RockVets Newsletter
July  2023
Volume XV  Issue 7                                      Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988, then Press 1
Thunderstorms - July 2015 Editorial
Jerry Donnellan and Ducks

It's 4:21 a.m. on July 1st and an unusually heavy thunderstorm spooked my dog. So Ducks decided to spook me and now we're all up because, at 150 pounds, you don't ignore the dog!  

As I am waiting for the storm to pass I begin to think how funny it is that this driving rain brings me back to the Central Highlands of Vietnam long ago. Once the monsoons came in, everything came pretty much to a stop.  In the triple canopy jungle, that pouring rain made everything so noisy that it was a good idea not to move because you couldn't hear. Believe it or not, you couldn't smell and sense of smell is very important because it's one of the three senses that really work for you in combat, and they're usually heightened.

Your ability to see, even on a good day in that heavy jungle is very limited. Even something a few yards away could be invisible. So if your sense isn't working, moving is not a good idea because God knows what you could run into.

Strange now almost half a century has gone by since we sat cold and wet with no way to get warm. You only had the clothes on your back. Your poncho was pretty much useless because after a few days in the jungle it had more holes than a colander. So you sat, deaf and blind, hoping the enemy was also stalled in their position and just as miserable as you were. Funny how we had more in common with the NVA (North Vietnamese Army) than we did with our commanding officers who were sitting safe and warm in a barracks with hot chow somewhere in the rear - probably asleep at this time of day. We had far more in common with the bad guys than with our leaders back in Washington - even though back then a greater number of them were veterans.  In those days it was almost a pre-requisite to elected office to have worn the uniform.

It makes me wonder how much less concern there is in Washington today with so few veterans in our Congress. But still they feel they know best for our troops and what they're doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know the War is over but tell that to the young Americans that are still there.

One of the things that would help to keep you going back then, was knowing that troops in the past had gone through just as much, if not more, of this kind of misery. You could compare yourself to those who froze in Bastogne in the winter of '44 under General Anthony Mcauliffe, or farther back at Valley Forge in that awful cold. There's some solace on your part that you're part of a long line of Americans who stood up when needed and won the War and Freedom - but we didn't. Hell, we didn't even fight in a war.

The last war this country fought ended before I was born. Yet we keep sending troops to fight for some believable myth about saving the world. So here we are at the Fourth of July celebrating independence, and our friends in D.C. have a new phrase called "boots on the ground" - yet they have no concept of what those words mean. And when and if this is all done, will any Mother be able to say, "This that we have won, was worth my son?"

[Editorial written by Jerry Donnellan....July 2015.]
Operation Popeye -- Weather Modification Program
Make Mud Not War -- Operation Popeye

This may explain a bit about why 'Nam vets felt that monsoon season went on forever!  Operation Popeye -- a weather modification program in North Vietnam and Laos....1967 to 1972.

From the Office of the Historian: The Office of the Historian is responsible, under law, for the preparation and publication of the official documentary history of U.S. foreign policy in the Foreign Relations of the United States series.


274. Memorandum From the Deputy Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Kohler) to Secretary of State Rusk.  Washington, January 13, 1967.

SUBJECT:  Weather Modification in North Vietnam and Laos (Project Popeye)

1. The Department of Defense has requested our approval to initiate the operational phase of Project Popeye in selected areas (map at clip)2 along the infiltration routes in North Vietnam and southern Laos. The objective of the program is to produce sufficient rainfall along these lines of communication to interdict or at least interfere with truck traffic between North and South Vietnam. Recently improved cloud seeding techniques would be applied on a sustained basis, in a non-publicized effort to induce continued rainfall through the months of the normal dry season.

2. A test phase of Project Popeye was approved by State and Defense and conducted during October 1966 in a strip of the Lao Panhandle generally east of the Bolovens Plateau in the valley of the Se Kong River. The test was conducted without consultation with Lao authorities (but with Ambassador Sullivan’s knowledge and concurrence) and, to the best of our knowledge, remains unknown to other than a severely limited number of U.S. officials.

3. During the test phase, more than 50 cloud seeding experiments were conducted. The results are viewed by DOD as outstandingly successful.

To read full text of the Memorandum, view this link:
Historical Documents regarding Operation Popeye

Operation Popeye was a weather modification program used in Laos and North Vietnam from 1967-1972.   View this YouTube video explaining Operation Popeye:

Photo above credit to Popular Science Magazine -- March 20, 2018 edition:

VVA Magazine -- January / February 2023 Edition--with further information on Operation Popeye:
Upcoming Events

Here are some upcoming events:

Thursday, July 6th, 2023: Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #333, monthly meeting.  Board meets at 6:30 p.m.  General membership meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.  Meetings are held on the first Thursday of each month at the Kearsing-Edwards American Legion, Post #1600, 20 Station Road, Pomona, New York 10970.
Meeting is also available through Zoom link --

Topic: Ray Furlong's Zoom Meeting
 Time:  July 6th, 2023 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 630 567 5618
Passcode: 980722

One tap mobile
+16465588656,,89202249387#,,,,*513221# US (New York)
+13126266799,,89202249387#,,,,*513221# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 630 567 5618
 Passcode: 980722 
Find your local number:

Saturday, July 8th, 2023: 2023 Freedom Ride dedicated to Mario Scolaro, U.S. Army Veteran and Rockland County native.  Sponsored by The Ultimate Sacrifice Foundation on Saturday,  July 8th, 2023 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at  Clover Stadium - 1 Phil Tisi Way, Pomona, New York 10970.    See description below for further details and links.

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023:
Online Information sessions from the NYS Department of Veteran Service - VA Special Monthly Compensation (SMC) -- Tuesday, July 11th, 2023 at 11:00 a.m.
Do you have a disability linked to military service? You may be able to get disability compensation (payments) or other benefits. If you’re a Veteran with a disability we’ve concluded is the result of an illness or injury caused—or made worse by—your active-duty service (called a service-connected disability), you may be able to get special compensation to help with disabilities.  For further information and to register for the online event: '

Tuesday, July 11th, 2023:  Join AARP and VA for a Free Tele-Town Hall on PACT Act Benefits
Tuesday, July 11th, 2923 from 3:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m. Eastern.  This is an online phone event, there will be no video.  See details below.
AARP National Director Pete Jeffries will moderate the event, which will feature special guest John Boerstler, Chief Veterans Experience Officer of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). They will address your questions on how to obtain PACT ACT benefits and maximize retroactive benefits before VA's August 10, 2023, deadline.
Dial 1-833-998-1734 to participate.

Thursday, July 20th, 2023:  NYS Department of Veteran Service Presents Appealing Claims
Thursday, July 20th, 2023, 1:00 p.m. This is an online event. The New York State Department of Veterans' Services is New York's advocacy agency for all Veterans, Service Members, and their families. For over seven decades, the NYS Department of Veteran Service has connected generations of Veterans, Service Members, and their families and dependents to multiple economic, medical, and social benefits and services earned because of their military service. For further information and to register for the online event "Appealing Claims", please view this link:

Saturday, July 22nd, 2023:   Equine Retreat Days for Veterans:  You are invited to this FUN and relaxing day of "Hangin out with Horses!"  This is a Free Event and Lunch will be provided.  Equine Retreat Day for Veterans at Victory Hill Therapeutic Horsemanship in conjunction with MHA Dutchess and Orange.  Register ASAP.  Details and registration at this link:

Monday, July 24th, 2023:   Mark Woods, Jr., Director of Veteran Peer Services
Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program, is on the air!  Mark hosts a radio show on WRCR 1700 AM. The show:  Thank You For Your Service, will air once a month on the 4th Monday of the month, from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.  Veterans can call in and ask questions about Veterans issues.  The call-in number is:  845-429-1700.  Mark will discuss Veteran issues and events in and around Rockland County.  Please tune in to the show -- 4th Monday of each month -- 9:30 a.m. on WRCR 1700 AM radio.  
You can also hear the show live on WRCR's website:  For further information, get in touch with Mark Woods, Jr. Director of Veteran Peer Services, Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program, “Vet to Vet” -- Email:  
Office phone:  (845) 624-1366 ext 104  /  Cell phone: (845) 521-9440
You can access previously recorded episodes/podcasts at the following link:  For further information, get in touch with Mark Woods, Jr., Director of Veteran Peer Services, Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program, “Vet to Vet”  Email: / (Office) (845) 624-1366 ext 104 / Cell (845) 521-9440.

Thursday, August 3rd, 2023:  NYS Department of Veteran Service Present VA Education Benefits on Thursday, August 3rd, 2023 at 1:00 p.m.
Department of Veteran Affairs offers a number of education programs to those who have served, as well as eligible survivors and dependents of Veterans.  For further information or to register for this online event, view this link:

Monday, August 7th, 2023:  Join us for the next edition of Sergeant's Time. These monthly virtual presentations are open to all eras of Veterans and caregivers.
Description: "Monthly Virtual Presentations on Topics of Interest" Hosted by the Bronx Vet Center. Come to learn and ask questions! The Bronx Vet Center will host its next Sergeant’s Time online presentation on August 7th, 2023 from noon - 1:00 p.m.
To Register, please use this link:  Sergeant's Time Webinar Registration
For further information, contact Marco A. Bongioanni, MSEd.
Readjustment Counseling Therapist, U.S. Army Veteran, Bronx Vet Center
Office phone (718) 367-3500.....E-mail:

2023 Freedom Ride Dedicated to Mario Scolaro
2023 Freedom Ride. Event Information
Who: The Ultimate Sacrifice Foundation
What: Rockland Freedom Ride
When: Saturday, 8 July 2023 9am - 4pm
Where: Clover Stadium - 1 Phil Tisi Way
Pomona, New York 10970

The Freedom Ride is a scenic 60 mile motorcycle ride dedicated to the late Mario Scolaro, US Army Veteran and Rockland native. Mario had a vision before his passing to create an event to honor his fellow Veterans and our local law enforcement & first responders. He designed this ride to be something special for everyone in the area to enjoy, to remember those who serve this great nation, and to help our local community thrive. The Ultimate Sacrifice Foundation has proudly answered this call to continue his legacy and to support our local heroes!

Donations raised will go directly to helping our local heroes!

This is a community event and all are welcome to attend!  Following the ride we will have food, drinks, entertainment, activities for kids, and many local vendors displaying their goods and services.  We are currently looking for local support in the area to make this event a success! Please contact us if interested in becoming a sponsor, fundraiser, or vendor for the event.
  • Rider Pre-Registration Click here

Info for Riders:
Registration for the ride will be from 9am to 10am at Clover Stadium or in advance at the link above.  Donation of $20 for Riders and $15 for a passenger (includes entry into Bike Show after ride).  Kickstands up at 10:30am

Register to become a vendor!
Click here for Vendor Registration

EVENT FLYER - Download
Vietnam Veterans Chapter #333 Monthly Meeting

Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #333 -- monthly meeting is held on the first Thursday of each month, at Kearsing-Edwards American Legion Post #1600, 20 Station Road, Pomona, New York 10970. The Board will meet at their usual time of 6:30 p.m. with full membership meeting to start promptly at 7:30 p.m.  Veterans from all eras are welcome.

Topic: Ray Furlong's Zoom Meeting
 Time: July 6th, 2023 at 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 630 567 5618
 Passcode: 980722

One tap mobile
+16465588656,,89202249387#,,,,*513221# US (New York)
+13126266799,,89202249387#,,,,*513221# US (Chicago)

Dial by your location
        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)
Meeting ID: 630 567 5618
   Passcode: 980722 
Find your local number:

And check out VVA #333 website created and maintained by Debby Frank.  Here is a link to lots of great information such as:  V.A. Info, Officers and Past Presidents, Fallen Heroes, Our Members Then, Members in Action, Veteran of The Year, RockVets Newsletters, Watchfires, Pig Roast. Then, under the Column "MORE" on the upper far right side, Momentos at The Wall, Handcycles Program, 529 Educational Program, Merchandise, Jerry Donnellan -- Founder of Chapter 333, Scholarships, Applications, Gene Sullivan Service Award, VVA National Convention, 30th Anniversary of Chapter 333, Street dedication ceremony for one of Rockland's KIAs, James Margro, and so on.   Much thanks to Debby Frank for maintaining the website.  

Also, for those who have not done so yet, please send a picture of yourself in uniform so Debby can add it to the VVA website.  Send photos to
The VVA #333 website address is:

Joseph P. Dwyer Vet-to-Vet Events and Activities

Vet-to-Vet:   Special Events

Dwyer Vet-to-Vet Events and Activities

MEDITATION - Weekly - (M, W & F) - 9-9:30 am. Class elicits deep relaxation and helps reduce stress and anxiety with experienced Instructor Brett Cotter (Stress is Gone Founder and Author of 3 Keys To Managing PTSD). Online virtual event you can experience via Zoom. Meeting ID 983 8404 0455; Passcode: join or Click here for link:

VETERANS WALKING CLUB - Weekly - (Wednesdays) - 9:30 am at PALISADES CENTER. Meet in front of BRIDGES, 2nd Floor, next door to Autobahn Indoor Speedway. We will walk between 45 minutes to an hour. Join a fast pace group, slow pace group or walk at your own pace for however long you want. The mall offers us a comfortable indoor venue regardless of the weather outdoors where we can gather together in camaraderie and get some fitness and exercise while we get walking !

GENTLE YOGA - Weekly - (Wednesdays & Fridays) - 7-8 pm & again on (Sundays) 10-11:15 am. Virtual session via Zoom. Yoga is extremely beneficial for your physical and mental health. Instructor Mira Stangl is a 500 hour Yoga-Alliance Certified Teacher With Extensive Training in PTSD and Restorative Yoga. If interested in attending email Then you'll be registered to get invitations to each session.

QIGONG - Weekly - (Thursdays) from 9-10 am. (Ancient Chinese Exercise). Gentle meditative exercises based on the cultivation and refinement of Universal Life Energy known as Qi. Practicing this exercise reduces pain, stress and anxiety, improves physical fitness and improves immune function and vitality. Instructor Norman Galinsky, MFA has over 36 years experience in the art.  If interested in attending or have questions, contact Izzy Quintana at email:

Women Veterans and Health Care

Women Veterans and Health Care Information
Health care is an inevitable need for all. Women Veterans have unique physical, mental and spiritual needs that can be met through VA health care. Yet only 44% of women Veterans are currently enrolled in VA health care.  

Health care decisions can be overwhelming, and women Veterans might ask themselves “Where do I start?” The following guide gives useful tips on how to be informed about VA health care as a woman Veteran.

Attend the VA Women’s Health Reengagement Training (heaRT)
The VA Women’s Health Reengagement Training (heaRT) teaches women Veterans about their health services available at VA. In a single training session, women Veterans learn how to apply for and use the VA health services they earned and deserve. The trainings are offered virtually and in person on a variety of dates and times to accommodate various time zones and personal schedules. All women Veterans, whether or not they are enrolled in VA health care, are welcome to attend a VA Women’s heaRT session. Visit the VA Women’s heaRT website to register for a training session.

If you have any questions related to VA Women’s heaRT, please reach out to the training team via email:

Download the VA Women’s heaRT Handbook
The VA Women’s heaRT team offers this handbook containing extensive information about VA health care services for women Veterans. The handbook gives women Veterans in-depth details about:

  • Women Veterans and VA health care
  • Understanding VA
  • VA health care services
  • Enrolling in VA health care
The handbook is a great resource for women Veterans who have questions about a specific VA health care service or want to learn about what services are available to them. Using the training handbook, as well as attending one of the VA Women’s heaRT sessions, provides women Veterans with the optimal knowledge to confidently navigate the VA health care system. To download the digital training handbook, as well as other supplemental information for women veterans, visit the VA Women’s heaRT website here:

For further information regarding Women Veterans and VA health care:

Veterans Cost-of-Living Increase to their Benefits
Veterans set to see cost-of-living increase to their benefits.  Law guarantees Veterans receive a compensation adjustment next year
June 28, 2023
By Erik Dahlgren
Communications Specialist, Veterans Experience Office

On June 14, 2023, President Joe Biden signed into law the Veterans Compensation Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) Act of 2023, which directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a cost-of-living adjustment for Veterans benefits in 2024 equal to the COLA applied to Social Security benefits, as determined by the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The legislation, passed with bi-partisan support in the House and Senate, is an annual procedure for Congress but an important one, as it must be accomplished to ensure Veterans receive a COLA, and that it keeps pace with inflationary costs.

Which VA benefits will increase?
The COLA will affect certain VA benefits including, but not limited to: disability compensation, clothing allowance and dependency and indemnity compensation (DIC) for spouses and children.

While the exact amount of next year’s adjustment has not been determined, it’s based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI measures the average change in prices of goods and services to preceding years and is used by SSA to determine the annual COLA, which, by law, now applies to VA benefits as well.

The last adjustment in January 2023, which Veterans are currently receiving, saw an 8.7% increase following a second year of high inflation.

When can Veterans expect to see the adjustment?
Based on the timeline of previous years, SSA is expected to announce its 2024 COLA early in the next fiscal year, which begins on Oct. 1. VA will then set its compensation payment rates to match and Veterans can expect to see the new amounts starting with their January 2024 payment.

To stay informed on when the COLA is announced and what it will mean for your VA benefits, subscribe to the  #VetResources newsletter and #theSITREP podcast, where that topic and many more of interest to Veterans are discussed.
Make The Connection
Marine Veteran Is Nurtured by Nature After Injury
Make the

Courtney served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2013 - 2018.  View Courtney's story on you-tube video:

Courtney’s story of military service starts like a lot of Veterans’: “I graduated high school, wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do with my life,” she says. She talked with a Marine Corps recruiter and was in boot camp within three weeks, feeling intimidated and trying to find her place. Shortly after that, she was injured.

“Then that’s when everything really took a deep dive,” the Veteran administrative specialist recalls. Fitting in as a woman in the Marines had already been a challenge, and then being injured — “that’s something that’s just very frowned upon,” Courtney says. “I was losing friends. I was partying all the time. Pretty much doing anything to avoid my feelings.”

The injury, which required four hip surgeries to repair, hurt Courtney’s mental health as well as her physical health.  “It felt like I was not finishing the mission,” Courtney says. “I didn’t know who I was. I lost a lot of my identity.”

After she was medically discharged from the military, Courtney was automatically set up with an appointment at VA. She realized she needed the support and attended one-on-one counseling sessions. She was diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder and anxiety. “Treatments helped me a lot with trauma, especially any type of violence that’s happened to me, and also how to deal with stressors, anxiety,” she says.

For Courtney, who leads a busy and independent life, that has meant slowing down when she feels overwhelmed and making herself feel safe. “I grew up hunting, camping and fishing,” she explains. “I really love nature and spending time with my family in the mountains and just getting away from the city.”

In the slower pace of the great outdoors, Courtney looks for a spot by the river where she can sit, relax and listen to the sounds around her.   “It’s just the perfect peace and serenity that anybody could ask for,” she says. “I believe having outdoor hobbies really helps with my mental recovery.”

Combining time in nature and therapy still helps Courtney today. “Those type of things have really centered me and put me in a better place mentally,” she explains. “It’s such a relief for me to be able to go and have someone — other than my family or friends — someone else to talk to who can actually help me and give me really good advice,” Courtney says. “That’s something that I actually look forward to every week.”  “I’m so proud that I put myself back together and understand what I needed to work on to heal myself to live a better life,” she says.

Find resources and hear many more veterans tell their stories:
Become a 9/11 Day of Service Champion

Become a 9/11 Day of Service Champion:  On the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, we honor those who serve our country and join with them to serve our communities to make a difference for our neighbors in need and to rekindle the spirit of unity and service that swept our nation after that tragic day.

Americans of all ages and backgrounds are again invited to join and lead community service projects to honor the lives and service of those we lost on September 11, 2001. These civic champions will reach across party lines to seek opportunities to serve with neighbors and strangers alike to build important bridges in their communities. Projects will range from food drives and home repairs to neighborhood cleanups and disaster preparation activities, and more. Show your support in honoring 9/11 Day by becoming a champion.

All 9/11 Day Champions Commit To:
  • promoting 9/11 Day in their marketing channels and to their networks;
  • listing 9/11 Day volunteer opportunities in AmeriCorps Volunteer Search tool; and/or
  • using our social media toolkit to join the national conversation.

All 9/11 Day Champions Will Receive:
  • invitations to 9/11 Day planning webinars;
  • access to AmeriCorps national marketing materials;
  • opportunity to invite AmeriCorps leadership to your volunteer event; and
  • an exclusive 9/11 Day champions badge for you to post on your website.
Become a champion:
Respite Caregiver Support Program

Caregiver Support Program
Resource of the Month: July 2023
Respite Care

Respite is the Caregiver Support Program's (CSP) July 2023 Resource of the Month! Read below to learn more.

Being a caregiver can be rewarding, but it can also be stressful and overwhelming at times. Are you a caregiver feeling overwhelmed? Do you need a break? Consider respite. Respite is a period of rest or a break from caregiving. Whether for a few hours or days, respite can help you take time for yourself. CSP encourages every caregiver to incorporate respite into their lives. The benefits of respite are:

  • It helps to prevent burnout
  • It allows caregivers time to take care of their own needs
  • It provides a safe environment for Veterans
  • It allows caregivers to take a break and recharge
  • It supports self-care for caregivers

Learn more about respite by watching this video, reading this one-pager or contacting your local Caregiver Support Team (CSP)  team:
VA Podcast Network
Welcome to the VA Podcast Network
Learning new things while staying entertained has never been easier for America’s Veterans. The VA Podcasts Network offers a diverse selection of top-quality podcasts made with a Veteran community in mind.

Each podcast specializes on a different topic and covers gripping content that no Veteran should want to miss out on. Just click on the podcasts and listen to the wealth of knowledge that awaits to be heard.  This week's podcast is Borne the Battle #284: Empowering Veterans with the VA Health and Benefits App.   On this week's episode of Borne the Battle, host Pablo Meza spoke with Rachel Han from VA's mobile app team, who shared how VA is using apps as a digital bridge connecting Veterans to VA's benefits and services.

For more Borne the Battle episodes, as well as a variety of other Veteran-related Podcasts, view this link:

Another great site for information of interest to veterans is #SITREP.  Access videos on YouTube at this link:

And don't forget Dwyer Vet-to-Vet Podcasts:   Thank You for Your Service
Thank You for Your Service is a monthly podcast focusing on Veteran issues in and around Rockland County NY and beyond. Each episode will focus on different veteran issues, have special guests, and call-in questions. The show airs live on the 4th Monday of every month at 9:30 EST on 1700 AM WRCR radio. It is also available live via the WRCR website and Spotify.  To access previous and current podcasts, view this link:
Free Yoga, Fitness, and Meditation Programs for Veterans
Free Yoga, Fitness, and Meditation Programs for Veterans. Online, any time, any place, any device. Welcome to YFM. We're committed to fostering mind/body health through workouts that combine strength and cardio training with yoga and meditation. With hundreds of classes to choose from, and new classes launching every week, we have something for people at every fitness level.  Now, all veterans have access to our programming for free. We hope you'll join us. And we thank you for your service. Join YFM for Veterans. As mentioned in earlier conversation, pls see the link to the Yoga, Fitness, Mindfulness workshop.
Faces of Freedom -- Those Who Defend Our Country

Faces of Freedom -- Oral Histories and Portraits of the Men and Women that Defend Our Country

I never served in the military, and I never had to make the sacrifices US military veterans have made. I decided I wanted to do something to show my gratitude to our veterans and I began my project which I call Faces of Freedom.

The project consists of interviews and photographs. I meet with veterans, record their personal history, and take their photo. I print the photo in black and white, frame it and present it to each veteran at no charge. The interview covers each veteran’s life before, during and after their time in the service. Each veteran has the opportunity to make any changes to their bio before it is finalized. I make no money from this project and the photos are free to each veteran.

Currently these photos and bios appear on my website They also appear on my Facebook page and the photos and stories of the WWII veterans have been sent to the National WWII Museum for their archives. There are currently 80 interviews and photos on the website. I hope to make this into an exhibit for universities, high schools, community centers, libraries, etc. to help increase awareness of the 3% of the population who is doing the heavy lifting so the rest of us can enjoy all that this country has to offer.

Every veteran has a story. Some stories are about combat, some are about funny memories, some stories are sad, and some are about things accomplished after their military service.   All are about service to country and making sacrifices.

You have a story and I want to tell it to the rest of the people in the United States. Let’s pick a date and get together to record your history and tell it to our fellow citizens.

Walter Schuppe
Avon, CT
Phone:  (860) 558-1072

Book Proceeds Benefit Disabled Veterans
Please check out Vietnam veteran Roy Tschudy's book, "Endless." Roy is a past President of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #333, and writes about a variety of experiences that our Vietnam vets encountered.  As with all good books, be prepared to experience a lot of emotions with this: you will be intrigued, angry, surprised, maybe shed a tear or two, and laugh out loud at some of the shenanigans in this enjoyable tale of fact, fiction and myth. All proceeds of "Endless" go to help veterans. The book is available in paperback or Kindle edition from Amazon:
"Endless" is the second book authored by Roy Tschudy. His first book also had great reviews.
"Up Close and Personal" is available through Amazon as well.  
New Book by Johnny Joey Jones - USMC Sgt. - Afghanistan

This book by Johnny Joey Jones will be available on June 27th, 2023.  You can pre-order it now at the link here:
Unbroken Bonds of Battle

From book page on Amazon:
Life only really starts when we start serving others.  For many people, military service isn’t simply a job. It’s a ticket out of a lonely society and into a family of enduring bonds.

In over a decade of working with veterans, Johnny Joey Jones has discovered the power of battle-forged friendships. Suffering a life-changing injury while deployed in Afghanistan, he faced a daunting recovery. But coming home would have been much harder without the support of his brothers and sisters in arms.

In Unbroken Bonds of Battle, Joey tells the stories of those very warriors, who for years have supported and inspired him on the battlefield and off. Through unfiltered and authentic conversations with American heroes in every branch of service, Joey tackles the big questions about life, loss, and, of course, hunting.

Powerful life lessons are woven throughout these personal oral histories. Also included is a scrapbook of beautiful candid photographs from the lives of these modern warriors.

A gorgeous patriotic keepsake, Unbroken Bonds of Battle reminds us of the costs paid by those who defend our freedom through unvarnished, inspiring tales of friendship.
Employment Opportunities
VA Hudson Valley is hiring and enrolling!  Our Veterans deserve the best and we need your help to deliver that care for them. Please share with your networks!
Hiring: We currently have 100+ job vacancies posted on our USAJOBS page, available USAJOBS - Search
These include clinical and non-clinical roles at our campuses in Montrose and Castle Point, as well many of our 7 clinics throughout the Hudson Valley. Applicants can review the great VA benefits we offer, to include, compensation, leave flexibilities, student loan forgiveness, health care benefits and retirement benefits.

Some of the jobs we need filled urgently are:
  • Nurse, including all Specialties – Montrose Campus
  • Medical Support Assistant - Montrose and Castle Point locations
  • AC Mechanic – Castle Point Campus

Always accepting applications for Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurse and Certified Nurse Assistant.   VA wants to hear from you! If you have questions about any of the above positions, please contact or call 503-307-0193.  
For further information, contact Timothy J McGuigan, MS
, HR Senior Consultant, VA Hudson Valley HCS -- (503) 307 0193.

The Department of Civil Service:  The following examination announcements have been updated and added to our public website.  When filing your online application, please be advised that technical assistance is available Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Please be advised that you will need a personal ID to apply for Department of Civil Service examinations. If you do not have a personal ID, please create an account.  Here are some of the employment opportunity examinations coming up -- please view this link for further description of each position:

Open-Competitive Examination Announcements for:

Promotion Examination Announcements

Continuous Recruitment Examinations
The Department also accepts applications for most continuous recruitment examinations on an ongoing basis, with no application deadline.
  • Continuous Recruitment Examinations -

HELP Program – No Examinations Required
The Hiring for Emergency Limited Placement (HELP) Program temporarily removes the civil service exam requirement for more than 100 direct care, health and human services titles across State agencies for a 12-month period. To be eligible for jobs in the HELP program, candidates must meet the jobs’ minimum qualifications and any other conditions of employment. Candidates should visit the HELP Jobs Portal and use the candidate portal to apply for jobs in the HELP program.  
Check out HELP Jobs Portal here:

Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) Resources for Veterans
The Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) is committed to helping America's veterans and separating service members by preparing them for meaningful careers, providing employment resources and expertise, and protecting their employment rights.

FedEx Independent Service Provider
FedEx is looking to hire full time and part time drivers to deliver and pickup packages from Blauvelt, NY. Full time schedule is Monday – Friday and part time schedule has weekend positions available. Must be over 21 years old, have a clean drivers license, and be able to pass physical and drug tests. Background checks are also required. Salary for full time starts at $700 per week. Please contact 201-724-7781 to see if you qualify.

Office of Acquisition, Logistics, and Construction of the Veterans Administration:
The link below lists current positions have been announced for the Office of Acquisition, Logistics and Construction (OALC). This is not a complete listing of all Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) vacancies and may not include all positions announced for OALC. You may access VA recruitment information on the VA Jobs site at this link:
If you wish copies of announcements listed below, please contact the individual identified in the specific announcement.  Here is the link to the OALC Job Listings:

Montefiore-Nyack Hospital, Nyack, New York 10960
See link for full listing and information about career opportunities at Nyack Hospital, Nyack, New York.

Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern, New York.  Good Samaritan Hospital is affiliated with Westchester Medical Center.  See this link for available employment -

Rockland County Employment Information:
Here is a link to current job openings available in Rockland County

Rockland County Veterans' Credits:

New York City Civil Service Jobs, Tests, and Results as listed in The Chief:

MTA Metro-North Railroad has ongoing employment opportunities:
To apply for current jobs with the MTA, please go to the MTA Employment Portal at:

NYC Green Book Online: The Green Book is the official directory of the City of New York.  An indispensable reference guide for anyone living or working in New York City. Includes detailed listings of agencies. Website:
Rockland County Marine Corps League

Rockland County Marine Corps League regularly receives donations of handicap assistance equipment for disabled veterans from people who want to help. The donated equipment is available for free to military veterans and their families. The items include the following:

  • Motorized Wheelchairs
  • Manual Wheelchairs
  • Oxygen Generator
  • 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 Monthly Newsletter

RockVets is an Outreach program of New York Vets, Inc.,  a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization established in 1992, to advocate for those who have worn the uniform of the U.S. Military, no matter where or when they served.

The volunteers at New York Vets / RockVets publish this monthly e-newsletter.  We welcome your thoughts, questions, and feedback. E-mail:

We are not affiliated with any government agency such as the Veterans Administration, Rockland County Government, nor the Veterans Service Agency of Rockland.

Each month, our newsletter reaches more than 1800 local veterans or those who care about veterans' interests.  Please use this forum to let veterans know of any information, resources, links or events they might enjoy. Send information to or send us a note through our website:  Thank you for passing this newsletter along to other veterans.  

Our Mailing Address
New York Vets, Inc. / RockVets
P.O. Box 387
Tomkins Cove, New York 10986                                                           

Pat McGlade
Co-Founder / Director
RockVets Newsletters: New York Vets / RockVets Newsletters


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