RockVets E-Newsletter: May 2018 Edition
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RockVets Newsletter

May 2018              
Volume 10
Issue 5


Jerry's Editorials

As noted last month, we are re-running past articles that Jerry has written.  Jerry's sincere words are always worth reading again, such as this one from last September.

Understanding PTSD
Many of the people treating combat soldiers for PTSD may not really understand PTSD, and don't have a clue about combat. Therefore, they are turning away as many troops as they may be seeing. The Rand Corporation released a study reported by Tom Vander Brooke in USA Today - August 7th, 2017 issue. 

According to the Rand Corporation "immediate action should be removal of firearms.”  In combat your weapon becomes part of you, you're with people who love you and would die for you, and who are also armed. When you come back to this Alien world where you don't fit — where people aren't even willing to give you a parking space let alone their lives — you don't feel comfortable. Now you run into this nice person trying to "help" who has no idea where you have been for the past year, and is sure to drive the majority of troops away.  Those who do comply will turn in their registered weapon -- right after they secure an illegal, untraceable one, that they don't tell anyone about.

One of the other old tricks is the medication, Benzodiazepine. However, it ”can interact badly with alcohol.” Well, if you didn't drink before combat, you will after -- take it from the horse! I did an extensive study on the subject!

The Pentagon weighed in on this with "we remain committed,” and perhaps they should be! The Department of Defense could have put a major dent in this issue by just using the last month of the troops’ enlistment to do a reverse basic training, to prepare them to go back into civilian life.  And do that with counselors and doctors who are also combat veterans. See that they get their veterans' benefits and everything else they're entitled to, before they just walk out the door, which is pretty much the case now.

I'm guessing the average person assumes that one goes from the military directly into the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare system. That's simply not the case. Once one leaves the military they have to be proactive and enroll in the VA system. I have friends from Vietnam who still aren't enrolled in the VA system because of the lack of trust.

I know people want to help and God bless them for it, but as long as they're treating veterans like lab rats, there will be a resistance.  Maybe it's time to ask the rats, or at least see that the PhD's have C.I.B.s — because without that there is this condescension that keeps the vets away.  If not, we wouldn't be looking at 22 a day in terms of suicide, and 300 on death row.  

[Perhaps those who head up our Local, State, and Federal veterans' agencies should be required to have a Combat Infantry Badge - C.I.B.]

Why The VA Needs a Combat Medic

From The New York Post Editorial Board -- April 25, 2018

Senators considering the nomination of Rear Adm. Ronny Jackson to head the Veterans Administration should think about the hundreds of combat vets who’ve been inappropriately denied an opportunity to receive care for post-traumatic-stress disorder, urges Marc Thiessen at Fox News. That’s why Jackson’s selection “was so inspired,” he says. Fired predecessor David Shulkin was a hospital administrator and his predecessor was CEO of Procter Gamble. Yet “countless veterans fell through the cracks . . . on their watch.” But Jackson “has been a combat medic in the field treating severely injured warriors” in Iraq. Indeed, “no other nominee to run the VA has seen the plight of our wounded warriors in the war on terrorism up close like he has.” Says Thiessen: The VA “needs a leader, not a manager.”

[Since that Editorial was published, Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson has withdrawn as a nominee to head up the VA, but hopefully, the next nominee will be a combat veteran.]


Watchfires date back to our country’s first war and have been common to all wars since then.  General Washington used them to signal the ceasefire ending the REVOLUTIONARY WAR.  Reference is made to the use of Watchfires during the CIVIL WAR, in the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

Watchfires, 21 feet square at the base and 21 feet high were built in rows along the western shore of the Hudson River. Since 1987, Rockland County’s Vietnam Veterans have come together to build these Watchfires according to the military regulations and specifications of the 1700‘s.
Watchfires are built every year on May 30th, the traditional Memorial Day, at four permanent locations in Rockland County, Clausland Mountain, Piermont Pier, Bowline Park and Gene Levy Park.

The Watchfires are lit at midnight and burn for 24 hours, with veterans standing watch and changing shifts as they did many generations ago.  In Vietnam, the mountain tops were our base camps, a more secure area where a watch was kept through the night, and a special watch was kept when we had a patrol still out--so the symbolism--keeping vigil by the Watchfire for our fallen brothers, our lost patrol that still has not returned, and the patrols of past wars--back to our country’s first soldiers who fought along these very shores.

Before today’s Watchfires are lighted, a rifle with bayonet, boots, and a helmet are placed in a traditional ceremony to honor our fallen brothers. 
To commemorate the fallen warrior, an inverted weapon and bayonet--a tool of war and an instrument of peace-- is placed in the ground to symbolically mark the spot where our friend had fallen.

A pair of polished jungle boots, fully laced, is placed at the base of the inverted weapon to symbolize our brother’s place on Earth, where he had fallen while standing up for liberty, in the same manner as patriots of past wars who had also made the supreme sacrifice.  
Finally, the helmet is placed atop the inverted weapon to protect our brother and friend, for he would no longer suffer the pain of war.

Memorial Day Services  

Please check with your local Towns and Villages to get a full list of Memorial Day services in your area.

Sunday, May 27th, 2018:  At 12:00 noon, the Rockland County Memorial Day Program will be held at Fred Loescher Veterans Cemetery on Brick Church Road in New Hempstead, New York.

Sunday, May 27th, 2018: At approximately 1:00 p.m., there will be a ceremony at the Korean War Memorial at Rockland Community College, 145 College Road in Suffern, New York 10901.

Wednesday, May 30th, 2017:  May 30th is the traditional Memorial Day.  The Vietnam Veterans will burn the annual Watchfires at four sites, to remember those who never returned home.The Watchfires will be lit at midnight on May 30th at these sites: Bowline Park in Haverstraw, New York, Clausland Mountain, Orangeburg, New York, Gene Levy Park on Route 45, Pomona, New York and the
Piermont Pier - Piermont, New York. 

Jerry Donnellan Memorial Motorcycle Run 

There will be a motorcycle rally on June 2nd, 2018. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. for The Jerry Donnellan Memorial Run -  at Hudson Valley Harley Davidson, Route 304 in Nanuet, New York. Kickstands up at 10:30 a.m. sharp!  $25.00 per rider / $10.00 per passenger -- includes bagels, coffee, and tea in the morning;  and an After Party.  After-Party only - $15.00 wristband. The After Party starts at 1:00 p.m. and includes a BBQ and Music by Blue Sky, Raffle prizes, and a 50/50.  The run is sponsored by the Spring Valley and Pearl River Rotary and will benefit RockVets.  For further information, please contact Christine Bailey at 914-906-6373

They are looking for riders...Sponsors and raffle prizes
Please contact Doreen Buonadonna @ 845-825-0926 or by email
Or Chris Bailey @ 914-906-6373 or email
Platinum Sponsor: $1,000
Event Sponsor signage at registration table Sponsorship included in press release Sponsorship included on website
Sponsorship included on social media After event publicity
Sponsorship recognition on in store poster Entrance fee for 4 adults

Silver Sponsor: $250
Sponsorship included in press release Sponsorship included on website
Sponsorship included on social media
After event publicity
Sponsorship recognition on in store poster

Gold Sponsor: $500
Sponsorship included in press release Sponsorship included on website Sponsorship included on social media After event publicity
Sponsorship recognition on in store poster Entrance fee for 2 adults

Bronze Sponsor: $100
Sponsorship included on website Sponsorship included on social media After event publicity
Sponsorship recognition on in store poster

Please make checks payable to Pearl River Rotary and reference MC sponsorship level.
Any Donation is greatly appreciated.
100% of proceeds will go directly to RockVets. We thank you in advance for your support.

Employment Opportunities 

MTA Metro-North Railroad has the following opportunities:

Manager, Engineering Applications Management - The Manager, Engineering Applications Management (EAM) is responsible for the security, management, planning, research, development, training, support and implementation of Engineering systems and applications created exclusively for and required by the Engineering and Construction Department (E&C).  These systems and timely adoption of new technology has a major impact on the success of E&C's significantly expanded Capital, Operating and Special Programs. The Manager, EAM is responsible for the safe and secure passage of all Over-Dimensional/Overweight vehicles including the issuance of permits for such passage

Senior Safety Engineer - Safety Engineer directs and administers the safety program within E&C and is responsible for data compliance in the Capital and Operating (Major Maintenance, Capitalized Assets, etc) projects. Responsible for assuring compliance with contract and regulatory safety requirements and the implementation contractor H&S plans on multi-million dollar engineering projects at MTA B&T facilities. Oversees and/or manages the duties of independent safety monitor consultant, and monitors project budget, schedule, personnel requirements and technical activities to assure quality work.

Associate Engineer - The Associate Engineer Program is an MTA Metro-North Railroad initiative to acquire and train the future of our railroad. This program offers recent college graduates an opportunity to develop their management and technical skills through a number of challenging assignments and projects.  This eighteen (18) month training program includes on-the-job, technical and professional development training, with a requirement of an additional year in the role to apply one's learning.

To apply, please go to the MTA Employment Portal at:

VVA # 333 Annual Pig Roast - June 2nd, 2018

On Saturday, June 2nd, 2018, Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #333 will hold its Annual Pig Roast starting at noon and going until 6:00 p.m.  It will be held at the Kearsing-Edwards American Legion Post 1600, 20 Station Road in Pomona, New York 10970.  Children under 5 years of age -- free; $25.00 per person before June 1st.  At the door on the day of the Pig Roast - $30.00 per person.  There will be great food and beverages, music, and a fun-filled day for the whole family.  All are invited.  Make checks payable to VVA - #333 and mail to: VVA #333, Post Office Box 243, New City, New York 10956...Attention: Roger Dupont.  

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.
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 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

RockVets website:

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