[Editorial written by Jerry Donnellan....December 2015]
Since I didn't do well on what turned out to be my last day in the jungles of Vietnam, I spent the next year in an Army Hospital. I would get out occasionally on weekends and holidays.
Christmas 1969 was the first big family meal with all the relatives that I remember. The holiday might have a different name for you. However, I believe these dinners cut through every religion and nationality. I think we were all in the same place at some time or other after we came home.
By the same token, I don't know if any of us came all the way home or if it was somebody else that came home in our place. For those of us who saw combat I'm sure you've seen this. We had come from a reasonably normal society into a combat zone where, for a year we lived like animals hunting other people - killing them if you were good or lucky, while they tried to kill you. Then all of a sudden you were dropped back on Main Street as if nothing had changed.
Now at the ripe old age of 20 you're back and sitting around the Christmas table with relatives, trying hard not to say, "Pass the f____ng salt," while Aunt Grace tells you that you look different and asks you what skills you learned while you were in the Army, and that you should really be using the smaller fork for your salad. You secretly wonder what Aunt Grace would look like with a steak knife in the side of her neck. After all, that way you could demonstrate one of your new skills for everyone. Some at the table might even applaud, but you would mess up your Mom's new tablecloth, so that's out.
We move on to Uncle Charlie who spent World War II in Fort Dix, New Jersey. He never heard a shot fired in anger, but is more than willing to tell you about the real war and how he knows just how you feel.
Even the little kids in the family seem more annoying than usual…finally popping a balloon that goes right through you. You tried not to react but it isn't something you can control. Everyone gets quiet. Eyes dart around the room which makes you feel guilty.
So you need to get out of the house for a while and see some of your old friends. But they too are different. Your friends seem childish in a way. And the old joint where you always hung out is different. Kind of uncomfortable. Even though you're sitting with your back to the wall where you can see both the exits, while looking for something heavy that you could use as a weapon if trouble starts. What trouble? You're home. You just need to give it a little time. You'll get back to your old self again. Sleep would help. Remember sleep? And dreams that weren’t from Hell?
Well, a century has come and a century has gone and you're still waiting for that guy who went to Vietnam to come home. It's not going to happen. You don't jump at sudden noises as much - that's true. You don't have to have your back to the wall but you are more comfortable that way. And when was the last night's sleep you had? You don't drink as much as you did back in the day and surely you don't have PTSD….that's just for the weak or those who couldn't adjust or can't handle it.
You came home, went to school, got a job, raised a family or two. You're okay. Well, I hope you got it right. If you haven't, something spooky is coming. Retirement. You know that thing you've been told you're looking forward to? For a time it'll be great. Playing golf whenever you want. But even golf gets old. You can watch TV. The History Channel now has Vietnam in HD. I keep watching it to see if I can figure out what I did wrong.
You see, the problem is, nature hates a vacuum. And that nice brick wall you built in your brain to keep the demons back so you wouldn't have to deal with them, well, short term memory is the mortar in that, and it’s starting to crumble. It may be time to deal with them. May be time to deal with them before they deal with you.
Understand, I'm not a psychologist, psychiatrist, doctor, Hell - I'm not even a good patient! I have however, been working with veterans since World War II veterans were our age. They didn't have PTSD either - or shell-shock or battle fatigue - because that would have meant they were crazy.
First of all, PTSD or whatever you want to call it, like most everything comes in degrees. You can have it at 2%. You can have it at 100%. But I contend that no one who's been in combat isn't touched by it to some degree. If you weren't touched, that would be crazy! It is simply a normal reaction to an abnormal set of circumstances and, like any other ailment, if not treated, odds are it will get worse. Face it - you've been wounded. It's just as real as a bullet wound. Actually worse. Bullet wounds are easy. They're visible. They can be stitched up. If they don't kill you they get treated and heal.
This other thing is a psychic bullet. It doesn't leave a hole. But the spirit bleeds slowly. And yes you can bleed out. The suicide rate for our generation of veterans is up again. It's hard to wrap your head around the fact that something that hits you close to half a century ago is affecting you now.
Seems unbelievable. After all, that's why the first word is - Post.
[Editorial written by Jerry Donnellan....December 2015]
We are sending this December newsletter out earlier than usual, since some events for veterans will be coming up this weekend. Please RSVP as soon as possible to the events.
We wish all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!
Pearl Harbor Ceremony - December 2nd, 2018
Please join us for the annual Village of Suffern Pearl Harbor Ceremony which will be held at Suffern Village Hall Auditorium, 61 Washington Avenue, Suffern, New York 10901 on Sunday, December 2nd, at 2:00 p.m.
For further information, please contact Cathy Mills, Recreation Director, Village of Suffern, 61 Washington Avenue, Suffern, NY 10901 -- Phone: 845-357-7943, Fax: 845-369-3543 - e-mail: www.suffernny.gov or e-mail Cathy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program
Every year the Marine Corps League – Rockland County Detachment, participates in the annual Toys for Tots Program. The basic mission of the Marine Toys for Tots Program is to collect new unwrapped toys and distribute those toys to less fortunate children at Christmas. The primary goal of Marine Toys for Tots is, through the gift of a new toy, help bring the joy of Christmas and send a message of hope to America's less fortunate children.
Locally, Marine Corps League volunteers will be stationed outside the Disney Store on the 3rd Floor of the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, New York 10994. You can drop off new, unwrapped toys between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the following weekends: December 1st and 2nd, December 8th and 9th, December 15th and 16th, and December 22nd and 23rd.
Dinner & Winter Concert for Veterans - 12/3/18
The presence of your company (and a guest) Is requested at North Rockland High School, Hammond Road, Thiells, New York 10984. This is an evening of honoring and celebrating Our Veterans for all they gave and all they continue to give. Please join us on Monday, December 3, 2018 At 5:30 pm for a Holiday dinner Followed by our Winter ConcertNorth Rockland High School 106 Hammond Road Thiells, NY 10984. RSVP: Kathleen Sangen (842)942-3304 or Patty O’Sullivan (845) 942-3321
Montrose VA Nursing Home Christmas Show - 12/8
The next visit to the Veteran’s Nursing Home will be Saturday December 8, 2018. We will conduct a LIVE Bob Hope Christmas Show. Staring The American Bombshells.
All volunteers will muster (meet) in the lobby at 1130hrs (11:30 A.M. for you civilians) and report to Officer of the Day Kenny Schwegler in the Edison Room. This is a major undertaking on our part and we need a lot of help to bring the wheelchair patients to the show. This is a great way for you to help disabled Veterans. Without us helping them, many would be unable to attend the show. The nursing home is located at: 2090 Albany Post Road, (Route 9) Montrose, NY 10548. For further information, contact Commandant - Bob Hope Division Chip Hayes at e-mail: email@example.com.
West Point Arts and Crafts Center - December 5-6
Join the West Point Arts & Crafts Center for a special holiday crafting project!
Sign up for one of our sessions below and make a beautiful patriotic fleece lap blanket to be donated to our Veterans at VA Medical Center-Castle Point. West Point BOSS soldiers will be delivering 50 blankets made by YOU and your family to our Veterans to brighten their holidays and keep them warm. Each blanket will feature a handwritten note by the crafter to let our Veterans know that they are loved and thought of. We hope you will join us for this very special event and help us give back to those who gave so much.
Dates & Times : December 5th at 1200-1400, December 5th at 1500-1700; December 6th at 1700-1900
FREE to participate, only 50 crafting spots available, call to register today!
For more information, or to register, call 845-938-4812. Andrew J. Duffy, DFMWR, NAF Support Services Division, Building 681, Room 202, 681 Hardee Place, USAG West Point, New York (845) 938-8186.
Veterans in 2019 Congress
MilitaryTimes.com article - By: Leo Shane III
WASHINGTON — With Democrat Gina Ortiz Jones’ concession in the Texas 23rd district race earlier this week, all of the congressional elections involving veterans have now been decided.
The final results leave the total number of lawmakers with military experience for next year’s session at 95, down seven from the start of the last congressional session. It’s another decrease in veteran representation in Congress, a figure that has declined steadily since the mid-1970s.
At that time, the years following the Vietnam War, nearly three-fourths of lawmakers had served in the military. The 116th session will open with less than 18 percent of Congress boasting first-hand familiarity with the military. The number of vets in Congress appears headed down again. But the number of female vets in Congress is headed up, and 17 new veteran candidates won races on Tuesday.
However, next year’s Congress will boast the largest number of female veterans in history (six) and the largest class of freshmen veteran lawmakers in a decade (19). Nearly half of the veterans caucus served in the ranks after 2000, while four members still boast service from the 1950s.
Here’s a look at the group, by the numbers:
95 total veterans in the 116th Congress.
30 are Democrats, 65 are Republicans.
18 will serve in the Senate, 77 will serve in the House.
47 served in the military after 2000.
21 served in the military in the 1960s or earlier.
19 are first-time lawmakers.
6 are women.
50 served in the Army, Army Reserve or Army National Guard.
17 served in the Marine Corps or Marine Corps Reserve.
16 served in the Air Force, Air Force Reserve or Air National Guard.
13 served in the Navy or Naval Reserve.
1 served in the Coast Guard.
To read further and view the full list of veterans who are set to serve in the next Congress, which convenes on Jan. 3, 2019, view this link:
VA researchers named to TIME Magazine’s list of 50 most influential people in health care
VA Media Release, November 26th, 2018
WASHINGTON — Two research scientists with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) were recently named to TIME Magazine’s list of the 50 most influential people in health care in 2018. TIME Magazine honored VA’s Dr. Ann McKee and Dr. Tony Wyss-Coray among a roster of physicians, scientists, and business and
political leaders whose works are transforming health care approach and delivery around the country. To read further, please view link: https://www.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=5146
VVA Chapter #333 - Handcycle Program - Ongoing
Here is some information on the HANDCYCLE PROGRAM from Roy Tsudy of the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #333: Since 2013, VVA Chapter 333 has created their Handcycle Program. Roy, along with fellow chapter Vietnam veteran Marcus Arroyo (via fund raising along with donations) have purchased and donated 13 of these cycles to military veterans with leg amputations and / or spinal cord injuries. Unfortunately, due to strict adherence to HIPPA law, they cannot easily locate veterans who can benefit from having one of the hand cycles. They find the candidates via extensive research or word of mouth.
With that in mind, if you know of any veteran with combat related injuries who would like to own a Handcycle free of charge, please contact Roy Tschudy via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org so a proper vetting process can begin by both Marcus and Roy. Thank you. Roy Tschudy V.P. Chapter 333 V.V.A.
USIS-US Information Systems, Pearl River, New York has numerous jobs available and we appreciate their reaching out to our veterans. USIS is located at 35 West Jefferson Avenue, Pearl River, NY10965. Their website is: http://www.usis.net/. If interested in any of these positions, please send an updated resume to: Anjelica Pagnozzi - Recruitment@usis.net (845) 353-9248
USIS is hiring for the following positions:
•Accounts Payable Administrator (Entry Level -1-3 years’ experience, Pearl River, NY)
•Accounts Receivable Administrator (Entry Level -1-3 years’ experience, Pearl River, NY)
•Audio Visual Field Engineer (5 years’ experience, Metro NY Area)
•Audio Visual Project Engineer (5 years’ experience, Metro NY Area)
•Audio Visual Project Manager (5 years’ experience, Pearl River, NY)
•BICSI Instructor (Pearl River, NY)
•BIM Operator (3 years’ experience, Pearl River, NY)
•Craft (Electrical) Instructor- (Pearl River, NY)
•Data & Voice Technician (5+ years’ experience, Metro NY Area)
•Electrical Apprentice (Entry Level, Orangeburg & Metro NY)
•Foreman/General Foreman (15+ years’ experience, Metro NY Area)
•Journeyman Electrician (5+ years’ experience, Metro NY Area)
•Project/Field Manager(10-15+ years’ experience, Metro NY Area)
•Security Technician (3+ years’ experience, Metro NY Area)
•Service Support Engineer (3+ years’ experience, Metro NY Area)
•Tele Comm. Designer (5+years’ experience, Pearl River, NY)
Submit resumes and questions to: Anjelica Pagnozzi: email@example.com
Montefiore-Nyack Hospital, Nyack, New York 10960
See link for full listing and information about career opportunities at Nyack Hospital, Nyack, New York.
ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES AIDE (PART-TIME NIGHTS) - Nyack, NY Part Time
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATE – 5 DOCTORS - Nyack, NY Part Time
REGISTERED NURSE-RADIOLOGY - Nyack, NY Part Time
PATIENT CARE ASSOCIATE (PART-TIME DAYS) - Nyack, NY Part Time
PATIENT ACCOUNTING REPRESENTATIVE - Nyack Hospital - Blue Hill Full Time
ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATE, OBSTETRICS - Nyack, NY Part Time
CENTRAL STERILE TECHNICIAN - Nyack, NY Full Time
Target Stores Hiring for the Holidays: Target plans on hiring around 120,000 seasonal workers across the country for the upcoming holiday season, the company recently announced in a news release. Hiring events will be held Oct. 12 - 14 at stores across the country. Target says the events will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the potential for eligible applicants to interview on the spot and receive a conditional job offer.
NYC Green Book Online: The Green Book is the official directory of the City of New York. An indispensable reference guide for anyone living or working with New York City. Includes detailed listings of agencies. Website:http://a856-gbol.nyc.gov/GBOLWebsite/
JOB TITLE: Emergency Communications Operator
DEADLINE: December 3, 2018
SALARY: $40,443 salary non-negotiable
This position is covered by IBT Local 808 collective bargaining agreement
DEPT/DIV: Police Communications Unit
LOCATION: Long Island City, Queens
SUPERVISOR: Sergeant or Emergency Communications Supervisor
HOURS OF WORK: Varying shifts* *Must be available to work day, afternoon, or overnight shifts, including holidays and weekends as assigned.
The Emergency Communications Operators are responsible for handling both emergency and non-emergency calls for police assistance. When assigned to the Communications Center this position monitors and reports on alarms received through the integrated electronic security network in order to provide for the safety and security of the customers and employees of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and its affiliated and subsidiary agencies (MTA agencies) and the protection of the critical infrastructure of the MTA agencies. For further information, visit MTA job portal: http://web.mta.info/mta/employment/
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
Rape Crisis Services (Main)
Rape Crisis Services (24/7)
Home Health Care
Good Samaritan Hospital Emergency
Nyack Hospital Emergency
Mental Health Association of Rockland County
Mobile Mental Health
West Point (nearest military base)
New York National Guard (Orangeburg, NY)
Army Reserve (Orangeburg, NY)
Rockland County Housing Action Coalition
Meals on Wheels
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:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The volunteers at New York Vets / RockVets publish this monthly e-newsletter. We welcome your thoughts, questions, and feedback. E-mail: email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.