RockVets E-Newsletter: August 2017 Edition
Jerry Donnellan - email:
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RockVets Newsletter

August 2017              
Volume 9
Issue 8


You Serve in Nam?

According to the 2000 U.S. Census over 14 million claim to have seen combat in Vietnam. Strange — never seemed that crowded when I was there.   According to the Department of Defense there were actually 2.7 million of us. Now we're told that less than a third of us are left.  The average age is 69. That figures — the one time I'm above average!  

For decades now I've spoken with combat veterans. Seems the only thing that survives war is guilt. Reality is, if you have a conscience, you're going to have it.  As a country we sent teenagers to a place just south of hell, taught them to kill efficiently, and just when we got good at it, they sent us home to a not-so-adoring public. That was one of the perks of being Med-evac — I missed the airport welcome. 

I know you feel lucky you made it home with all your fingers and toes. See, something else to feel guilty about, of course.  And no one has PTSD, of course not — especially not the Marines!
We finally came up with a disability they could spell and they want nothing to do with it!

So tell me, are you sleep through the night? Having nightmares? Love fireworks and crowded malls? People behind you, you don't know?  Tell me you're not happier in a restaurant, your back to a corner with all the doors in sight. And of course the old favorite — flashbacks. 

You see, besides lead we were hit with psychic bullets. Yep, right there between the eyes — didn't feel it because you didn't bleed until you got home.  We didn't seem to fit in when we got back, but we figured that we just have to give it some time. How's that going? 

I know you can handle it — you don't need any help. Well, Sparky, if you haven't dealt with it yet, it could deal with you — it’s called retirement, and you'll find out why they use the word post in PTSD.  It’s as real as a bullet, and it can be more deadly.   You can and should put in a claim for it with the VA — yes, now even the VA understands it is real.

That wasn't the case when we came home, back before camouflage was fashionable. By putting in a claim for this you're not taking a nickel or an aspirin away from any other veteran. Would you feel badly about taking money from the IRS?  “Same-same" just different letters. 

Yeah, yeah, I know there were people hurt worse than you — there’s that guilt again. There were people hurt worse than me too.  That doesn't stop me from letting them buy me a new leg every couple of years. Further, it doesn't mean you're crazy or, if you are crazy, we are all crazy. However at our age it's called eccentric, and if you still feel badly about taking money from Washington, stop and think about how they spend money. If you still feel guilty, give it to your favorite charity, they won’t!

Jerry Donnellan

Where is your DD 214?

For those veterans planning on living forever, you don't need this info — for the rest of you, listen up!
Does anyone besides you know where your DD 214 is?  First things first:  do you know where your DD 214 is?  Okay, let's start slow — do you know what a DD 214 is? 

Kidding aside, over the years I must've gotten hundreds of phone calls from families who had just lost a Vet without leaving anyone who knew what their wishes were, or the paperwork to make that happen. 

Say you would like an Honor Guard, or a firing detail — perhaps you want to be buried in the Veterans Cemetery, a flag for the casket, a veteran’s headstone? Well, Sparky, unless you can prove you’re a vet, those things might not happen, and you're going to be past the point of telling anyone. 

Remember when we got out of service we were all told to go immediately to the County Clerk and put your discharge/DD 214 on file?  Yeah, well, I didn't either, but now the Rockland County Clerk, Mr. Piperato, will give you a card that might save you some money.  Then you could figure out what funeral home you want to use.  You could make pre-arrangements on things to save your family guessing later. What about insurance?  VA, or private?  Or you could just do nothing and that way you can make sure that it's a bad day for everyone — even your brother-in-law.  

I might suggest you check out what we've listed here…

If you can't find your military service records, go to this link: 

Here are useful links from Army Echoes June - September 2017 issue - check out page 22:

New Forever GI Bill | 24 Jul 2017 | by Richard Sisk
Without a single vote in opposition, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Monday night to expand the post-9/11 GI Bill and eliminate the 15-year time limit on the use of education benefits for new recruits.  The vote was 405-0 in a rare display of bipartisanship in Congress on behalf of veterans seeking higher education after active duty service

Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, said he expects the Senate to take up and pass the bill later this week and move it to the White House for possible signing by President Donald Trump before Congress goes into its August recess.  Trump could also wait for Congress to return after Labor Day before signing it.

The bill, named the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 -- for the American Legion member who wrote the initial World War II GI Bill, would eliminate the current 15-year time limit on use of the GI Bill for those who enlist after January 2018.

To read the entire article, view this link:

Suffern American Legion Post 859 Dinner 

Suffern American Legion Post 859 dinner event - September 21st, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Tickets are $45.00 per person.  Price includes Beefsteak dinner, French Fries, Salad, Coffee, Tea, Dessert, Refreshments, and Entertainment.  The event will be held at Post 859, 1 Pavilion Road, Suffern, New York 10901.  For further information and to request tickets, call Nick at 973-735-7611.

RockVets Radio Show on WRCR

The RockVets Radio Show with host Jerry Donnellan, has returned to the airwaves.  The next show will air on Thursday, August 31st, 2017. The show is broadcast live on the last Thursday of each month - right after the 9:00 a.m. newscast - so it will air from 9:10 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.  Tune in to 1700 on the AM dial.  
You can also listen to the show online at  This is a good opportunity for you to call in and ask questions about veterans or military issues, or to let the listening public know about events some local organizations are planning that would be of interest to veterans.  To speak with Jerry on-air during the show, please call WRCR at 845-362-0013. 

Lowe's Stores Changes Military Discount Program

Lowe's is expanding and changing its military discount program for veterans.  They will no longer ask to see your Veterans' ID at the check-out counter.  Instead, veterans will sign up online and set up an account with My Lowe's.  The discounts will be offered for all honorably discharged veterans. 
To read further, use this link:

VVA #333 Celebrating 30 Year Anniversary

From Al Dagistino, President, Rockland County VVA Chapter #333:

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the formation of Vietnam Veterans of America, Rockland County Chapter 333.  To celebrate our journey and accomplishments, we will be hosting an anniversary dinner October 28th, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at Casa Mia Manor in Blauvelt, New York.  We will be honoring our Founder, Jerry Donnellan, during this dinner.  The date is set, the price is set at $65.00 per person.  We hope you can join us.  

Last Call for anyone who has photographs from our early years -- if you'd like us to add them to a DVD to be shown the night of the Anniversary Dinner, please forward them to Howard Goldin ( or call him at 845-371-7605.  

To ensure that you will receive an invitation to the dinner, please send an e-mail to Howard Goldin ( or to Pat McGlade (  We will send you information about the dinner and placing ads for the Journal, and we ask that you fill out and return the form so we can be sure to send you an invitation when they go out in September.  Space is limited so please respond early.  

We will publish a 30th Anniversary Journal.  Prices for journal ads are as follows: Outside Back Cover 7.5" wide by 10" high....$750.00;  Inside Front and Back Covers....$500.00 each;  Centerfold Platinum Pages... $400.00; Gold Page....$250.00;  Full Page...$125.00; Half-Page....$75.00;  Quarter Page...$50.00; Business card.....$30.00; "In Honor Of" Listing (name only)....$15.00; "In Memoriam" name only....$15.00.

If you'd like to purchase a journal ad, please send camera-ready JPEG or PDF format photograph or text to Marcus Arroyo at (845) 709-2559, or Jim Hennessy at (201) 512-0679.  Send ads no later than the September 20th, 2017 deadline. 

Make checks payable to Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 333 and mail to VVA #333, P.O. Box 243, New City, New York 10956.  For further information on the journal ads, please call or e-mail Marcus or Jim.  We look forward to seeing you on October 28th, 2017. 

VA - Explore Your Benefits

Explore Your Benefits
As you make important choices about your family, finances, education, career, and health care, spend a few moments to explore VA benefits.

Receive compensation for your service-connected disability. If you have a disability caused by or aggravated during active military service—no matter when or where you served—you may be eligible to receive tax-free monthly benefits. Filing a Fully Developed Claim is the fastest way to get a claim decision.

Invest in your education. VA provides education and training support for eligible Veterans and, in some cases, their spouses, dependents, and survivors. The Post-9/11 GI Bill®, Montgomery GI Bill®, and other programs help cover the cost of tuition, training, housing, books, and fees. Use GI Bill bene ts to attend college, go to trade school, learn a technical skill, or get on-the-job training.

Jump-start your career. VA o ers numerous bene ts, resources, and services to help you transition from service to civilian employment and enhance your education, skills, and career. VA provides vocational and employment counseling, job-seeking tools, and other assistance. VA also o ers services if you’re unable to work due to a service-connected disability. If you have a service-connected disability or are a transitioning Servicemember, you may receive assistance to overcome employment challenges and advance your career, including training, tuition, books, and fees.

Care for your health. VA provides world-class health care to eligible Veterans. The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system, with more than 1,700 sites of care, and it is consistently ranked among the nation’s top health care providers. Our goal is to provide Veterans and their families with personalized, proactive, and patient-centered care. More than 6 million Veterans choose VA health care and meet the A ordable Care Act health coverage requirement.

Finance or improve a home. With VA’s home loan guaranty programs, eligible Veterans of any age may access a low-interest home loan, draw cash from their home equity by re nancing, or reduce their current interest rate. VA adaptive housing grants can also help Veterans with certain service-connected disabilities live more independently. You can reuse VA home loan bene ts multiple times.
Secure your family’s future. VA o ers a variety of life insurance options that accommodate many circumstances. With Veterans Group Life Insurance (VGLI), you can get up to $400,000 in coverage. You must apply for VGLI within 1 year and 120 days from separation from the military. You will not need to answer any health questions if you apply within 240 days after separation. Your spouse, if covered under 

Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance before you separated from service, may also obtain VA life insurance from participating private insurers by applying within 120 days after your separation. Additional insurance is available to disabled Veterans with service-connected conditions, even those rated at 0 percent.

Rest in peace. VA provides burial and memorial services to Veterans at no charge to honor their service to the nation. Spouses and children may receive these services, too. Bene ts may include burial in one of VA’s 131 national cemeteries, including the opening and closing of the gravesite, inscribed headstones or markers, a burial  ag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate.  VA provides burial and memorial services for eligible Veterans free of charge.

Supplement your income. A VA pension can provide extra monthly income to help make life a little easier. It is tax-free, supplemental income for certain low-income disabled or elderly wartime Veterans or their surviving spouses. More than 500,000 Veterans and survivors receive VA pensions.

Protect your loved ones. Spouses, dependents, and survivors of Veterans and Servicemembers may be eligible for many types of VA benefits. Loved ones of those who have died or were seriously injured in the line of duty may also receive VA assistance. Benefits may be used to advance in a career, get an education, or provide supplementary income. Surviving spouses may benefit from VA-guaranteed home loans too. In a recent one-year period, one-quarter of those receiving VA Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits were spouses and children of Veterans using transferred entitlement.

Herbicide Exposure During Military Service

Veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange or other herbicides during military service may be eligible for a variety of VA benefits, including disability compensation for diseases associated with exposure. Your dependents and survivors also may be eligible for benefits. "Agent Orange" refers to a blend of tactical herbicides the U.S. military sprayed in the jungles of Vietnam and around the Korean demilitarized zone to remove trees and dense tropical foliage that provided enemy cover. Herbicides were also used by the U.S. military to defoliate military facilities in the U.S. and in other countries as far back as the 1950s. In addition, VA has determined there is evidence of exposure to Agent Orange for Air Force and Air Force Reserve members who served during the period 1969 through 1986 and regularly and repeatedly operated, maintained, or served onboard C-123 aircraft (known to have been used to spray an herbicide agent during the Vietnam era). For more information about service qualifications and other eligibility criteria, visit our Agent Orange C-123 web page.

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. 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.
Employment Opportunities

Perfect Restoration in Suffern, NY: 
We are hiring! Please contact John McPhillips at:  Water and Fire Restoration Technicians - Suffern NY Perfect Restoration & Cleaning (The Hudson Valley’s leader in the Restoration Industry) is looking for Water and Fire Restoration Technicians. We respond to Water, Fire, and Mold emergencies for residential and commercial clients. We have a fast-paced work environment where customer service is our priority. Perfect Restoration & Cleaning continues to build a team of employees with a positive attitude and a focus on providing the best customer experience in the industry. Position includes continued education opportunities, certification programs and the opportunity for additional income though recognition programs. Applicants must be able to lift 50 lbs., pass a criminal background check and have a valid driver’s license. Experience in the Construction, Restoration and IICRC certifications is a plus. Submit your resume today for immediate consideration and an interview! We also have openings for Team Lead Positions!

Department of Homeland Security: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking veterans for hundreds of job opportunities in mission critical and mission support occupations across the Department. DHS has an immediate need to fill these critical vacancies, and is the ideal employer to maximize the skills and training you acquired while serving your country.
Available career opportunities include: Law Enforcement (e.g., Physical Security, Police Officer, Sector Enforcement, Investigations)  Business Operations (e.g., Human Resources, Management and Program Analyst, Contracting, Public Affairs, Budget/Finance/Accounting)  Information Technology (Cybersecurity/Network)
Are you interested in continuing your service to America through a career with DHS?

For further information, check out the website link for the Department of Homeland Security:

JPMChase:  Please check out this link to current job openings at JPMorgan Chase in various locations: JPMC%20Current%20Openings_1%20MAY%202017.xlsx
They are looking for qualified veterans in careers in Accounting/Finance, Branch Banking, Customer Service, Compliance/Risk, Cyber/Technology, Operations, Project Management, Relationship Management/Sales and many other job categories. They have a dedicated team of Veteran Recruiters who are ready to assist with any questions on these opportunities. 
Please reach out to them at
Jim O’Donnell, Executive Director, Military & Veteran Recruiting, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has embarked on a new journey of growth. We are building – in some cases – rebuilding – some of our most critical transportation assets. To meet this growth, we are recruiting new, highly motivated and diverse talent. Now is the time to join the Port Authority Police Department! The Port Authority Police Department will be conducting an on-going recruitment for Police Officers, the open application period runs from May 22, 2017 to June 26, 2017. We encourage you to join our Police Recruit Network to stay informed on the different steps of the selection process, click the link for further information or to join now -

Peter Brega, Inc., is a family owned and operated school bus company located in Valley Cottage. The company is looking to provide some assistance to those veterans who are seeking employment.  They are offering a great part-time opportunity, retirees welcome!
- Must have a clean driving record
- CDL with Passenger & School bus endorsements 
- Starting pay $19/hr. - higher pay with prior driving experience!
- Guaranteed hours
- AM and/or PM runs available
- All positions are part time, if desired, additional work may be available
- Great work environment
- Matching 401K for eligible employees
- Off when schools are off (Holidays, Snow Days, Summers!)
- Unemployment Benefits
Applicants can apply in person at 500 Kings Highway, Valley Cottage, NY 10989, online at or contact Nick Brega by phone at: 845-268-6107.
FEMA: When disaster strikes, America looks to The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
FEMA has announced an Emergency Management Specialist vacancy in New York, New York.   
In this position, you would serve as a Lessons Learned Advisor in an incident support role during disaster activation.  Typical assignments include: Deploying to disaster field locations to plan and execute data collection plans during declared disasters.Validating observations and identifying cross-cutting themes related to the efficiency/effectiveness of programs. Developing common methodologies, tools, and processes to translate operational experience into institutional knowledge and foster continuous improvement. Facilitating periodic reviews (“hot-washes”)
To access additional information and to apply for the Emergency Management Specialist position, please visit:

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:

Assistance Needed for Local Veteran 
From Howard Goldin:  Craig Wertheim and I have created a Go Fund Me page for a 39 year old Iraq and Afghanistan veteran named SSG Nino Robivar Woo Atienza. He is 6 year Navy Veteran and is 13 years active National Air Guard stationed with the 105th Airlift Wing - Steward. When not on active reserve status, he works for the 105th in a civilian capacity equivalent to his military Job. On December 25th, 2016 Nino, his wife,18 year old daughter (who is an Freshman (ROTC) at Tampa College) and his 5 and 6 year old children learned that he has Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, Brain Cancer. Nino's monthly bills are around $3,900 a month and his sick time has run out as of February 3rd, 2017. There is NO INCOME coming in. The Rockland County Veterans community was able to help him pay his bills for last month, but he is really in need so please spread the word. SSG. Atienza has filed a claim with the VA for Burn Pit exposure, but as everyone knows, this could be a while with the V.A. 

If you have a Facebook account, please share this. If you belong to any organizations or people who might be able to help this family, please pass this information around. 

For further information contact Howard Goldin at or Craig Wertheim at  If you would like to make a donation to help this young veteran and his family, you can view the Go Fund Me link below:

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


Here are useful links from Army Echoes June - September 2017 issue - check out page 22:

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 Veterans 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: 

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  

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

The County of Rockland has no responsibility for any information, articles, events, or comments posted in our newsletters. The volunteers at New York Vets / RockVets will continue to publish the 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.

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

The RockVets Radio Show with host Jerry Donnellan, will air on the last Thursday of each month - right after the 9:00 a.m. newscast - so it will air from 9:10 a.m. to 9:40 a.m.  Tune in to 1700 on the AM dial. You can also listen to the show online at  This is a good opportunity for you to call in and ask questions about veterans or military issues, or to let the listening public know what some local organizations are doing in the community of interest to veterans.  To speak with Jerry during the show, please call WRCR at 845-362-0013.  

RockVets website:

RockVets newsletters:




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