RockVets Newsletter
May 2021
Volume XIII, Issue 5


Editorial from Jerry's archives....May 2013

The photo is from the steps of the stone memorial, which connects the upper park with the lower park on the Hudson River in Nyack. I lived three doors down from that park - at 89 Piermont Avenue. The southern boundary of the park was what we referred to as the “brook,” which runs under the village from the old pond, a spot that is now the Best Western Inn. That brook isn’t natural...

In the early days of the Village history, that brook ran west from the old pond into the West Nyack swamp. However, an enterprising early Dutch settler changed the direction down through the village to help turn water mills, and help industry grow. Every few years Mother Nature shows us why she wanted the brook to go west and not east. You can see from the photo the eastern boundary stops well short of where it is today at the river’s edge. In the middle of the 1950’s the park was expanded aka - landfilled. You’ll also notice there’s no Tappan Zee Bridge. This was before the first one. I don’t even know if they had started discussing that yet. But it has been land-filled, and for that matter, most of Nyack east of Piermont Avenue is landfill. The property has changed hands over the years. The Depew family had owned it at one point and raised roses. There were green houses on the property at that time.

The Depew family gave the land to the Soldiers and Sailors Association, which morphed into what we know today as the American Legion – Post 310 on Piermont Avenue. Eventually, after WW I, the veteran’s organization deeded the park to the Village with the understanding that it would remain a park and not be used for any commercial purposes. The monument in the foreground was built in the 1920’s to honor those who had fought and died in WW I.
Nine trees encircle the Upper Park. They are in memory of the ten men from Nyack killed in World War I. Why 10 people but only 9 trees? Two of those killed were brothers -- Charles and Raymond Blauvelt. Today’s American Legion Post is named in their honor.

I don’t know if I was at that ceremony in the photo. At the time, I would have been a year and a half old. But I’ve been at a lot of them since, and the good Lord willing, I’ll be at the one this year.  Hope you are too.  [I am sure Jerry will be with us in spirit.]

Upcoming Events from Roy Tschudy, VVA 333 President

Upcoming Events from Roy Tschudy, President
VVA Chapter #333

I would like to ensure that each of you have been updated on current events regarding our Chapter along with items of interest. For those who have moved away from the area you should be aware that now you can still be a viable part of our chapter! Chapter 333 has purchased a Zoom account along with our very own Laptop computer to be able to present said monthly meetings to you via this venue. Having this as our own will enable each of you to still be in contact with chapter members, events and remain in the "Loop" on chapter matters.

In addition, I encourage you to visit our new and updated webpage courtesy of Debby Frank who has volunteered as our webmaster. Debby has assembled a site that is second to no other chapter! It is filled with the history of Chapter 333 inclusive of photos, Watchfires, Scholarships and a host of other important information. If you have not done so, and many have yet not, please scan a military photo of "you" in your uniform from back in the day and submit same to Debby to be included in the photo album. is the site for you to visit, to submit a photo or any other information you think needs to be posted, you can send to Debby at:

As all of us are aware, COVID has wreaked havoc on not only us veterans but our entire Country as well, the year past caused many cancellations for Chapter meetings along with other crucial interactions with our State representatives along with the National. Slowly we have begun to return to a somewhat "normal" state of being, this year we will be returning with our long tradition for ensuring the Watchfires will be taking place at the same locations as usual. All members along with family and friends are encouraged to attend at any one of the designated sites, this tradition should remain with us as long as possible!

In addition, Chapter 333 will be having our annual PIG ROAST/BARBECUE on the first Saturday in June which will be the 5th. Again, I encourage each of you to attend and enjoy a fun filled day with music from the band BEAUTY AND THE GREASE which is inclusive of two Chapter members Al Dagistino & Don Piller. A sign up list to assist in shopping, early morning preparation, servers/cooks and of course a day ending clean up crew. To be able to volunteer, one MUST be on the sign up sheet, otherwise just sit back and enjoy the festivities. The price is $25.00 per person (A Bargain!) and you can download/print the flyer as per our chapter website (

Chapter merchandise in the form of Sweatshirts, Golf Shirts and T-Shirts will be available for sale at the ridiculous low price of $10.00 & $5.00, Chapter 333 Challenge Coins will also be available to purchase for anyone interested.

In closing, I would like to wish each and everyone a blessed and safe Spring and Summer seasons, again, please consider to attend both the Watchfires and the Pig Roast. Lastly, stay involved with our (YOUR!) chapter via Zoom meetings which I will send to you prior to said date which remains the first Thursday of each month.

Legion Post 310 Plaque Dedication for Jerry Donnellan

Bronze Plaque To Be Dedicated at Nyack Memorial Park
From Izzy Quintana:  The American Legion CR&RO Blauvelt Nyack Post 310 which Jerry was a member of, does its best to honor and remember Jerry for all he did for us and all the veterans of Rockland County. Last year we had a banner made for him that hangs on Main Street in front of Veterans Park. I don't know if you had a chance to see it.  It will be displayed again starting in May from Memorial Day through November Veterans Day.

This year we plan to install and dedicate a Bronze plaque in his memory at Memorial Park where he used to play at as a child and a stone's throw away from the home he lived in growing up as a child. We would like to invite you and the entire VVA Chapter 333 which Jerry was instrumental in establishing, to be there and participate in the ceremony which will take place on Memorial Day, May 31st at 11:00 a.m.  The plaque will be placed in the Memorial area on the upper park near the World War I Memorial.

This our way of keeping Jerry's legacy alive and remembered for generations to come!
Let me know if you will be able to make it. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns regarding the event.  Thank You and Best Regards, Izzy

For God and Country -- Ismael (Izzy) Quintana  -- American Legion Nyack Post 310 Adjutant. You can reach Izzy at or calling his cell phone #: 845-587-6497

Stress/Anxiety Relief Class Available for Veterans
Contact:  Ismael Quintana -

Brett Cotter, author and meditation teacher with 20 years experience, is teaching a 4 week Stress/Anxiety Relief Class offered by the NEW YORK OPEN CENTER.   Veterans and First Responders get in for free using the coupon Code : NOSTRESS.

Brett is a member of the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, the National Center for Crisis Management, and his entire program is certified by the American Institute of Stress.

The Stress is Gone Method: The Keys to Transforming Anxiety into Clarity
A Weekly Class (4 Sessions) Wednesdays, May 12 – June 2, 2021, 7:00 – 8:30 pm ET
Here is the link to the class (normally costs like $150).

For further information, please contact Ismael (Izzy) Quintana
Veteran Outreach Coordinator, PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program
Rockland County (Vet to Vet) Cell: (845) 587-6497-- email:
Memorial Day Watchfires - May 30th

Watchfires are built every year at midnight on May 30th, the traditional Memorial Day, at four permanent locations in Rockland County, New York.  The locations are: Clausland Mountain in Orangeburg, Piermont Pier in Piermont, Bowline Park in Haverstraw, and Gene Levy Park in Spring Valley.

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.
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

Memorial Day Services -- Please check with your local Towns and Villages to get a full list of Memorial Day services in your area. Here are a few we know about:

Sunday, May 30th, 2021:  Memorial Day ceremony at Rockland's Vietnam Veterans memorial at Veterans Memorial Park in Orangeburg, New York.  The ceremony is usually around 10:00 a.m. but I can't confirm that yet.

Sunday, May 30th, 2021:  At 12:00 noon, the Rockland County Memorial Day Program will be held at Frederick Loescher Veterans Memorial Cemetery on Brick Church Road in Spring Valley, New York.

Sunday, May 30th, 2021: At approximately 1:00 p.m., there will be a ceremony at the Gary Onderdonk Memorial Cemetery at Rockland Community College, 145 College Road in Suffern, New York 10901.

Sunday, May 30th, 2021:  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.

Monday, May 31st, 2021: Memorial Park in Nyack, New York -- 11:00 a.m. Dedication of bronze plaque in honor of Jerry Donnellan.  Dedication will be in the upper level of the park located off Piermont Avenue with the Intersection of Depew Avenue, Nyack, NY 10960.
Sweeping Health and Benefits Changes Could Come Soon

Sweeping health and benefits changes could come soon for vets suffering toxic exposure ills
Leo Shane III -- April 2021.

Photo: A service member watches over a the burn pit in Al Anbar Province of Iraq in May 2007. (Cpl. Samuel D. Corum/Marine Corps)

Lawmakers on Wednesday launched their latest effort to piece together comprehensive legislation on veterans’ toxic exposure illnesses with the goal of providing a clear path forward by the start of the summer.

At a hearing on the issue before the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Chairman Jon Tester, D-Mont., said he wanted to mark up the package “before Memorial Day” and promised a “bold” new approach to getting more medical care and benefits to veterans suffering from illnesses connected to burn pits, chemical exposure and other potential poisoning while on duty.

“We must provide health care and benefits to all veterans suffering from the effects of toxic exposure, past, present and future,” he said. “It is the cost of war. That is pure and simple.”
Read more:

Traveling Veterans' Wall of Honor at Cornwall Public Library

Traveling Wall of Honor to Visit Cornwall Public Library from May 4th through mid-June, 2021.  All are welcome!

The Traveling Wall of Honor highlights the sacrifices made by the brave veteran heroes and role models throughout the 99th district and will be on display through mid-June.  A brief outdoor ceremony will be held on May 4th at 10:00 am. Registration is not required.

COVID safety protocols will be in place as you view the exhibit.  Acknowledgment to Assemblyman Colin Schmitt for spearheading this tribute.

Assemblyman Colin Schmitt has partnered with Carpenters Local 279, Laborers Local 17 and American Legion Post 1796 to construct a Veteran's Wall of Honor which is being proudly displayed across the 99th Assembly District. Assemblyman Schmitt founded the 99th Assembly District Veterans Hall of Fame Program and Traveling Wall of Honor to highlight the sacrifices made by the brave veteran heroes and role models throughout the 99th district.  The traveling Wall of Honor currently pays tribute to 17 local veterans including Cornwall-on-Hudson resident Daniel Clarino, USMC.  Assemblyman Schmitt's goal was to highlight our local heroes all year long in a public fashion and not just for a moment in time.

Assemblyman Schmitt is a Sergeant in the Army National Guard and State Assemblyman representing portions of Orange and Rockland counties. Colin served on federal active duty for the COVID relief mission and he and his wife, Nikki, are involved with their family's third-generation real estate business. Colin, Nikki, and their rescue dog, Quincy, live in Orange County. He was elected to the New York State Assembly in 2018 and re-elected in 2020.

For further information, please contact:  Brenda Goldfarb, Outreach Project Coordinator, Cornwall Public Library, 395 Hudson Street, Cornwall, NY 12518, 845-534-8282
email:  Cornwall Public Library website:

Current and Former VVA 333 Presidents And Authors
Books Authored by Roy Tschudy and Bill Winder
From Roy Tschudy:
The photo depicts two books -- "The Other Side Of the Nightstick" authored by Past President and current Chapter
Sgt.-at-Arms William E. Winder "Billy" and "Endless" written by current Chapter 333 President, Roy Tschudy, both published with Authorhouse.  Ironically, as you may or may not be aware, both Bill and I patrolled together many times both in uniform and also in plain clothes assignments for over six years mostly in "Da" Bronx assisting the public at large and effecting arrests along the way.

During that time in the 1970's neither one of us knew each one of us was a Vietnam veteran and did not find that fact out until many years down the road. If not interested in the purchase of "ENDLESS", at least please consider to do so for Bill's book titled "THE OTHER SIDE OF THE NIGHTSTICK". Our friend Bill is a true American hero.  Bill's exploits as both an honest to goodness heroic police officer and of course his service to our Country as a Marine Grunt who performed the unenviable task as a "TUNNEL RAT" during his tour of duty in Nam. Twice wounded in Vietnam and then a few years later wounded as an officer of the law, one would have to look far and wide to find someone as tough as our boy, Bill.

Easy purchase, Google Amazon Books, enter the name of William E. Winder and hit "search", the book will appear for your purchase. If you care to do so for ENDLESS, follow the same directions except enter my name. Thank you to my good friend and yours, BILL WINDER and congratulations for your work!
Vietnam: Sadly, the Gift that Keeps on Giving...

Note from Roy Tschudy, President VVA #333
Sketch created by Roy Tschudy

As always, it is my sincere hope that each of you along with your loved are in good health especially with Covid playing an active part in our lives. Regarding another health issue which all of us face at one time or another as the aging process confronts us is the need to have a COLONOSCOPY. I would like to believe that at this stage of our life we all have undergone at least one procedure over the past few years. For any who have not yet had a COLONOSCOPY or for those who have not had one performed in the past few years and are reluctant to do so, I am urging you to make an appointment and do so sooner rather than later.

I understand that some are reticent to do so for whatever reason and it is agreed it is not the most pleasant of experiences, yet please consider that early detection may be the difference between a long arduous road ahead as opposed to a procedure far less cumbersome which may indeed be a turning point that saves your life. The exam itself is a painless procedure due to an anesthetist who ensures you are basically put into a "twilight" mode of which the patient does not feel any pain or even discomfort. The procedure itself is relatively short, afterwards you are woken up and the best part for the guys is that you are actually encouraged to fart!  The toughest challenge in all of this is the preparation, The day before you will need to drink a mix of prescribed doses of bowel moving ingredients so the need to stay close to your throne is imperative.

Personally, I recently underwent a COLONOSCOPY, after review with the doctor more tests were ordered because he "saw something" that gave him concern. The next test led to a few more tests where I have now been found and diagnosed with Follicullar Lymphoma.
Being advised of this diagnosis via a phone conversation and directed to meet with an oncologist was not the best way to begin my day.

I am currently being seen at Sloan Kettering in the Montvale N.J. site, I remain positive both in body and spirit as this particular cancer is in an early stage.  But what if I had not decided to have my COLONOSCOPY when I did? I probably would be going along my merry way without any inclination what was happening to me. It is rather strange and I am glad to say, that I still feel physically able as if there was nothing wrong at all. Again, I am a blessed man with much to be thankful for in my life and have no complaints, God is good.

But as a friend to all, it is my duty to urge you to at least consider having a COLONOSCOPY performed, not only for you but for the people who love and rely on you also. Thank you for allowing me the chance to share a very important message, at least in my humble opinion.

Mysterious History from The History Channel

Starting at 10:00 p.m. on May 11th, 2021, The History Channel will be presenting an all-new season of America’s Book of Secrets.  

Here are some stories of interest they offered in their current issue of Mysterious History.  

During the tense period of the Cold War, the U.S. government sought to deploy a potent new weapon against the Soviet Union: mind-reading

In a highly classified project conducted first in a California research lab in the 1970s, and later at an Army base in Maryland, the CIA, Army and Defense Intelligence Agency recruited men and women claiming to have powers of extrasensory perception (ESP) to help uncover military and domestic intelligence secrets.

In 2017, the CIA declassified some 12 million pages of records revealing previously unknown details about the program, which would eventually become known as Project Star Gate. By the time the program was shut down in 1995, psychics known as “remote viewers” had taken part in a wide array of operations, from locating hostages kidnapped by Islamic terrorist groups to tracing the paths of fugitive criminals within the United States.
Read more: CIA ESP Espionage Cold War

Another story covered in their current issue of Mysterious History newsletter:

MK-Ultra was a top-secret CIA project in which the agency conducted hundreds of clandestine experiments—sometimes on unwitting U.S. citizens—to assess the potential use of LSD and other drugs for mind control, information gathering and psychological torture. Though Project MK-Ultra lasted from 1953 until about 1973, details of the illicit program didn’t become public until 1975, during a congressional investigation into widespread illegal CIA activities within the United States and around the world.

The Cold War and Project MK-Ultra
In the 1950s and 1960s—the height of the Cold War—the United States government feared that Soviet, Chinese and North Korean agents were using mind control to brainwash U.S. prisoners of war in Korea.

In response, Allan Dulles, director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), approved Project MK-Ultra in 1953. The covert operation aimed to develop techniques that could be used against Soviet bloc enemies to control human behavior with drugs and other psychological manipulators.

The program involved more than 150 human experiments involving psychedelic drugs, paralytics and electroshock therapy. Sometimes the test subjects knew they were participating in a study—but at other times, they had no idea, even when the hallucinogens started taking effect.

Many of the tests were conducted at universities, hospitals or prisons in the United States and Canada. Most of these took place between 1953 and 1964, but it’s not clear how many people were involved in the tests—the agency kept notoriously poor records and destroyed most MK-Ultra documents when the program was officially halted in 1973.    Read more:  MK Ultra

PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program

The Rockland County PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program "Vet to Vet" would like to invite military veterans of every era and their families which include their spouses and immediate families to participate in a variety of wellness activities and events occuring every week that will enhance their mental wellbeing and physical health. Many of these activities are social in nature, but all bring veterans together to bond and support each other. These activities include:


  • MEDITATION (M, W & F) from 9am to 9:30 am. Online
  • GENTLE YOGA (Monday) from 11am to12:00 pm and (Tuesday) 5:00pm to 6:00pm. Online
  • VETERANS WALKING CLUB at PALISADES CENTER (Wednesday) at 9:30 am. In Person
  • QIGONG (Ancient Chinese Exercise) (Thursday) from 9-10 am. Online
  • TAPPING aka Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) (Thursday) from 4 – 5pm. Online'
  • VETERANS WRITING WORKSHOP (Monday) from 6:30 - 8pm. Online
  • CREATIVE WRITING GROUP Every other Friday from 2 – 3:30 pm. Online
  • COOKING WITH THE CORPS Every other Wednesday from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Online

  • WELLNESS & RECOVERY VETERAN & FIRST RESPONDERS SUPPORT GROUP – Every Monday from 2 pm to 4 pm via conference call (caller can stay anonymous)
  • VETERAN & MENTOR SUPPORT GROUP – Every Tuesday from 10 am to 11:30 am via telephone conference call.
  • WOMEN VETERANS SUPPORT GROUP - Every 3rd (Thursday) of the Month from 8 to 9:30 pm. Online
  • VET TO VET ROUNDTABLE: LET'S TALK ABOUT SUICIDE (With Special Guest Speakers) - Held on the 22nd day of every month ( 22 veteran suicides per day )

We will soon be adding some outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, outdoor socials and more.   If anyone is interested in attending or have any questions regarding any of these activities or the Vet to Vet Peer Support Program in general, please contact Veteran Outreach Coordinator Ismael (Izzy) Quintana at
Ismael (Izzy) Quintana
Veteran Outreach Coordinator
PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program Rockland County (Vet to Vet)
Cell: (845) 587-6497
Employment Opportunities and Information
Manhattan Beer Distributors -- Offices in the New York Metro area with available positions in Suffern, New York and the Hudson Valley.  Over the past 39 years, Manhattan Beer Distributors has strived to become the premier full-service beverage company in Metro New York. We believe that each employee contributes directly to Manhattan Beer Distributors' growth and success.  We provide all employees with training and development as part of their career at Manhattan Beer Distributors.  We believe that it’s our commitment to our employees that has enabled us to remain one of the most respected beverage distribution companies in the country. Manhattan Beer Distributors offers its employees a highly competitive compensation package excellent employee benefits. Our goal is to provide our employees with a wide variety of benefits to assist employees in meeting individual and family needs. For further information, view this link:

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:

  • Handicap-Accessible van
  • 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 Rockland County Government nor the Veterans Service Agency of Rockland.

Each month, our newsletter reaches more than 1500 local veterans or who care about veterans' interests.  Please use this forum to let veterans know of any information, resources, links or events they might enjoy. Please send information to and feel free to pass this newsletter along to others who may be interested.

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

Pat McGlade
Co-Founder / Director

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