you're an in-country vet.
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

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.
The Memorial and Monument will be located in Haverstraw Bay County Park near the Rockland County 9/11 Memorial. We will keep you posted as to dedication ceremony for the Memorial.
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 call 845-371-7605.

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:
  • Handicap-Accessible van
  • 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 - A Project of New York Vets  

RockVets is an Outreach project of New York Vets, Inc. - a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization established in 1992, to advocate for those who have worn the uniform of the U.S. Military, no matter where or when they served. 

You can find information, useful links, and view our website at:

Previous copies of our newsletters are also available on our website at 

The volunteers at New York Vets / RockVets publish this monthly e-newsletter.  We welcome your thoughts, questions, and feedback.  Please pass this along to other veterans who can benefit from some of the information in the newsletters. E-mail:

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 25th of each month so we can get the information in the following issue. Send information to


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