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

December 2017              
Volume 9
Issue 12


Desert Storm Vets

Hey Desert Storm vets — you guys are getting old — not quite as old as us guys from Gettysburg but by now you’ve got to be pushing 50 — you’re dragging it behind you.  I know when you came home you didn’t want to deal with the VA and that’s totally understandable, particularly if you have something small and what you thought was insignificant. You didn’t want to complain, especially after the big Welcome Home with all the flags and yellow ribbons.  I’ve actually heard from Desert Storm vets that they feel guilty because of the poor reception Vietnam veterans received. 

Well my friend, you can’t eat yellow ribbons. There are things that may not have hurt so much, that are maybe hurting worse now, or maybe something new is bothering you now — maybe secondary to something from back when. 

The good news is you can open or reopen a VA claim at any time until you’re dead.  The other good news is Gulf War Syndrome is still alive and well 30 years later.  You see, when the VA has a group of illnesses coming from the vets for a given conflict, rather than do the necessary research to figure out what it is, they take the easy way out — lump it together and call it a “syndrome.”

After Vietnam there was a Vietnam Syndrome which, among other things, included PTSD which hadn’t been invented yet, and TBI, which was not on anyone’s radar then, but they were all things the VA could spell!  I don’t remember if there was a Civil War Syndrome!

Anyway, Gulf War Syndrome includes Fibromyalgia, fatigue, internal gastric disorders.  Fibromyalgia is characterized by musculo-skeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep problems, memory, and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies pain sensation by affecting the way your brain processes the signal. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, joint disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and depression. 

I know that kind of sounds like my resume, but in there you may find something that’s bothering you.  So what I’m saying is, if you have  any of these ailments, and you feel they may have had their beginning in Desert Storm/Desert Shield, I would encourage you to submit a claim. 

Claims can be done online or you can simply Google VA form 21-526EZ, or get it at this link:  Print it out and follow the instructions. if you get stuck, let us know, and we can talk you through it.  

Just think about what was there —  oil fires, burn pits, and that ammo dump that we hit that contains Sarin gas at Kamisiyah. Originally the Department of Defense said that only a couple of hundred GIs were exposed to the 1991 blast, however, in 1996, with little fanfare, DOD said over 5000 GIs were exposed to the gas. Think about it. 
This will link to a New York Times article from October 1996 about Kamisiyah.

Vietnam -- The Gift That Keeps On Giving

“Cholangiocarcinoma” is the new silent killer that can lay dormant for decades. It comes from a parasite that is common to the rivers and streams of Vietnam. GIs would come in contact with it by eating raw or undercooked fish.  

Why did it take the VA so long to come forward with this?  Well, actually it was the Associated Press which first made the connection last year. That embarrassed the VA into doing a small pilot study this year where 20% of the blood samples came back positive for liver fluke anti-bodies. 

The VA, rather than getting the word out and encouraging vets to have ultrasounds and submit claims, has done their usual thing of trying to dodge the issue.  Unfortunately that’s what we’ve come to expect. They’re doing their best to stay under the radar. 

The vets who have found out about this and submitted claims, have been denied 80% of the time, further discouraging them from going forward. But you have to look at it from the VA‘s financial point of view.  The longer they stall, the more vets will die, the fewer will go for treatment or submit claims, and look at the money they'll save!!!

Credit Card Fraud

I have an American Express card. I know, who would be dumb enough to give me credit —  but this is serious.  The other day I received an email that appeared to be from American Express — all the logos, print type — anything you might look at and say it was kosher. 

The note in the email said that they were informing me that someone had tried to use my credit card for something that cost better than $600 and they had stopped the transaction and if I wanted more information, I could click on the box below. 

As I said, everything looked correct but there was just something a little fishy about it.  So instead of clicking on that box, I called the phone number that I have for American Express to see if this was a fraud.

Luckily I checked because it was — though it looked exactly like something that would’ve come from American Express.  Had I clicked on that box it would’ve asked me for information that I may have given them, thinking that they were the real American Express, and had that information anyway.   So I was just verifying the information to be correct. 

The message here is just be careful — even if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it may not be a Duck.

Upcoming Events 

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017:  Tricare Benefits Information Session for Active Duty, Retirees, Guardsmen and Reservists, Fed Techs who can use their Tricare Dependent family members.  Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Steward ANGB - Airman and Family, Family Readiness - Building 203 Classroom.  
For further information please contact:  Darrel Hutchinson, Sr., USFHP Health Benefits Consultant, TRICARE SME (646) 354-0126.

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017:  Legislature Phil Soskin has announced that on Tuesday night, December 5 between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., the Rockland County Legislature will honor Jerry Donnellan with the Distinguished Service Award. Legislature Soskin further requests that we notify all Veteran organizations and its members so representatives of these organizations will be there to witness this event. 

Saturdays and Sundays 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in December:  The Marine Corps League will be collecting gifts for their annual Toys For Tots Program. On Saturday - December 2nd, 9th, and 16th, and Sunday - December 3, 10th, and 17th - volunteers from the Marine Corps League will be stationed near the Disney Store at the Palisades Center Mall in West Nyack from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  They request that all gifts be unwrapped.

Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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 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

FedEx Ground -- Courtesy of Johnnie Walker, Chairman - Citizens/Veterans Advisory Committee...
FedEx Ground has positions available for part-time and full-time package handlers.  Interested candidates must be at least 18 years of age, and must be able to load, unload and sort packages, as well as perform other related duties. 
All full-time and part-time employees of FedEx Ground may be eligible to participate in the company’s benefits programs. FedEx Ground offers a comprehensive benefits program including:
•    Medical, Dental and Vision
•    Stock Purchase Plan
•    Tuition Reimbursement Program
Paid Time off Individuals interested in becoming package handlers will visit the FedEx Ground package handler job website and watch a three-minute virtual job preview video.  Once an individual confirms that he/she has watched the entire video and is interested in applying for a package handler position, he/she will be prompted to complete an application and an assessment questionnaire.
 We have two new mobile-optimized career sites:
•    Package handler positions:
Please feel free to contact Miriam Vicente at 732-650-1202 Ext. 135 if you have any questions.
Salvation Army, West Nyack, New York: 
The Salvation Army is hiring and looking for veterans to fill key positions. They have two on-call facilities/security positions which are linked here: 
Part-Time On-Call Facilities/Security/IT & AV Support:
Part-time On-Call Facilities/Security:
Please also see The Salvation Army's general careers page to view all of the positions they currently have (or in the
future).   The Salvation Army Eastern Territory Careers Page:
For further information, please contact: Melanie Stokes, PHR - Human Resources Recruiter
The Salvation Army - Eastern Territory Headquarters
440 West Nyack Road West Nyack, NY 10994
office: (845) 620-7483
cell: (845) 274-4287

Sierra Trading Post in Nanuet, New York: Thoms Belle is an Army veteran who is currently interviewing veterans for key positions with Sienna Trading Post which will be opening soon in Nanuet, New York 10954.  The company's goal is to hire outdoor minded people that would be able to help those new to the outdoors to ensure they have a great experience and continue to take part in it, as well as help the more experienced make sure they have what they need for their expedition they have planned. For further information, contact: Thomas Belle via e-mail:
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 -
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:

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.
The Memorial and Monument will be located in Haverstraw Bay County Park near the Rockland County 9/11 Memorial. We will keep you posted as to dedication ceremony for the Memorial.
Chapter 120 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart is accepting tax-free donations in support of this memorial and monument and providing a structure through which to coordinate and arrange for its construction.  For further information, please call 845-371-7605 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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