RockVets E-Newsletter: February 2017 Edition
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County, New York 
Jerry Donnellan, Director      Telephone: 845-638-5244 
Website: www: rockvets.com.
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RockVets Newsletter


February 2017       845-638-5244      ww.rockvets.com
Volume 9
Issue 2
 

info@rockvets.com

 

Burn Pits - Today's Agent Orange 

You know -- I would have thought today’s troops could have found their own poison, and not have to borrow one from our war in Vietnam.

You remember Agent Orange. Our friends at the Pentagon told us dumb vets it was just a weed killer when they first started spraying it in ‘Nam in ’61 or ’62. After testing it here in the States on military bases or on railroad tracks and high tension wires - ever wonder why nothing grew under the high tension wires?

A number of years ago, people who lived near these clearings began developing cancer. They looked up at the wire and talked about electromagnetic fields, when perhaps they should have been looking under their feet. That stuff has a half-life of 7 years.

Veterans of my war began developing illnesses that were unexplained. The VA coined the term, “Vietnam Syndrome.” They did this to explain this hodgepodge of illnesses and cancers. They even commissioned studies by the Health and Medicine Division, previously known as the Institute of Medicine at the National Academies of Medicine (HMD). This “independent, objective analysis” was to show that Agent Orange wasn’t responsible for these illnesses. The HMD shaped the methodology and data to influence the outcome of the study to be what the VA wanted it to be.

At the time, we didn’t care. We were just happy to have gotten out of ‘Nam in one piece. Some of our fellow Vietnam vets began to do some research and encouraged others more experienced in the field, and found the dioxin in Agent Orange caused cancer. This data was taken to Uncle Sam who didn’t want to hear it. So as a group we felt the only way to get attention was to sue. Since we couldn’t sue Uncle Sam, the decision was made to sue the manufacturers of Agent Orange. Primarily, Dow, Monsanto, and Diamond Shamrock. In the final analysis in 1984, we won 480 million dollars, which if nothing else called Uncle Sam’s bluff, and the VA then had to agree to begin compensating those exposed to Agent Orange. At first only one illness was connected. Over the years, it’s grown.

Veterans began submitting claims to the VA in 1977. Even though the suit was settled in ’84, by 1993, only 486 claims had been settled in the veterans’ favor – that is of 39,419 submitted. God knows how many veterans passed in the interim.

Now a number of diseases and cancers have been rated presumptive by the DVA. In English that means if you had say Diabetes or Prostate Cancer, and you served in Vietnam, the connection was accepted and you would be granted compensation. Understand this took a very long time and a lot of people. Not only the Vietnam veterans, but we also had the backing of the Korean War veterans as well as the WWII veterans. 

When I came back from Vietnam in 1969 I was in my early 20’s. Korean War veterans were in their 30’s, and WWII veterans were in their 40’s. That gave us an awful lot of people. An awful lot of votes.

Burn pits. They sound innocent – kind of like a bonfire, when actually most were the size of your backyard. One in Balad was 10 acres and burned 200 tons of garbage a day. What was burned? Everything. Dogs, body parts, chemicals, batteries, fuel, medical waste, vehicle parts, jet fuel. These burn pits were to have been temporary. However, the contractor, Kellogg, Brown, and Root, operated the burn pits as part of their 35 billion dollar logistics contract in Iraq and Afghanistan. They went on burning in open air pits for years, even after Uncle Sam had dispatched cleaner burning incinerators.

Back to the point. In these pits they also burned plastic bottles, styrofoam cups, and styrofoam. Why that’s important is when those things are burned they release, you got it – dioxin. So here we are half a century later exposing our troops to the same thing, exposing them to something we knew would make them sick and could kill them.

When Iraq and Afghan vets began to question this hodgepodge of illnesses that they were coming down with, they commissioned a study in 2011. Two years after the study, HMD – yes the same group that tried to debunk Agent Orange, was back to debunking burn pits. Close to 20 years before they were debunking what had come to be known as Gulf War Syndrome.

At that point, Congress commissioned the Research Advisory Committee (RAC) to conduct an independent study. RAC reviewed the evidence from nearly 2,000 scientific studies and government reports including both human and animal studies. RAC came back to Congress and said the previous studies were “irreparably flawed” and that the illness was “real.” 

So, if you served in Iraq or Afghanistan and you were around burn pits, which many of you were probably billeted next to and exposed 24/7, if your lungs are doing their job they serve as a filter for the smoke and ash that was being taken in. Ever look at the back of an air conditioner? Kind of like that.

So, you were exposed in all likelihood to dioxin. I’m not trying to scare you, but understand I am still filing claims for my buddies from Vietnam whose exposure was nearly half a century ago. Please understand another thing. That is, Vietnam vets are on average 70 years old. So, in the not too distant future we’ll be gone – and the number of vets and votes will dwindle.

So, learn from us. If you feel you have symptoms, file a claim ASAP! I can help you get started.

Jerry Donnellan, Director
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland
20 Squadron Blvd., Suite 480
New City, New York 10956
Telephone: 845-638-5244
E-mail:  jerry@rockvets.com


Town Hall Meeting Follow-Up to Montrose VA

This is a note I sent to the Montrose VA Representative at the Town Hall Meeting on January 12th, 2017, with some background history on our Veterans' Medical Clinics:

Margaret - It was good to see you last Thursday at the Town Hall meeting. I learned a lot by listening to what you had to say.

One of the things that struck me was your feeling that Rockland County was somehow getting special treatment because we are the only county having a VA Shuttle. Well, let me shed some light on how this all came to be.

I’m fairly sure it was in 1991 working with the then Director of Montrose, Ed Gamache, and Gerry Culliton, who as you know subsequently became the Director of Montrose. We put together insofar as I know, the first off-campus Agent Orange Clinic. It was located in Rockland County. In 1996 it was followed by the first County-based Clinic or what we know today as C-Boxes. Both of these were the first of its kind – not only in the area, but in the country.

At the time, the concern of the VA was that they had no money for real estate. They obviously had the personnel. So Rockland County doing its part, located these Clinics in our Health Complex – providing examining rooms, office space, waiting areas, utilities, phones, clerical support, transportation within the County, as well as any equipment that we had that was in need – wheelchairs, gurneys, xrays, etc. All of this was at no cost to the VA.

The piece that was missing was a way of getting vets to the VA Hospital for treatment the Clinic couldn’t provide. So in the late 90’s the VA came up with the idea of a Shuttle. The VA never asked for input as to how this Shuttle should operate, nor was Rockland asked for any financial support.

Shortly after this first C-Box opened, the VA saw what I had been saying. The out-patient population from Rockland County increased from a couple of hundred to over 5,000. When the VA saw these numbers, the real estate dollars were no longer a problem. The VA moved into its own space at 20 Squadron Boulevard in New City. Further, the success of this Clinic made it a model – not only for the area but for the rest of the country, and it is still spreading. To this point, the last time I checked there were 1,053 C-Boxes across the country.

So when I first got the call from your office in December that the Shuttle was going to end the following month, I was dumbstruck. I tried to reason with the woman who called, but it was obvious she was only the messenger.

Listening to what you had to say yesterday, that people were taking the Shuttle when they could have been treated at the Clinic, while others were taking it just for the ride. I can see that isn’t right. Further, the small number of vets using the Shuttle would become even smaller once the vets who didn’t need to use the Shuttle were weeded out.

You see, I thought your travel office vetted these people to some degree. Apparently not. Now I can see why vets who made the trip only to find out the Doctor they were to see wasn’t there. Apparently, anyone who shows up could go on the Shuttle and the only oversight was to make sure that if two vets left in the morning, two vets came home in the afternoon.

Going forward, I think there needs to be some kind of criteria to be, for lack of a better word, a Shuttle Rider. Unfortunately, this is something the VA would have to do and since the County doesn’t have access to the contact information or medical records of the vets, nor should they - nor does it have communication with the veterans' Doctors. Once criteria is established, and I think it’s time to take a look at all of this with a fresh set of eyes, you’re right – it makes absolutely no sense to run a Shuttle 10 times a week or 520 times a year for 30-odd vets. It would be cheaper to send them by limo.

Let’s take a look at one of VA Secretary McDonald’s ideas to fix the system after the tragedy at the Phoenix VA called the Veterans Choice Program. This was so that veterans could get treatment that otherwise might be a hardship. So if a veteran was more than 50 miles away from a VA facility or if it took more than 30 days to get an appointment, then that vet could go outside the VA for private medical care. So then, an otherwise healthy 25 year old veteran who needed a hearing test who was 51 miles from a VA facility, could use private care at the VA’s expense. So in order to use private care, this 25 year old has to travel 51 miles or roughly an hour.

Now let’s look at the 90 year old WWII veteran who travels on the Shuttle for 5 hours to get to an appointment – that’s not counting the time it takes to get to and from the Clinic, say another hour, so 6 hours, and if that veteran has another appointment in the afternoon, another 5 hours, or a total of 11 hours. That’s a great deal more of a hardship than a 25 year old travelling for 2 hours. So why not allow the 90 year old the option that the 25 year old has, and let them not have to spend a day getting treatment for something that should take a couple of hours? It would make it a lot less stressful for our oldest and sickest veterans.

Now that the precedent exists, thanks to Secretary McDonald, and from what I hear the new Secretary as well as the new President, are looking to expand private sector care. This could solve the Shuttle issue altogether and give us a template for veterans in the future that meet the criteria.

Update to VA Shuttle Service

The VA has agreed to continue the shuttle service for the time being.  However, reservations will be required.  You won't be able to just show for the shuttle.  If your doctor at the New City Medical Clinic refers you to Castle Point or Montrose, stop at the clinic desk (or call them) and tell them you will need shuttle transportation for when you have to go to the other facility. 

The VA Clinic is located at 345 North Main Street in New City, New York 10956. Their telephone number is:  845-634-8942.

Jerry Donnellan, Director
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland
20 Squadron Blvd., Suite 480
New City, New York 10956
845-638-5244
E-mail:  jerry@rockvets.com


Services Provided at New City VA Clinic

Below is a list of Services provided for registered veterans at New City VA Clinic.  The VA Clinic is located at 345 North Main Street in New City, New York 10956.  Telephone:  845-634-8942.

Primary Care
Laboratory
Nursing
Nutrition
Pharmacy (Fridays only)
Optometry
Podiatry
Social Work Services
Psychiatry
Psychology
Physical Therapy (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
Benefits information ( last Wednesday of the month)
Evening clinics for Psychology and Sleep (via CVT)

Services provided at New City Clinic by CVT:
Dermatology
Cardiology
Rheumatology
Spirometry
MOVE group
MOVE support
MOVE Active
Speech
Pharmacy
Genomics
Sleep clinic

*Co-pays apply.

Four Chaplain's Service - Sunday, February 5, 2017                                              
This year, the annual Four Chaplains Service will be held on Sunday, February 5, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.at the New City Jewish Center, 47 Old Schoolhouse Road, New City.  This year's service is sponsored by American Legion Post 199.

To read the entire story of Four Chaplains, please view this link:  

According to those present, four Army chaplains brought hope in despair and light in darkness. Those chaplains were Lt. George L. Fox, Methodist; Lt. Alexander D. Goode, Jewish; Lt. John P. Washington, Roman Catholic; and Lt. Clark V. Poling, Dutch Reformed.

Quickly and quietly, the four chaplains spread out among the soldiers. There they tried to calm the frightened, tend the wounded and guide the disoriented toward safety.  When there were no more lifejackets in the storage room, the chaplains removed theirs and gave them to four frightened young men.

As the ship went down, survivors in nearby rafts could see the four chaplains–arms linked and braced against the slanting deck. Their voices could also be heard offering prayers.

Of the 902 men aboard the U.S.A.T. Dorchester, 672 died, leaving 230 survivors. When the news reached American shores, the nation was stunned by the magnitude of the tragedy and heroic conduct of the four chaplains.  That night Reverend Fox, Rabbi Goode, Reverend Poling and Father Washington passed life’s ultimate test. In doing so, they became an enduring example of extraordinary faith, courage and selflessness.

The Distinguished Service Cross and Purple Heart were awarded posthumously December 19, 1944, to the next of kin by Lt. Gen. Brehon B. Somervell, Commanding General of the Army Service Forces, in a ceremony at the post chapel at Fort Myer, VA.

Post 9/11 Service Member and Veteran Caregivers

Hope For The Warriors® will be hosting a special Military and Veteran Caregiver’s Wellness Workshop on Wednesday, February 22th in West Nyack, New York. This one-day workshop will focus on self-care and mindfulness practices for Military and Veteran Caregivers.  A healthful luncheon will be provided to all of the participants. This workshop is open to caregivers of post-9/11 service members or veterans who have experienced physical or psychological injuries. Caregivers may include adult family members, friends and spouses/partners who provide daily emotional support and/or physical care of the injured service member or veteran. Participants must register for the event by calling Shelley Rodriguez at 646-565- 0569. 

For further information, contact Nicholas Montini | Hope For The Warriors® | Military & Veteran Program Coordinator | 55 Water St., Concourse Level, New York, NY 10041 | c. 646.866.3643| nmontini@hopeforthewarriors.org
 
Hope For The Warriors® has received a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator for the 5th year in a row, an honor earned by only 5% of rated charities.
                                             
Iwo Jima Commemoration Luncheon

On Friday, February 24th, 2017, The Rockland County Detachment of the Marine Corps League will hold its annual Iwo Jima Commemoration luncheon at Kruckers Catering and Picnic Grove, 81 Call Hollow Road, Pomona, New York 10970.  World War II Veterans will be honored during the cake cutting.  All are welcome -- bring a friend! There will be a Cash Bar starting at 1130 Hours and Luncheon at 1230 Hours. Advance payment of $39.00 (includes door prize eligibility) must be received no later than February 8th, 2017 or pay $45.00 at the door.  Please try to respond early so we can give an accurate count to the caterer.  Send your check or money order payable to Rockland Detachment Marine Corps League and mail to them at 20 Station Road, Pomona, New York 10970. 

World War II Vets are invited to the event as guests of the Detachment at no charge but must fill out a registration form to let the Detachment know they are coming.  For further information, please contact John Leighton (jhleighton@att.net) or George Rath (gar6873@optonline.net).

You can download a registration form from their website via this link:  http://www.rocklandusmc.com/

VVA #333 Hand Cycles for Wounded Veterans

VVA Chapter 333 has recently purchased two more HAND CYCLES --  one for Adam Peacock, an Afghanistan wounded veteran with loss of his right leg and Sarah Bettencourt who suffered a spinal cord injury.  Sarah is a Naval Academy graduate and helicopter pilot who resides in California. Adam resides in Texas. Sarah's cycle cost is $8,500 and Adam's is $5,031.40 Both Cycles were purchased and donated via the many fundraisers VVA Chapter 333 has initiated and the generosity from the public at large.
 
Our next HAND CYCLE FUNDRAISER will be during the New York Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament held at the St. Lawrence Center in Hillburn, New York on February 11th, 2017.  Here are the details:

Golden Gloves Event -- Saturday, February 11, 2017
Doors Open at 3 P.M. and first bout is at 4 P.M.
Location is Joseph T. St. Lawrence Center -- 115 Torne Valley Road  -- Hillburn, New York 10931
Tickets sold at the door.
Discount Tickets: $10.00 for Veterans, 1st Responders, and Children 14 and under
 All Others Ticket price $20.00
For further information, call 845-357-5100 extension 201.

Air Force Security Forces Sniper

This 19 year old ex-cheerleader now an Air Force Security Forces Sniper, was watching a road in Pakistan that led to a NATO military base when she observed a man digging by the road. She engaged the target (translation: she shot him).
 
It turned out he was a bomb maker for the Taliban, and he was burying an IED that was to be detonated when a U.S. patrol walked by 30 minutes later. It would have certainly killed and wounded several soldiers.
 
The interesting fact of this story is the shot was measured at 725 yards. She shot him as he was bent over burying the bomb. The shot went through his rectum and into the bomb which detonated; he was blown to pieces. The Air Force made a motivational poster of her. (Folks, that's a shot 25 yards longer than seven football fields).



Navy Junior ROTC Unit at North Rockland

The Navy Junior ROTC unit at North Rockland High School will be hosting the Area 4 Southern Region Academic, Athletic and Drill Championship on Saturday, February 11, 2017.  Approximately 600 Cadets from NJROTC Units from neighboring states will be competing for the opportunity to represent Area 4 at the Navy Nationals in Pensacola, Florida on April 7th & 8th.

The Cadets and Instructors cordially invite all Veterans and their families to attend the competition. The Championship is a day-long military drill competition culminating with the presentation of trophies and awards.  The competition will be running continuously from 0800 till approximately 1700.  

As in past years, we are offering our supporters the opportunity to sponsor meet trophies for $25 each.   If you would like to sponsor a trophy you may forward cash or a check made out to NRNJROTC to me at the address below. Thank you for your support, Mary E. Cavanagh, CTRCS(AW), U. S. Navy (Ret.)
Naval Science Instructor - 106 Hammond Road - Thiells, NY  10984-0495   845-942-3533
E-mail:  mcavanagh@northrockland.org

Camp LeJeune Presumptive Diseases

VA has published regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Disease associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune. If a veteran, or former reservist or member of the National Guard, was exposed to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune during military service and the exposure meets the requirements of § 3.307(a)(7), the following diseases shall be service- connected even though there is no record of such disease during service, subject to the rebuttable presumption provisions of § 3.307(d).
(1) Kidney cancer.
(2) Liver cancer.
(3) Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. (4) Adult leukemia.
(5) Multiple myeloma.
(6) Parkinson’s disease.
(7) Aplastic anemia and other
myelodysplastic syndromes. (8) Bladder cancer.

contamination at Lejeune
VA has published regulations to establish presumptions for the service connection of eight diseases associated with exposure to contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.



Hockey For Heroes at Naval Academy Annapolis MD

On March 10, 2017, The Army West Point Junior Black Knights hockey program is participating in Hockey for Heroes to benefit our wounded and disabled veterans. It's a 24 hour marathon of hockey, culminating in Army vs Navy youth hockey programs playing each other. Our goal is to raise $1000 for each of the 4 teams going down from Army. The goal for the tournament is $75,000 this year. Hockey for Heroes has raised over $300,000 over the past 3 years. Below is a link that for anyone that wants to donate. 

For further information, contact Thomas A Colavito DC ATC(NYS)
Athletic Trainer and Strength Coach AWP Junior Black Knights
E-mail:  TomColavito62@gmail.com


Pat Tillman Foundation Fundraiser - Pat's Run

Family and friends established the Pat Tillman Foundation in 2004, following Tillman’s death while serving with the 75th Ranger Regiment in Afghanistan. Created to honor Pat’s legacy, the mission of the Pat Tillman Foundation is to invest in military veterans and their families through educational scholarships, building a diverse community of leaders committed to service to others.

On Saturday, April 22, 2017, more than 35,000 participants, volunteers and spectators from across the country will unite at Arizona State University’s Sun Devil Stadium to participate in Pat’s Run, the signature fundraising event for the Pat Tillman Foundation. They will run, walk and honor Pat Tillman’s legacy while raising important funds to support the programs that pay tribute to his commitment to leadership and service. 
 
For the 13th year, Tillman supporters who cannot attend the Tempe run can still be a part of this inspirational event. Through the Arizona State University Alumni Association, Tillman Honor Runs will be held in over 30 U.S. cities spanning from Los Angeles, CA, to Washington, DC.
 
The events are casual, 4.2-mile run/walks held in community parks, schools and recreational areas, and proceeds raised in those runs directly impact hundreds of veterans, active service members and their dependents through the Tillman Military Scholars program, which provides educational scholarships at colleges and universities nationwide. 

The Pat Tillman Foundation relies on community support and participation. Today, we invite you to join the team of Tillman supporters nationwide by spreading the word throughout your organization to join the New York Tillman Honor Run. The event will take place on Saturday, April 22, 2017, in Manhattan. To register for the event, please visit http://tillmanhonorrunnyc.eventbrite.com/

Thank you in advance for your consideration. If you have questions or for additional information please visit http://www.pattillmanfoundation.org/pats-run 
or e-mail me at brad.webb2000@gmail.com.   Brad Webb, New York Tillman Honor Run Captain.

Combat Vet ID Cards Available
                                               
Combat Veteran ID Cards are now 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. You can contact the County Clerk's Office at (845) 638-5076 or call the Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County at 845-638-5244. 


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.

Free Radon Test Kits Available for Eligible Residents

The Health Department's Healthy Neighborhood Program provides free home radon testing for low to moderate-income families and seniors. A brief home-safety survey is required at the time of the visit. If your home does have high levels of radon, a qualified radon mitigation contractor can make repairs to solve the problem and protect your family. To schedule a free radon test, while supplies last, call (845) 364-3292 or (845) 364-3290.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that you cannot see, smell or taste. It can build up in your home, get into the air you breathe and can cause lung cancer. Radon usually comes from the surrounding rocks and soil under your home's foundation and can enter through cracks and openings on the lowest level of your home. It is the number one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. If you smoke and your home has high radon levels, your risk of lung cancer is especially high. Though radon can get into any type of building, including homes, offices, and schools, you and your family are likely to get your greatest exposure at home, where you spend most of your time. The good news is that radon can be reduced by easy, low-cost home testing and repair.

Residents can also get radon test kits from the New York State Department of Health, for a fee of $11. To learn more about radon and radon testing, fixing your radon problem, radon resistant new construction, and for a list of approved radon testing labs and certified radon mitigation professionals, call the New York State Department of Health at (800) 458-1158, e-mail at radon@health.state.ny.us or visit www.health.ny.gov/environmental/radiological/radon/radon.htm.

For further information, contact Ronda Rosman, Rockland County Department of Health at 845-364-2502.

Military Order of the Purple Heart Dinner

On Saturday, May 6, 2017, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Department of New York, c/o 17 Jones Drive, Garnerville, New York 10923 will host its 2017 Annual Convention Dinner. The dinner will be held at the Ramada Inn’s Café Internationale, 1289 Route 300, Newburgh, NY 12550 at 6:00 PM. This event is co-sponsored by MOPH Chapters 120 (Rockland County) and 1782 (Orange/Dutchess County.)

Proceeds from this event will support the efforts of the local chapters of the MOPH to assist veterans and active duty personnel. The public is invited and tickets are priced at $60.00 each and $45.00 for active duty personnel. Reservations are required. A table of 10 seats is discounted to $550.00

This is also an opportunity for the community to say “thank you for your service” in a commemorative journal. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this journal will go towards building a Memorial and monument in Rockland County NY dedicated to the men and women of Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is imperative that we do not forget the sacrifices of our best and brightest stars that have and are currently protecting our safety and freedoms. We currently have over 58,000 men and women who have been killed or wounded and are eligible for the Purple Heart award from the current War on Terror.

We would also request that you inform your Veterans community that we will be honoring three Gold Star families by remembering their loved ones. Our keynote speaker will be BG John F. Hussey. Our guest speaker’s Vietnam Combat Nurse Lt. Edie Meeks and Purple Heart recipient, Cpl. Megan Leavey. Reservations are required and space is limited.
Sr. Vice Commander Richard Drago Chapter 1782
Commander Howard Goldin Chapter 120
For information, journal advertising & reservations, contact Patriot Bob Schreiner at 845-947-1954 or mophch120@gmail.com.

Rockland BOCES Adult Education Classes
ROCKLAND BOCES rooted in the community
Get the training you need for the job you want
• Average program length = 6 months
• Hands-on classroom and internship
experience
• Most programs lead to industry certi cations
• Short-term job training and placement assistance
• 90% job placement rate*
• Train for careers in the region’s fastest-growing job sectors
* Medical Assistant and Administrative Medical Of ce Skills programs
Interested? Call (845) 348-3500
All courses approved by the US Department of Veterans Affairs
   
COURSES:
•Administrative Medical Of ce Skills
•Medical Assistant Skills
•Medical Coding
•Practical Nursing
•Nurse Assisting
•Pharmacy Technician
•Phlebotomy
•Construction Trades
•Certi ed Welding
•Culinary Arts •Hospitality
•Bookkeeping
•Teacher Assisting
•Intro to Automotive Technology
•Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
•Security Guard

Rockland Boces Adult Education and Business Services, 131 Midland Avenue North, Nyack, New York 10960.  Visit their website:  www.rocklandboces.org
                                               

Upcoming Events

Sunday, February 5th, 2017:  The annual Four Chaplains Service will be held on Sunday, February 5, 2017 at 10:00 a.m.at the New City Jewish Center, 47 Old Schoolhouse Road, New City.  This year's service is sponsored by American Legion Post 199.   

Wednesday, February 11th, 2017:  Vietnam Veterans of America, Rockland Chapter #333 will hold their next fundraiser for Hand-cycles for wounded veterans. Here are the details: Golden Gloves Event -- Saturday, February 11, 2017 -- Doors Open at 3 P.M. and first bout is at 4 P.M.
Location is Joseph T. St. Lawrence Center -- 115 Torne Valley Road  -- Hillburn, New York 10931
Tickets sold at the door.
Discount Tickets: $10.00 for Veterans, 1st Responders, and Children 14 and under
All Others Ticket price $20.00
For further information, call 845-357-5100 extension 201.

Thursday, February 12th, 2017:  The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Hudson Valley Health Care System will be hosting a town hall for Veterans, family members and the public on Thursday, January 12th, 2017 -  11:00 a.m., at the Castle Point campus Multipurpose Room, 41 Castle Point Road, Wappingers Falls, New York 12590. The meeting is intended to provide local Veterans an open forum and for VA officials to hear directly from beneficiaries.    

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017: Hope For The Warriors® will be hosting a special Military and Veteran Caregiver’s Wellness Workshop on Wednesday, February 22th in West Nyack, New York. This one-day workshop will focus on self-care and mindfulness practices for Military and Veteran Caregivers.  A healthful luncheon will be provided to all of the participants. This workshop is open to caregivers of post-9/11 service members or veterans who have experienced physical or psychological injuries. Caregivers may include adult family members, friends and spouses/partners who provide daily emotional support and/or physical care of the injured service member or veteran. Participants must register for the event by calling Shelley Rodriguez at 646-565- 0569. 

Friday, February 24th, 2017:  On Friday, February 24th, 2017, The Rockland County Detachment of the Marine Corps League will hold its annual Iwo Jima Commemoration luncheon at Kruckers Catering and Picnic Grove, 81 Call Hollow Road, Pomona, New York 10970.  World War II Veterans will be honored during the cake cutting.  All are welcome -- bring a friend! There will be a Cash Bar starting at 1130 Hours and Luncheon at 1230 Hours. Advance payment of $39.00 (includes door prize eligibility) must be received no later than February 8th, 2017 or pay $45.00 at the door.  Please try to respond early so we can give an accurate count to the caterer.  Send your check or money order payable to Rockland Detachment Marine Corps League and mail to them at 20 Station Road, Pomona, New York 10970. 

World War II Vets are invited to the event as guests of the Detachment at no charge but must fill out a registration form to let the Detachment know they are coming.  For further information, please contact John Leighton (jhleighton@att.net) or George Rath (gar6873@optonline.net).

You can download a registration form from their website via this link:  http://www.rocklandusmc.com/
                                
Employment Opportunities

Fuji Film:   You may not know this but Fujifilm serves a broad spectrum of industries across the U.S., including medical imaging systems, biologic contract manufacturing, graphic arts, optics, enterprise storage and of course photography and digital imaging. And we offer career opportunities across our companies that serve these industries. It is important to us that our employees contribute to our high quality standards and our drive for innovation. And you thought we were just the world’s largest film and imaging company.
To learn more about Fujifilm opportunities go to: FujifilmUSA.com/Careers Fujifilm Holdings America Corporation, 200 Summit Lake Drive, Valhalla, NY 10595 or contact Steve Scharlat at 914-789-8104 or via e-mail:  sscharlat@fujifilm.com.

Cogentix Medical in Orangeburg, New York: has an opening for Production Manager.  Y
Candidates can apply via the following email link:

http://jobs.ourcareerpages.com/job/210639?source=ccp&jobFeedCode=CogentixMedical&returnURL=http://www.cogentixmedical.com
 
For further information, please contact 
Laurie Antonacci -- Office and Human Resources Administrator
T 845-848-1045   F 845-365-0620
40 Ramland Road, Orangeburg, New York  10962

New York-New Jersey Trail Conference Conservation Corps:
A veteran himself, Geoff Hamilton is actively recruiting veterans to fill some service positions with the New York New Jersey Trail Conference Conservation Corps for the 2017 season.  They offer housing and a living stipend.  If you are interested, please contact Geoff Hamilton via e-mail at: geoff@nynjtc.org or visit their website: http://www.nynjtc.org/corpsmembers for further information.
Geoff Hamilton, Program Assistant, New York-New Jersey Trail Conference
600 Ramapo Valley Road | Mahwah, NJ 07430
T 201.512.9348 x 819| M 914.839.0409 | F201.512.9012
geoff@nynjtc.org | www.nynjtc.org
                                                                                           
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: jenniferd@rjstaffing.com 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:

VA Loan Program - Affordable Housing for Veterans

The VA loan program is a flexible lending solution designed to make homeownership more affordable for qualified U.S. veterans.  1 With favorable terms, competitive interest rates and no monthly mortgage insurance premium, VA loans allow you to offer another option for veterans who are first-time homebuyers or who are purchasing or refinancing in a high-cost area.  2 The VA loan program is a flexible option that could be a good solution for borrowers who are qualified U.S. veterans.

Maximum loan amounts apply.
1 A qualified veteran is any person who is in active service, or who has served and was honorably discharged from active military, naval or air service duty. Other qualifying veterans may include those discharged because of service-connected disabilities and un-remarried surviving spouse of a service member.
2 Maximum loan amount $417,000 ($625,000 in AK and HI) on 1-unit second homes, 1-unit investment properties and 2–4 units. Minimum credit score and reserve requirements must be met. Additional restrictions apply to loans with loan amounts greater than $417,000 ($625,000 in AK and HI).

• No monthly mortgage insurance premiums due
• Fixed rate mortgages with up to a 30-year term
• Adjustable-rate mortgages with a 30-year term
• Purchase or cash-out refinance
• No down payments required for qualified veterans
• Ability to finance the VA Funding fee — reduced fee with a down payment of at least 5% and exemption for veterans receiving VA compensation.

Residential Home Funding Corp.
MORTGAGES FOR AMERICA
Equal Housing Lender. Some products may not be available in all states. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. 
For further information, contact Ron Charles, Mortgage Loan Originator, 4875 Sunrise Highway, Bohemia, New York 11716.  Cell phone:  914-548-4072 or via e-mail: rcharles@rhfunding.com.
    
Military Family Clinic at NYU Langone Med. Center 

Are You or Is Someone You Know:
• Dealing with injuries, psychological symptoms, or stress associated with your military service?
• Having trouble reconnecting with family and friends?
• Experiencing dif culty  nding and obtaining needed services or readjusting to civilian life?
• Unsure of your next step?
The staff at the Steven and Alexandra Cohen Military Family Clinic can help. Our clinicians support you and your family members in addressing the needs and challenges associated with military service and life transitions.
We  ll the gap in mental health services for veterans, active duty service members, and their families by providing family-focused, compassionate, evidence-based care to promote individual and family wellness.
All of our clinicians are licensed behavioral health professionals with experience serving the veteran population.
Eligible patients include current members of the military and veterans of any era (regardless of discharge status) as well as their immediate and extended family members. We de ne family broadly to include spouses, signi cant others, children, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents—anyone in the family who is affected by the veteran’s military service.
 We offer free and con dential mental healthcare for veterans and their families.
Concerns We Assist With
• Depression
• Anxiety
• Post-traumatic Stress and Trauma
• Alcohol and Substance Abuse
• Relationship and Family Con ict
• Grief and Loss
• Readjustment Problems
• Parenting Concerns
• Children’s Behavioral or Academic Problems
Services We Provide
• Individual Therapy
• Couples Therapy
• Family Therapy
• Child and Adolescent Therapy • Parent Consultation
• Medication Management • Psychiatric Evaluation
• Psychological Assessment • Support Groups
• Advocacy
• Community Education
• Information and Referrals for Adjunctive Care
    
Contact Us
To make an appointment, or with questions about our services, please call us toll-free: 855.NYU.4677 (855.698.4677) or email us at militaryfamilyclinic@nyumc.org
Find us on the Web at www.NYULMC.org/militaryfamilyclinic
We are conveniently located at One Park Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10016


Tips for Veterans Managing Stress

Vet Center #0123 at 300 Hamilton Avenue, White Plains, New York 10601 offers these suggestions:
Tips for Veterans Managing Stress:
- Don't obsess over televised news reports.  Watching repetitive announcements amplifies stress.
- Talk with fellow veterans, family and friends who are supportive.  Don't withdraw.  You are not alone.
- Exercise and eat right.  Avoid alcohol.  Get plenty of rest.  Don't focus on the uncontrollable.  Use self-care.
- Do something outside your daily routine to lighten feelings of gloom and doom.  Share your time, talent and support with others.  Strength comes from community.
- Stress can increase anger, physical reaction, traumatic recollection and feelings of helplessness.  Reach out to others if you feel overwhelmed.  Don't try to hide.
- Uncontrollable anxiety, sleeplessness or nightmares, and medical symptoms may require professional help.
- Vet Centeres offer free, confidential, commented based counseling services for veterans and families.  Call your local Vet Center to talk about your reactions.  Do it today.

For further information, contact:
Roger G. Paulmeno, B.S. Director
Department of Veterans Affairs
Readjustment Counseling Service
Vet Center (10RCS-1A-0123)
300 Hamilton Avenue Suite C 1st Fl
White Plains, NY 10601
(914) 682-6250
Fax (914) 682-6263
                                                                      
Useful Telephone Numbers for Veterans

Rockland County Veterans Service Agency

845-638-5244

Rockland County Sheriff’s Office

845-638-5400

Veterans Peer-to-Peer (Counseling)

845-521-5361

People to People (Food)

845-623-4900

Montrose VA Hospital

914-737-4400

New City VA Clinic

845-634-8995

Housing Unit

845-364-3150

Rape Crisis Services (Main)

845-634-3391

Rape Crisis Services (24/7)

845-634-3344

Home Health Care

845-358-2002

Good Samaritan Hospital Emergency

845-368-5029

Nyack Hospital Emergency

845-348-2345

Domestic Violence

845-634-3391

Suicide Hotline

800-273-8255

Mental Health Association of Rockland County

845-267-2172

Mobile Mental Health

845-364-2378

West Point (nearest military base)

845-938-4011

New York National Guard (Orangeburg, NY)

845-340-7167

Army Reserve (Orangeburg, NY)

845-359-6903

Military Recruiter

845-624-6185

Rockland County Housing Action Coalition

845-708-5799

Alcoholics Anonymous

845-352-1112

Emergency Shelter

845-364-2907

Meals on Wheels

845-624-6325


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.
 
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 call 845-371-7605 or visit our website at: 

Online Shopping at Military Exchanges
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

The Defense Department announced that veterans will soon be able to shop online at military exchanges. The policy change will extend limited online military exchange shopping privileges to all honorably discharged veterans of the military, DoD officials said in a news release. The shopping benefit will be effective this Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2017.

While shopping privileges exclude the purchase of uniforms, alcohol and tobacco products, it includes the Exchange Services’ dynamic online retail environment known so well to service members and their families, the release said. The change follows careful analysis, coordination and strong public support, officials said in the release.

“We are excited to provide these benefits to honorably discharged veterans to recognize their service and welcome them home to their military family,” said Peter Levine, performing the duties for the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness.

“In addition, this initiative represents a low-risk, low-cost opportunity to help fund morale, welfare and recreation programs in support of service members’ and their families’ quality of life. And it’s just the right thing to do,” Levine added.

The online benefit will also strengthen the exchanges’ online businesses to better serve current patrons. Inclusion of honorably discharged veterans would conservatively double the exchanges’ online presence, according to DoD officials, thereby improving the experience for all patrons through improved vendor terms, more competitive merchandise assortments and improved efficiencies.

“As a nation, we are grateful for the contributions of our service members,” Levine said. “Offering this lifetime online benefit is one small, tangible way the nation can say, ‘Thank you’ to those who served with honor.”

Military Mondays - Legal Advice for Veterans
Veterans seeking general legal advice about SSD/SSI claim denials, free help applying for SSD/SSI benefits, legal advice about their housing concerns, including repair issues, eviction proceedings, and rent assistance programs, are invited to call our live answer hotline at (917) 661-4500 weekdays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm for eligibility information and to make an appointment. 
MILITARY MONDAYS
SSD/SSI Benefits and Housing Clinic
Representatives from the New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs will also be available at the clinic to provide advice on VA pension and disability benefits.



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: drobin127@icloud.com.

World War II Poster


RockVets Newsletter  


You can find information, useful links, and view our webpage at www.rockvets.com. Previous copies of our newsletters are also available on our website at http://www.rockvets.com/newsletters.

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 info@rockvets.com.

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   

E-Mail: jerry@rockvets.com

RockVets website:  http://www.rockvets.com

RockVets newsletters:  http://www.rockvets.com/newsletters

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/rockvets







  




 

 
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