RockVets E-Newsletter: May 2016 Edition
Veterans Service Agency of Rockland County, New York 
Jerry Donnellan, Director      Telephone: 845-638-5244 
Website: www:
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RockVets Newsletter

May 2016         845-638-5244
Volume 7
Issue 5



Vietnam ended for me on October 24, 1969 in a deafening orange fireball.  Officially, for the rest of the world, the war in Vietnam ended on April 30, 1975.  I've always contended that we were winning when I left - but that's up for discussion.  

The beginning of the war in Vietnam was not really clear.  Most people point to the Gulf of Tonkin incident in August of '64.  However, we had had advisors and special forces in Vietnam for years before during the Eisenhower administration.  So most folks fix the actual start of hostilities, if we're going to call it that, on November 1, 1955.  

There's been and will continue to be discussion on whether we won or lost the war.  It seems to still be up for grabs as far as arguments are concerned.

As a soldier of that war I can tell you we never lost a major battle.  Many point to the Tet Offensive as a turning point, which it was, but not because we lost.  We won every battle of that Offensive.  Even Khe Sanh, which began on January 21, 1968 that actually started about 9 days before what's known as the Tet Offensive, which began on January 30, 1968.  Khe Sanh was basically a head fake by General Giap, the head of the North Vietnamese Army, that then President Johnson fell for thinking he had to win or it would become his Dien Bien Phu, which was the 1954 battle that ended the French occupation of Vietnam when they found out the Vietnamese were pretty much unbeatable.  When I say Johnson fell for it, he moved troops, and equipment north to make sure we held Khe Sanh, which was near the DMZ in Quang Tri Province - thereby leaving other parts of the country shorthanded, which was just what General Giap had expected.  He thought that after hearing Johnson's speech the month before almost boasting that we were winning and it would be over shortly.  The quote that comes out of that speech was Johnson stating that he "could see the light at the end of the tunnel." Once Johnson mobilized things north, General Giap hit a number of other major cities on the Lunar New Year - January 30, 1968 known as Tet.  

American troops beat back the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops in every case.  Thus, the infamous Tet Offensive was a decisive military victory for the US.  However, a decisive failure politically for Johnson causing the country to turn away from it's soldiers.  Seeing them as losers even though they hadn't lost a battle.  Then President Nixon promised if elected, "I will end the war in Vietnam".  His former boss, Eisenhower had said the same thing about Korea - the difference being Eisenhower did it.

So in 1968 I voted for Nixon, thinking he'd end the war and in 1969 he sent me to Vietnam and continued to send young Americans until Vietnam ended Nixon.  Johnson and Nixon had a nice bipartisan loss.  But we the soldiers of that war took the hit.  We were the first American soldiers to lose a war since the Confederacy.  We were called baby killers, drug addicts, spit on, all manner of vile things thrown at us coming home.  Yes, it's all true.  there were some truly awful things that were done by the anti-war folks, many of whom had conned their way out of the Draft.  Things like sending notes resembling sympathy notes to the parents of soldiers who had been killed.  They would comb the obituaries, find a soldier that had died, and send a nice looking note, which said many vile things - calling their son a war criminal, saying he deserved to die, and you can imagine some of the others.

Not that anyone wanted to go.  But you had to be honest with yourself.  You could tell the rest of the world you were a pacifist this week.  I had and have some good friends who are pacifists but the difference is they are real pacifists and not just when it's convenient.  

In those days it was easy to beat the Draft - a note from a Doctor or working your blood pressure up past the point, or faking a hearing test.  It wasn't hard unless you had a conscience.  I knew if I didn't go, someone else would take my place.  That slot was going to be filled one way or another by some other mother's son.

Could you live knowing that you sent someone else to their death or perhaps being badly maimed?  I couldn't.  I still hear people bragging about how they beat the Draft.  I guess consciences aren't as common as I thought.

I actually started writing this to let folks know that there's an event at the Congers Railway Station on May 3, 2016 at 5:0o p.m.  Sean Magee, a local vet has been working on this program called, "Carry the Load," which helps us to remember the significance of Memorial Day.  

At this particular run, they will be honoring Vietnam veterans.  Our office has agreed to help.  Vietnam vets will be given lapel pins.  However, they need to register with our office.  We'll need to see a DD-214 and a copy of a Driver's license as proof of residency.  You didn't have to have served in country but you need to have served on active duty between November 1, 1955 and May 15, 1975.  That information can be faxed, emailed, or dropped off at our office.  

The "Carry the Load"ceremony is this Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016.

Jerry Donnellan, Director, Veterans Service Agency of Rockland
20 Squadron Blvd., Suite 480, New City, New York 10956
e-mail:, phone:  845-638-5244

Carry The Load  -  May 3rd, 2016

Carry The Load Event:  On Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. the Carry the Load team are honoring all of our Vietnam Veterans with a Lapel Pinning Ceremony at Congers Station Park. If you know any Vietnam Veterans, whether they served "In Country" or not, that served between November 1, 1955 to May 15, 1975, please let them know about this. 

Further details about the Lapel Pin for the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the Vietnam War are in the flyer below.  In order to be eligible for the pin, we need to have your DD214.  The Veterans Service Agency is coordinating with Sean Magee of Carry the Load, to determine the number of eligible veterans to receive lapel pins and verify their DD214.  Please send a copy of your DD214 to Jerry Donnellan at the Veterans Service Agency of Rockland, 20 Squadron Blvd., Suite 480, New City, New York 10956 or call the office at 845-638-5244 to verify your DD214 is already on file in Jerry's office, and be added to the list of those who will receive the lapel pin at the ceremony on May 3rd in Congers.  For further information, contact Sean Magee via e-mail at

Women's PTSD Group Starting Up May 5, 2016

VA Hudson Valley will be reinstating a weekly Women’s PTSD Group.  

Beginning May 5, the group will be held on Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. at the Montrose campus. Please note, this is not a drop in group.  Anyone interested should contact Dr. Yael Margolin-Rice at x2283. Robin Bell, LCSW, Executive Assistant to the Director, Hudson Valley Health Care System, 2094 Albany Post Road, Montrose, NY  10548 - Phone: 914|737|4400 - Monday, Thursday, Friday: Montrose,  x3375 - Tuesday, Wednesday: Castle Point, x4408

Tappan Memorial Day Parade - May 30th, 2016

The Carl A. Schelin American Legion Post 1271 will be holding its annual Memorial Day Parade in Tappan, New York on Monday May 30th. The parade will start at 11:00 A.M. on Western Highway at the German Masonic grounds, and end at the Tappan Reformed Church Green. The Post and co-host, the Volunteer Fire Association of Tappan, will be serving hotdogs and soda at the end of the ceremonies. All torn, worn or otherwise unservicable flags can be turned in to the American Legion Post for proper disposal. In addition new flags can be purchased. ALL ARE INVITED.  For further information, contact Nicholas J. McCauley via e-mail at:

Pearl River Memorial Day Parade - May 30, 2016 

American Legion Post 329 is hosting a Pearl River Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 30th, 2016.
Formation will start at 9:45 AM with the Parade beginning at 10:15 a.m. sharp from the former
HSBC Bank, now Niagra First Bank, across from the bowling alley on North Middletown Road. 
Members that desire to participate in the parade will march South to East Central Avenue and then down East Central Avenue to Braunsdorf Park in the heart of Pearl River.

This year’s guest speaker will be Jerry Donnellan, Director, Rockland County Veteran Services Agency. Jerry is a Vietnam Veterans and a resident of Rockland County. Please join us this day to solemnly remember and honor those individuals who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our great nation. If you do plan to participate, please RSVP by 10 MAY 2016 to e-mail: (preferred) or call Scott Rutter, Parade Committee Chairman, American Legion Post 329, at 845-709-4104.

Spring Valley Rotary - 4th Annual Motorcycle Run

Saturday, May 21st, 2016, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Join the Spring Valley Rotary Club for their Fourth Annual Motorcycle Run to benefit local veterans and The Headstrong Project.  View their website at:

Breakfast will be provided by their sponsor Locomotion Powersports. Registration from 8:30-9:30, KSU at 10 a.m. at 79 Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah, NJ 07430.  We'll take a beautiful ride through the Lower Hudson Valley and return to our starting point for some great food provided by Locomotion Powersports, and some raffles, a 50/50 and rockin' live music by Eighth Grade Science! $30 per Rider. $20 per passenger.  $20 non-riders, be at Locomotion Powersports by 1pm to welcome back the motorcycles, have some lunch and listen to some great live music performed by Eighth Grade Science.  For further information, contact Ron Hyman via e-mail at:

Upcoming Events

Monday, May 2nd, 2016:  May is Mental Health Awareness Month. NAMI Rockland is working with the County Executive, Rockland County Legislature, Local Towns and Villages, Libraries, local colleges and school districts to raise awareness and break down stigma through our NAMI Ribbon Campaign.  During the month of May NAMI Ribbons will be visible throughout the county in front of libraries, town halls, colleges, schools and parks!  In addition, mental health information will be available inside many of these venues.  On Monday, May 2nd, 2016 at 11:45 a.m., the Rockland County Legislature will host a press conference in front of 11 New Hempstead Road to officially recognize May as Mental Health Awareness Month.  The County Executive will be joining the Legislature and NAMI Rockland for this event, along with representatives of MHA, Jawonio, Rockland County Dept of Mental Health, VCS, Rockland Independent Living Center and others. The mental health of Veteran’s is a critical issue to be recognized by our community and our community leaders.   Location: County Bldg, 11 New Hempstead Road, New City, NY 10956.  For further information, contact NAMI Rockland at 845-359-8787 or e-mail: or

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016:  Carry the Load Event - honoring Vietnam Veterans.  Vietnam Veterans will receive a lapel pin at this event, but we need to have your DD214 on file so we can add you to the list of those eligible to receive the Vietnam Lapel Pin.  Send your DD214 to the Veterans Service Agency or call the office at 845-638-5244 to verify your DD214 is already on file in the Veterans' Office, and add your name to the list of those receiving the lapel pin on May 3rd at the Carry The Load event.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016:  The Rockland County Marine Corps League is sponsoring a one day bus trip to Quantico.  The bus leaves Kearsing and Edward American Legion Post 1600 at 20 Station Road in Pomona, New York 10970 at 4:00 a.m., will visit the Museum and returns home by 8:30 p.m.  For further information, contact Dale Robinson at

Friday, May 6th, 2016:  Jerry Donnellan will host the RockVets radio show at WRCR 1700 AM dial after the 10:00 a.m. news break. Listen to the live show - you can call in, ask questions, get information, and let the community know about events of interest to our veterans and their families.  The show is also available live at  The call-in number is 845-362-0013.

Saturday, May 21st, 2016:    Join the Spring Valley Rotary Club for their Fourth Annual Motorcycle Run to benefit local veterans and The Headstrong Project  The Run starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m.  Breakfast will be provided by their sponsor Locomotion Powersports. Registration from 8:30-9:30, KSU at 10 a.m. at 79 Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah, NJ 07430.  We'll take a beautiful ride through the Lower Hudson Valley and return to our starting point for some great food provided by Locomotion Powersports, and some raffles, a 50/50 and rockin' live music by Eighth Grade Science! $30 per Rider. $20 per passenger.  $20 non-riders, be at Locomotion Powersports by 1pm to welcome back the motorcycles, have some lunch and listen to some great live music performed by Eighth Grade Science.  For further information, contact Ron Hyman via e-mail at:

Saturday, May 28th, 2016:  The Bob Hope Division will visit the VA Nursing Home in Montrose.  Muster times 12:00 p.m. in the lobby. The VA Nursing Home is located at 2090 Albany Post Road, (Route 9) Montrose, NY 10548. For further information contact Chip via e-mail:

Monday, May 30th, 2016:  At midnight at Monday, May 30th, 2016, Watchfires will again be lit along the Hudson River.  Before the Watchfires are lit at midnight, services at each Watchfire location will take place around 11:30 p.m. Sunday night.  The fires will be lit at Clausland Mountain, Piermont Pier, Gene Levy Park on Route 45 in Pomona, Bowline Park in Haverstraw.  The public is invited to join the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #333 for this annual commemoration.  

Photo taken at Piermont Pier Watchfire - May 30, 2015.

Congresswoman Duckworth - Congressional Hearing

Congresswoman Duckworth was brilliant and brings to mind the fact that she is a real war hero. She held the rank of Captain and was a helicopter pilot. Her helicopter was shot down over Iraq and she lost both of her legs and the use of her right arm.  Mr. Castillo's business received $500 million dollars in federal business because he claimed he was a disabled veteran. Mr. Castillo's injury consists of hurting his foot while playing football at an elite college prep school!  He never served a day in the service of his country, but he claimed playing football at a college prep ROTC was the same as an injury in combat!
Watch what Duckworth says to Mr. Castillo, who has made millions from his "disabled veteran status," while real disabled veterans live under viaducts and in alleys because of what they saw or did in the defense of this nation.  Give her four minutes to set this guy up before belittling him in front of a congressional hearing. And the speaker of the meeting let her talk longer than allotted regular time.

Internet Scam Targeting Transitioning Marines

We want to make you aware of an internet scam that is targeting transitioning Marines... Marines are being told while attending their transition readiness seminar to post their resumes on "," which is where they are being preyed upon.  We have one Marine who is out $6k... fortunately, she banks with USAA and she should be able to recoup the majority of the money.  

Books for Kids

To all Marine Corps league Members and Members of the Military Order of Devil Dogs (MODD):  At the last meeting of the MODD, it was decided to help children in Rockland County improve their reading skills. We have been approached by teachers from an elementary school that requested we provide summer reading books for the children that are reading below grade level to encourage them to read more. Thus we are starting a 30 day fund raising campaign to raise money to purchase summer reading books for children in elementary school. We need help from the Marine Corps League and MODD members to place collection boxes at various businesses to collect money.  We only have a short time to gather the funds and purchase the books, so your help is needed. If you can help please call  or email me.  For further information, or to donate to this fund, contact John Leighton, Past Commandant, Rockland County Marine Corps League - Tel: 845-267-2350 - c: 845-521-5361 - e:
Dogs On Deployment 

Military members nation-wide confront a multitude of problems during their careers, the last thing they need to worry about is their pet's care during their service commitments. Dogs On Deployment is a 501(c)(3) national non-profit which provides an online network for service members to search for volunteers who are willing to board their pets during their owner's service commitments. Dogs on Deployment promotes responsible, life-long pet ownership by military pet owners by advocating for military pet owner rights, providing educational resources and granting financial assistance for military pet owners during times of emergency. Join Dogs on Deployment's mission in changing the lives of our military members and their pets.  For further information, visit their website:

Pictured above is Capt. Alisa Sieber-Johnson, founder of Dogs on Deployment.  She serves on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. She is a Marine Corps aviator stationed in San Diego, CA. She lives with her husband, Shawn, (who helps her manage Dogs on Deployment,) and six beloved pets. She is passionate about animal welfare and rescue, promoting responsible pet ownership and the military-pet community and aiding service members in need.

Employment Opportunities

CenterStar Property Group:  They are seeking a Super/Plumber to work at their facility.  For further information, contact Irina Lange via e-mail at:  Visit their website at:  CenterStar Property Group is a privately owned commercial and residential real estate development and management company based in New Jersey.

Salca Trucking, Inc.  There is an immediate need for two delivery truck drivers, for Salca Trucking, located in Blauvelt, New York.  This is a privately owned, local trucking company, in business for 60 years.  Their deliveries include delivering products (medical gases) to all four boroughs, as well as Rockland and Westchester.  Their trucks are Mitsubishi Fuso - Box Trucks.  Hours would be Monday - Friday.  There are medical/life insurance benefits, paid vacation, sick time, personal time, and a competitive salary.  For further information or to apply for the job, contact Olivia Coop via e-mail at: or Erica Gadler, Human Resources Manager, or phone:  845-398-1370.

Auto Mechanic - Letizia Brothers of Rockland:  Experienced Auto Mechanic wanted for Letizia Brothers of Rockland, located at 150 Route 304, Bardonia, New York 10954.  This is a local business for 30 years.
Foreign, Domestic and Classic Automobiles
- Mechanic should be able to perform all aspects of diagnostic and repairs.
- NYS Inspections, Tune ups, Brakes, Shocks and Struts, Exhaust systems,
- Wheel Alignments, A/C Service, Welding, Electrical Diagnostics
Looking for Mechanic with a passion for Automobiles, Salary based on experience and knowledge. 
Range of $18.00 to $25.00 per hour, Hours Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m.
For further information or to apply, call Tom Letizia 845 623-0019.

Smooth Ride Limousine Service in New City, are hiring chauffeurs and are interested in veterans to contact them. For further information, contact Nathan Zisser at Smooth Ride Limousine Service New City, New York 845-638-9110 or via e-mail:

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:

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: or call Jennifer at 845-624-0400.

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 Memorial 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 visit our website at: 

Warrior Games at West Point - Volunteers Needed

Calling all VOLUNTEERS! Registration is officially live, sign up to support our wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans from June 15th to June 21st, 2016 at West Point!
For further details on the event, please view this link:

For each volunteer, please use a personal email address accessible via your cell phone during the Warrior Games for the latest information via our customized mobile!  Follow the DoD Warrior Games Facebook Page for up-to-date information at Please send your inquiries about group and minor volunteer requirements to We look forward to working with you throughout this event. For further information, please contact: Crystal Arriaga, Volunteer Coordinator - Outreach - Joint Task Force, 2016 DoD Warrior Games XCorp Solutions Contractor
Mobile: 571-239-4063

VA Releases Apps for Women's Health 

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) offices of Women’s Health Services and Connected Care recently released two women’s health applications (apps) for VA and non-VA care team members – the Preconception Care and Caring4Women Veterans apps. Both apps provide important guidance in caring for and counseling women Veterans and are provided free of charge. Find the direct download links for Apple and Android App Stores on the Preconception Care and Caring4Women Veterans pages of the VA Mobile App Store. Since being released in December 2015, the apps have been downloaded by nearly 1,000 users. 

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, 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:
  • 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:

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


RockVets Newsletter  

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 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: 

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

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:

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