New York Vets/RockVets E-Newsletter: June 2015 Edition Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County, New York Jerry Donnellan, Director Telephone: 845-638-5244 Website: www:
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RockVets Newsletter

June 2015
Volume 6
Issue 6

Happy Memorial Day?

When I was a little kid in Nyack, I couldn't wait for the Memorial Day Parade.  I had a new bike - a two-wheeler, and I was going to weave red, white, and blue crepe paper in the spokes and ride at the end of the Memorial parade like the big kids did.  By "big kids" then, I meant 11 and 12 year olds!  I was all set to go when a cranky old veteran told me that Memorial Day was not about having fun.

The world has turned a couple of times since then and now that I'm the cranky old veteran, I understand, and I chafe when people wish me a "Happy Memorial Day," but, being now a man of peace, I just smile and nod.

Since World War II we have steadily drifted away from the meaning of Memorial Day.  In 1971 it became the Monday holiday, changed from the original 30th of May.  This made it open season on shopping and sales, and truly commercialized the day.  In 1973 the Draft ended, so fewer families understood military service and its costs.

In 1987, the Rockland County Vietnam Veterans came together and started the Watchfires.  We decided they should be on the traditional Memorial Day and not require a band, fireworks, or an audience, other than those who understood. Somebody actually told me they were inconvenienced.   It seems to have become a second 4th of July.

On Memorial Day, I saw that an ad was taken out by one of our local politicians, thanking the troops and veterans.  Of course, that was the small print.  The bigger part of the ad was a picture of himself.  That's all well and good, but it ain't about troops or veterans.

It's about those who are no longer troops, and didn't live long enough to be veterans.  But I guess they can't vote - except maybe in  Chicago.  That's not to say that the day has to be spent hanging crepe, or acting as if you're at a wake or sitting shiva.  But somewhere in the course of the day, take the time to remember, and tell the kids.

I've been to war and the short of it is, it's hard to know the true cost.  Trying to explain this is also hard.  Although it doesn't happen often, you know how you feel when you're at the Mall and someone stops and lets you take a parking space that they could have taken?  You think, "What a nice person."  You even tell your friends and family - maybe even for a day or two.

Well, the people we honor on Memorial Day gave up more than their parking space.

Jerry Donnellan, Director, Veterans Service Agency of Rockland - 845-638-5244 or e-mail: 



Moment of Levity:    

A Sailor and a Marine were talking to each other….the Sailor says, “You know, Marines are only a Department of the United States Navy.” “Yeah,” the Marine replies, "the Men’s Department!"


Veterans' Burial Information

For Burial In Rockland County

Rockland County is fortunate in that we have a local veterans' cemetery available to our veterans.  If you are a Rockland resident, and have your DD214/discharge papers, you may register by filling out an application. The cost of the plot is $135.00.  For further information, contact Robert Gruffi at  845-364-2958. 

For general questions regarding veterans' benefits, contact Susan Branam, Deputy Director, Veterans Service Agency of Rockland - 845-638-5244.

For Burial in a National Cemetery

Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our 131 national cemeteries with available space, (note: most of the National Cemeteries in NYS are full,)  opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances (view link below.) Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.

Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the Veteran, perpetual care.   The spouse or dependent's name and date of birth and death, will be inscribed on the Veteran's headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran.

The Veteran's family should make funeral or cremation arrangements with a funeral provider or cremation office. Any item or service obtained from a funeral home or cremation office will be at the family's expense.  See Holly Nevins information below: 

For funeral arrangements or pre-paid funerals contact Holly Nevins at .

Preparing in Advance

Gravesites in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance.

You should advise your family of your wishes and where your discharge papers (i.e. DD214) are kept. These papers are very important in establishing your eligibility.  You may file your DD 214 in the Rockland County Clerk’s Office at no charge to preserve it.  Rockland County Clerk telephone number:  845-638-5070.

To read further about veterans' burial information, click here.



Upcoming Events for June

Friday, June 5th, 2015:  RockVets Radio Show, hosted by Jerry Donnellan, will air just after the 10:00 a.m. news-break.  Please listen and call-in with any information you have to share with our veterans and the military community.  The show airs live on 1300 AM radio dial or on the internet at  The call-in number is 845-362-0013. 

Saturday, June 6th, 2016:  Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #333, will have their Annual Pig Roast from noon to 5:00 p.m.  The pig roast will be held at Kearsing-Edwards American Legion  Post 1600, 20 Station Road, Pomona, New York. Cost is:  adults $25.00 each pre-paid ($30.00 at the door,) children age 6-14 years of age $15.00 each, and no charge for children 5 years and younger.  For further information or to reserve a spot, please contact John Leighton via e-mail at:


Thursday, June 11th, 2015:  VVA #333 will present scholarships to the North Rockland Jr. NROTC at 6:00 p.m. at North Rockland High School on Hammond Road in Thiells, New York  10984


Thursday, June 18th, 2015:  Willis Polhemus VFW Post 9215 Upper Nyack, New York, along with The Rotary Club of Nanuet-West Nyack, and the Nanuet Collision Center in Monsey, New York, will hold their "Rescue My Ride" project of gifting vehicles to four veterans.  The presentation will be at 12:30 p.m. at Nanuet Collision Center, 417 Route 59, Monsey, New York  10952.  For further information, contact Guy Gebbia at 914-953-3370 or e-mail:


Sunday, June 21st, 2015:  At 11:00 a.m. there is a luncheon for veterans and their families to be held at Suffern High School, followed by a Concert at 2:00 p.m. by the West Point Concert Band.  If you would like to attend this event, please contact Richard Jarcho at 914-924-3249.

Sunday, June 21st, 2015:  The Jewish War Veterans and the Town of Ramapo present "Salute to Our Veterans and Our Flag."  This will be a Concert by the 48-piece West Point Concert Band and will be held at Suffern High School, 49 Viola Road, Suffern, New York 10901.  Doors open at 1:15 p.m. and the program begins at 1:50 p.m.  Free Admission.


Saturday, June 27th, 2015:  A group of veterans known as the "Bob Hope Division" will visit the New York State Veterans' Nursing Home on Saturday, June 27th at 12:00 noon.  During this event they will convert the nursing home into a casino, with six table games and horse racing.  They need dealers, pit bosses, and your help so the patients can fully enjoy the Casino event.  The nursing home is located at 2090 Albany Road (Route 9) in Montrose, New York  10548.  For further information, contact Chip Hayes via e-mail at:



Members of the Rockland County Marine Corps League - Memorial Day 2015

Rockland Community College - Continuing Education Course

SUNYRockland is offering free courses, available to veterans and the public, on ICD-10 Medical Billing and Coding.  Candidates must be unemployed or displaced, must provide valid identification verifying their date of birth, as well as a high school diploma or high school equivalency diploma.  (Personal interview with instructor may also qualify students.)

A growing number of knowledgeable health information technicians are needed to accurately prepare patient records for health insurance companies, regulators, courts, and consumers.  The cost of the program and all textbooks are covered by a grant through the Department of Labor.  Students may be asked to share the cost of the certification exam.  

Register for one of these courses:  July 6th, 2015 - October 28th, 2015 or November 2nd, 2015 - February 29th, 2016.  

To register, or for further information, please call:  845-574-4151.

Rockland Community College is located at 145 College Road, Suffern, New York 10901. 


R.C. Department of Health "Be Tick Free" to Prevent Tick-borne Illnesses

As you welcome the warmer weather and spend more time outside, be sure to protect yourself from tick bites.  If you do get a tick bite, watch for symptoms for at least 30 days.  Symptoms can include tiredness, headache, neck stiffness, slight fever, swollen glands, and pain or stiffness of muscles or joints.  Some people will get a pink-red rash that gets bigger, called a "bull's eye" rash.  If you have any of these symptoms or are feeling ill, see your doctor.

For further information, visit:





Employment Opportunities

Crosby Bros. Contracting - This is a landscape construction company in Rockland, who would like to hire a veteran for some outside and sometimes physical work.  If you are interested, please contact Brian V. Crosby via e-mail:    

Marsh and McLennan MMA is seeking veterans to fill various positions in their company.  To learn more about the career opportunities available at Marsh & McLennan Agency, please visit their website:



Local Veterans' Organizations

If anyone would like to make donations that benefit veterans in our community, here are 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


RockVets - A Project of New York Vets  

You can find information, useful links, and view our webpage at  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 1300 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. 

The show is also live on the internet at:

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:

RockVets newsletters:



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