Christmas - Post Vietnam
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*****g 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.
After all, that's why the first word is Post.
Jerry Donnellan, Director
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland
20 Squadron Blvd., Suite 480
New City, New York 10956
Hudson Valley Honor Flight: Generation Bridge
Rockland Community College will hold a showing of Joe Allen's documentary, “Hudson Valley Honor Flight: Generation Bridge,” on Thursday, Dec. 3 in the Cultural Arts Theater at 6:45pm. The film is about taking World War II Veterans to Washington, D.C. to spend time at the monuments in their honor and then to visit local high schools to discuss World War II and the era it was fought in with high school and middle school students.
It’s gotten good reviews and many people have been inspired to either volunteer for Honor Flight or to take their dads or granddads on a flight or even sign up for a flight themselves. You can get tickets at:
Hudson Valley Honor Flight Luncheon
Hudson Valley Honor Flight will host their Lunch of Honor on Sunday, December 6th, 2015. It will be held at Anthony's Pier 9, 2475 Route 9W, New Windsor, New York 12553 from 1:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Join them as they honor our World War II and Korean War veterans for their courageous sacrifices on behalf of our country. Tickets area $50.00 per person, but $35.00 for veterans and active military. For further details, contact Christine Little at 845-458-1014 or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. View their website at: http://www.rockvets.com/Admin/hvhonorflight.com.
Enjoy spending the day traveling to Washington, D.C. as an escort to a World War II Veteran. Applications can be found on their website: http://hvhonorflight.com/how-to-participate/. For further information, contact Beth Vought, Executive Director, Hudson Valley Honor Flight via e-mail: Beth@HVHonorFlight.com.
Christmas Party at Veterans Nursing Home
A group of Hudson Valley Veterans, known as The Bob Hope Division will conduct their 7th annual Christmas Party at the Veteran’s Nursing Home, 2090 Albany Post Road, (Route 9) Montrose, NY 10548 on Sunday December 13, 2015 at 1 p.m.
They will give 50 patients an individually wrapped Christmas present containing any of the following items:
Batteries AA, AAA & D size, Socks, Pens, Pencils, Writing Paper, Picture frames 3x5 & 4x6, Game Books, Cross Word Books, Word Find Books, Sudoko Puzzle Books, Pocket Books, Nail Clippers, Nail Files, Phone Cards, Tissue (individual small packages), Playing Cards, Card Games (Uno), Scarves, DVD Movies old or new, T-Shirts, Hair Brushes, Tooth Brushes, Tooth Paste, Soap and White Socks (male & female.) They need your help collecting these items to fill the presents. Any donation of these items will be gratefully appreciated by the Veterans as they need these items to maintain their quality of life.
Collection point for these items will be the VA Clinic in New City (345 N Main Street, New City, NY,) the Kearsing Edwards American Legion Post, 20 Station Road, Pomona, New York 10970 or they will pick up the items anywhere you like, call 845 429-8860.
A wrapping party for the Christmas presents will be held on Saturday December 12, 2015 at the Kearsing Edwards American Legion Post, 20 Station Road, Pomona, New York 10970, 845 - 354 – 9785 at 1:00 p.m. and all are welcome to help us wrap the presents.
This is a great way for you to help disabled Veterans and you are welcome to join us at the VA Nursing Home to distribute the Christmas presents to the patients.
If you work in a store, office or building we request you to post this Notice for all to see and help us collect the items or if possible forward this Notice to your e-mail contacts. For further information, contact Chip Hayes at: Chip1440@lawyer.com.
Pets for Vets from Hi Tor Animal Shelter
Are you active Military, A Reservist, or a Veteran?
Hi Tor Animal Shelter honors the brave men and women of our Armed Forces with our military and veteran pet adoption program, which waives adoption fees for all dog, puppy, cat, kitten and rabbit adoptions to active U.S. military and veterans. Semper Fido!
Active military and veterans are invited to stop by Hi Tor animal Shelter and check out potential best friends. Adopters must provide a valid military ID card to be eligible; all standard adoption criteria apply.
Hi Tor Animal Shelter is located at 65 Firemen's Memorial Drive, Pomona, New York 10970.
Telephone number is: (845) 354-7900 or visit their website at: http://www.hitor.org/
Agent Orange: Alphabetized Ships List
This list is updated as of November 2015. The new additions include the Navy survey ships Sheldrake and Towhee, attack transport ship Okanogan, submarine rescue ship Chanticleer, destroyers Frank Knox and James E. Kyes, and transport ship General W. A. Mann.
VA also expanded the dates of eligibility for sailors who served on the destroyer Fechteler and said veterans may be eligible for presumptive status if they went ashore from the guided missile cruiser Dewey or attack transport ships Pickaway or Paul Revere during certain periods during the war. For further information, check out this link:
Affordable Senior Housing at The Hollows
A Recap of Affordable Senior Housing at The Hollows at Blue Hill, Pearl River
The Hollows at Blue Hill (Across Pearl River Hilton and Blue Hill Plaza) has three townhouse (avg sq. ft: 2,250), and one condo (sq. ft: 1,431) designated as Affordable Housing Units. Each unit is going for the below-the-market price of $260,832, where the average market price of similar unit is over $700,000.
Who is eligible:
Age 55 and over
Income test - annual household income of less than $79,040 (Based on HUD guidelines)
Assets test - less than $612,955
Orangetown residents for at lease 10 years will be given preference, follows by non-resident or recent resident.
Who will review your application:
The Rockland Housing Action Coalition, Inc. (RHAC) is appointed by the Town of Orangetown to review each application.
Important Dates for those who are interested and meet the requirements:
Nov 30 - Public informational meeting at 1730 @ Town Board Room at Orangetown Town Hall, 26 Orangeburg Rd., Orangeburg, NY 10962.
Application starts from 11/18 through 12/18, 2015.
A lottery will be held on 1/28/2016 to select those qualified individuals who are offer a chance to purchase one of the affordable units.
Questions about the application:
Please contact RHAC at (845) 708-5799, x203.
Go to email@example.com to download an application and other information about this program. Their phone number is (845) 359-5100. If you have no computer or are having problems downloading the application, please stop by our office for hard copies. Once again, we are located at 20 Squadron Blvd., Suite 480, New City, NY 10956.
Floor plan for each unit is available from the link above, these are brand new units.
The common charges for each unit is between $296 to $372 per month.
Estimated avg. annual real estate taxes are under $11,200.
Special Needs Housing for Veterans and
the Developmentally Disabled
Steward Redevelopment is a local real estate investment company which is focused on providing all inclusive therapeutic shared housing for New York’s special needs community. Steward Redevelopment acquires its units by saving properties from going into foreclosure and from becoming run down and forgotten dwellings which decrease a neighborhood’s property values and turns them into newly renovated gems. This allows the area to maintain its values, saves the homeowner from foreclosure, puts them in a better financial position as well the properties provide the perfect situation for giving those in need a place to live and grow amongst society. These properties are fully furnished and newly renovated single or multi family dwellings with all utilities and housekeeping included, rolled all into one low monthly below market rental payment. For further information, contact: Michael Fernandes, Managing Member via e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Steward Redevelopment and Recovery, 572 Waterbury Hill Road,
Lagrangeville, New York 12540. Main Office telephone number: (914) 380-3815.
Thursday, December 3rd, 2015: Rockland Community College Cultural Arts Theatre will feature a video about the Hudson Valley Honor Flight program. Rockland Community College will hold a showing of Joe Allen's documentary, “Hudson Valley Honor Flight: Generation Bridge,” on Thursday, Dec. 3 in the Cultural Arts Theater at 6:45pm. The film is about taking World War II Veterans to Washington, D.C. to spend time at the monuments in their honor and then to visit local high schools to discuss World War II and the era it was fought in with high school and middle school students. You can get tickets at:
Friday, December 4th, 2015: Jerry Donnellan will host the monthly RockVets radio show on WRCR 1700 on the AM dial. It is just after the 10:00 a.m. news break. You can call in and ask Jerry questions or share information about issues concerning veterans or our military community. The show also airs live online at: www.wrcr.com. It is also a great opportunity to tell the community about upcoming events your organization may be hosting. The call-in phone number is 845-362-0013.
Sunday, December 6th, 2015: At 2:00 p.m. the Village of Suffern will hold their annual Pearl Harbor Remembrance Ceremony at the auditorium - 61 Washington Avenue, Suffern, New York 10901.
Sunday, December 6th, 2015: From 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. Kearsing Edwards American Legion Post 1600 will host their Auxiliary Holiday Vendor Fair at 20 Station Road, Pomona, New York 10970. For further information, call 845-354-9785. The Legion Post is located off Exit 12 of the Palisades Parkway - next to Boulder Stadium. There will be holiday shopping with more than 14 vendors. A cash bar is available and football games will be on TV while you shop. There is also a 50/50 raffle offered. Some of the items for sale are Jamberry; Pampered Chef; Third Day Naturals; Art Designs by Barbara; Rodan & Fields; Pritchet Apiaries; Underground Finds & Furniture; Velvet Sky Jewelry; Pocketbooks, Crafts, and more!
Sunday, December 6th, 2015: The Wm. E. DeBevoise Jr., Auxiliary Unit 1682, has a fundraiser scheduled for December 6th, 2015 at the Sands Casino with a Tony Orlando Christmas Show. The bus will leave the New City Legion Post, located at Route 304 and American Legion Way at 9:00 a.m. and will return back at approximately 7:00 p.m. to the Legion Post. Donation of $85.00 per person is due by November 15th, 2015. Included is Roundtrip bus fare, $30.00 in bonus play, show tickets, sandwiches, wine and beer on the way home. Please make checks payable to: American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1682, Route 304 and American Legion Way, New City, New York 10956. For more information or to sign up, contact: Ellie Callahan at 845-623-0219.
Wednesday, December 9th, 2015: Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 333 will be collecting funds for their Hand Cycle program on December 9th, at the Palisades Center, 1st Floor, adjacent to Cheesecake Factory, from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Plumbing and Heating Company: This local plumbing and heating company is looking for service technicians. Candidates must have clear driver's license, and be able to work full-time, as well as overtime; must be in good physical condition as heavy lifting is required at times. Salary is based on experience. For further information, contact Joey via email: email@example.com.
The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army is an Equal Opportunity Employer that welcomes all veterans to consider employment throughout our Eastern Territory. Locally, The Salvation Army has its Territorial Headquarters in West Nyack and the College for Officer Trainining is in Suffern. Job postings may be viewed through our website at: https://careers-usesalvationarmy.icims.com/. For further information, please contact Sharon Reynolds, PHR, Human Resources Specialist at 845-620-7483, extension: 20483.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or call Jennifer at 845-624-0400.
American Paper Mills: Tarrytown, New York: Seekng Class A CDL Driver, TWIC card preferred, though not necessary. Local pick-ups, great benefits. Monday to Friday.
Maintenance and Cleaning for commercial buildings in Manhattan. Minor plumbing and electrical repairs. Call Mr. Kirsh - Monday - Wednesday between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. 212-730-9790.
General, Electrical, and Mechanical Contractor: DBE Certified for NYCT Contract.
Welder Needed in Brooklyn: looking for a welder for hollow metal doors and frames in a metal door company, Experience working in a door company is a big plus. For further information, e-mail: email@example.com.
Macy's: Macy's in Nanuet and Palisdes Shopping Center are currently hiring people for part-time and full-time positions in sales, as well as part-time positions in support. To complete an online application, visit: http://www.macysjobs.com/.
Greyhound - Now Hiring Motorcoach Operators in New York City
Free training (and money while you learn!)
Free travel passes
Comprehensive benefits including 401 (k)
Snow Removal/Heavy Equipment Operators - Top Pay for Seasonal snow/heavy equipment operators. CDL license Drivers, Fuel Truck Drivers. (HAZMAT/TWIC,) Spreader drivers (CDL B). Valid driver's license and able to pass background check. LaGuardia and JFK Airports and locations in Port Washington, Long Island. Apply: http://www.dejanaindustries.com/ or call 516-944-3100.
United States Postal Service: The US Postal Service is looking to hire veterans as well as other qualified candidates. Please check out their website for positions of interest to you: http://www.usps.com/employment.
5 yrs exp. Drivers License Required. Own tools & Van.
Brooklyn & Queens work. Please call 718-858-7070.
CENTRAL TRANSPORT - DRIVERS
WANT DEDICATED LANES & DAILY HOME TIME?
WE WANT TO TALK TO YOU!
Central CDL-A Company Drivers earn:
Up to $4,000 Sign-On Bonus
MONDAY - FRIDAY
8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
1500 New County Road Extension
Secaucus, NJ 07094
CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT/OPERATORS FOR SNOW REMOVAL
P/L, BOBCAT Operators/ Mechanics/Supervisors
JFK ,LGA, & EWR AIRPORTS
Work Storm hours only,
Time and a half after 40 hours.
Clean Criminal Background.
SECURITY - IMMEDIATE POSITIONS
$9/ph & up + Bnft (Hlth, Dent, bonus)
Must come in MonxFri, 9x5pm Bring
8hr pre, S.S.Card, DMV ID, 5yr hist
GED/HS. Defender Security 97-29
64th Rd, 2nd Fl., Rego Pk, NY 11374
Local Veterans' Organizations
For your information, here are the addresses for some of our local veterans' organizations:
- Rockland County Marine Corps League, P.O. Box 191, Haverstraw, New York 10927
- 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 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, Pomona, NY. 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
- Bath Chairs
- Transfer Benches
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.
Our best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
RockVets - A Project of New York Vets
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.
On the first Friday of each month, just after the 10:00 a.m. news-break, RockVets has a live call-in talk show on Rockland County's local radio station - WRCR 1700 AM dial. This live show is hosted by Jerry Donnellan. We encourage you to call-in and ask any questions you may have relating to veterans or the military. This is also a good opportunity to promote any upcoming events for your organization that would be of interest to the veteran/military community. The call-in number is 845-362-0013. Please note, WRCR is now on 1700 AM dial. The show is also live on the internet at: http://www.wrcr.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 20th of each month so we can get the information in the following issue. Send information to email@example.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
RockVets website: http://www.rockvets.com
RockVets newsletters: http://www.rockvets.com/newsletters