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RockVets Newsletter
July  2024
Volume XVI  Issue 7

   Website:  RockVets.com                     Veterans Crisis Line: Dial 988, then Press 1
Thunderstorms
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.]
VA Extends Presumption of Service Connection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA CONTACT
vapublicaffairs@va.gov




VA extends presumptions of service connection for three new cancer types
06/14/2024 9:00 AM EDT

WASHINGTON — Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is including three new cancer types in the list of presumed service-connected disabilities due to military environmental exposure under the PACT Act. This announcement marks the continued commitment under the Biden-Harris administration’s Unity Agenda and the Biden Cancer Moonshot to support the nation’s Veterans.

Through a sub-regulatory policy letter published to the Federal Register, the following three cancer types have been included in the list of presumptive diseases:
  • Male breast cancer.
  • Urethral cancer.
  • Cancer of the paraurethral glands.

This policy establishes presumptions of service connection for eligible Gulf War and post-9/11 Veterans who deployed to Afghanistan, Somalia, Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, Uzbekistan, and the entire Southwest Asia theater of operations, which includes Iraq. Presumptive service connection means VA automatically assumes service connection for the disease and provides benefits to eligible Veterans who have submitted claims with evidence of a diagnosis.

"We are working with urgency to deliver on the promise of the PACT Act to provide health care and benefits to as many toxic-exposed Veterans as possible — we’re leaning in wherever we can," said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. "VA is working with one goal in mind: getting today and tomorrow’s Veterans and their families the benefits they deserve as fast as possible."

Any Veteran who currently has or previously had one of the listed cancers at any time during military service or after separation may be entitled to disability compensation benefits dated back to Aug. 10, 2022, the date the PACT Act was signed into law. VA will review all claims from impacted Veterans and survivors who previously filed and were denied for these three conditions on or after Aug. 10, 2022, to determine if benefits can now be granted. Veterans enrolled in VA health care can obtain cancer screening and treatment at VA, which recently announced expansion of cancer care services closer to where Veterans are.

VA has granted its 1 millionth PACT Act-related disability compensation claim and awarded over $5.7 billion to Veterans and survivors since President Biden signed the bill into law.
Veterans and survivors can apply or learn more about the PACT Act by visiting VA.gov/PACT or by calling 1-800-MYVA411.

There is no charge to file a claim with VA. For further assistance with the disability claims process, Veterans are encouraged to work with a VA-accredited representative or contact their state Veterans affairs office.

For more information about VA cancer care, visit cancer.va.gov.

Upcoming Events


Sunday, July 7th, 2024:  American Legion Post Charles N. Bajart, Jr. 1122 is hosting a free BBQ for Veterans and Seniors on Sunday, July 7th, 2024.  The address is 840 McLean Avenue in Yonkers, New York.  For further information and to RSVP, call:  914-447-0490.

Friday, July 12th, 2024:  Dear Fellow Veterans and Extended Family:   Join us for our Veteran’s Game Day Social Luncheon on  (Friday, July 1th, 2024) from 11:00am to 2:00pm at the Community Center Town of Clarkstown - Auditorium located at 31 Zukor Road, New City, New York 10956. All Veterans and their spouses, Caregivers and Gold Star families are welcome to join us to play games including BINGO and TRIVIA for prizes, socialize and have fun! This event is provided free of charge by the Rockland County Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program (VettoVet). There is plenty of parking available and the auditorium is very large with plenty of room for folks to spread out. Doors open at 10:40 am. BINGO Starts at 11am sharp. RSVP: Required especially for Lunch! There will be a sign-in table where you will pick up a ticket needed for lunch. Please contact Izzy Quintana at email iquintana@vettovetrc.org or call cell phone number 845-587-6497 to reserve a seat or if you have further questions.
Ismael (Izzy) Quintana, Veteran Outreach Coordinator.  Cell: (845) 587-6497
Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program Rockland County (Vet to Vet)


Saturday, July 13th, 2024 and Sunday, July 14th, 2024:  2nd Annual America the Beautiful Festival  
Presented by The Epoch Times and New Century Festivals, the 2nd Annual America the Beautiful Festival is Celebrating the Heritage of America and the Hudson Valley! 

It’s a free community event honoring Veterans, Military, and First Responders who have so dutifully served our great nation and region!

Featuring patriotic, family-friendly entertainment:
  • Saturday Headliner: Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra - #1 Polka Band in the USA
  • Sunday Headliner: Darryl Worley performing #1 Hits like "Have You Forgotten?"
  • Sunday Opener: DAVE BRAY USA - USN/USMC Veteran - "Music on a Mission"
  • Center of Influence Car Show Powered by U.S. Army - 12 People's Choice Awards on Sunday for the Top Cars, Trucks, Jeeps & Bikes!
  • 8x Grand Champion Miller's Backyard BBQ
  • Large FIREWORKS display in town on Saturday night
  • Historic Village & Reenactors
  • Live Music All Weekend, including regional favorites Will Hoppey, Mika Hale, Matt Tullar, Mark Lysogorski and Fiddle Frenzy
  • Kids Games & Playground

Live Music All Day • Honoring Veterans, Military & First Responders • Color Guard
BBQ Grill & Food Vendors • Historic Village & Reenactors • Kids Games & Playground
Fireworks --  Saturday Night
Event Hours:  Saturday, July 13, 11am-9pm / Sunday, July 14, 10am-6pm
At New Century -- Address:  517 Neversink Dr, Port Jervis, NY 12771
For more information about Sponsorship & Vendor Opportunities, please contact us at:
contact@newcenturyfestivals.com or 845-236-5535


Wednesday July 17, 2024:   Senator Weber's Veterans Advisory Council.
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. -- American Legion Post 1682
65 American Legion Way, New City, New York 10956
Senator Weber’s Veterans Advisory Council gives veterans an opportunity to come together
to discuss legislation that impacts them, quality-of-life issues, financial concerns, and more.
Pizza and soft drinks will be served courtesy of Senator Weber.  All Veterans are welcome to attend. We also welcome anyone who works/supports veterans causes or agencies.
RSVP at (845) 623-3627 or Weber@NYSenate.gov.

Various Dates in July and August 2024:
Virtual Overview of VA Benefits and Services
In partnership with Department of Labor, who has oversight of Off-Base Transition Training (OBTT), VA is offering a 45-minute virtual Overview of VA Benefits and Services workshop. This is a comprehensive overview of benefits and services provided by VA.

During this workshop you will learn:
How to access the benefits you've earned
Key benefit considerations
How to connect with VA
Dates:
June 25 at 2:00 p.m. ET
July 9 at 2:00 p.m. ET
July 23 at 2:00 p.m. ET
August 13 at 2:00 p.m. ET
August 27 at 2:00 p.m. ET
Join us! Register for our workshop or https://www.signupgenius.com/go/OBTT_VA#/

Saturday July 27, 2024:  Montrose VA Nursing Home Visit:  We will muster (meet) in the lobby at 1230hrs (12:30 P.M. for you civilians).  Thereafter, we will go to the wards and bring the wheelchair patients to Dean Martin Variety Show. We need all hands on deck so the patients can get to the shows.  Any youths you can bring to the Nursing Home to help, will receive a letter stating their Community Service.  This is a great way for you to help and entertain disabled Veterans. Without us helping them, many would be unable to attend the show.
Please NOTE: New Police procedures at the facility. Have a VA ID or Drivers license ready when you approach the gate.  The NYS Veterans Nursing home is located at: 2090 Albany Road, (Route 9) Montrose, NY 10548.  Chip Hayes -- email:  Chip1440@lawyer.com.

July 30th - August 3rd, 2024: Senator Bill Weber's Five Towns Blood Drive Challenge for the American Red Cross.  Help your town be crowned the winner, but more importantly, help save lives.  
American Red Cross Blood Drives will be held:
Tuesday, July 30th, 2024:  Town of Ramapo
Wednesday, July 31st, 2024:  Town of Orangetown
Thursday, August 1st, 2024:  Town of Stony Point
Friday, August 2nd, 2024:  Town of Clarkstown
Saturday, August 3rd, 2024:  Town of Haverstraw


THERE ARE TWO WAYS YOUR TOWN CAN WIN:
1 = The most units of blood collected
2 = The most newly registered Red Cross blood donors
DISTRICT OFFICE: 163 Airport Executive Park, Nanuet, NY 10954
(845) 623-3627.  E-MAIL: weber@nysenate.gov - WEBSITE: weber.nysenate.gov

f Senator Bill Weber
X @NYSenatorWeber
© @NYSenatorWeber

September 2024:  The Traveling Vietnam Wall is coming to Dutchess County in September 2024
My understanding is that the Traveling Vietnam Wall will be in Dutchess County at Bowdoin Park in Wappingers Falls, New York, right off Route 9.  The Wall is arriving  on September 17th,  assembly will be on the morning of the 18th.  It will open to the public beginning at noon on Wednesday, September 18, 2024.  It will be here until the 22nd and disassembled on the morning of the 23rd.  They need volunteers to assemble,  disassemble and to be there daily to assist the community in finding their loved one's name on the wall. They are also looking for Veterans to be at the  Wall on Thursday 9/19, and Friday, 9/20 because the schools will be attending and they are looking for escorts for the kids who can provide information and answer questions.  More information to follow as I get it.
Chester B. Edwards
Chairman Westchester Veterans Alliance, Inc.
COL, Ret. (NY State Guard), ENFN US Navy Combat Veteran (Vietnam)Member, NYS Veterans Hall of Fame (2023)914-260-2122 cell, 914-937-4443 home, CBEdwards6@gmail.com

Access PTSD Virtual Support Tools


Five virtual resources to explore on PTSD Screening Day
Access PTSD virtual support tools

June 27, 2024

Office of Connected Care


June 27 is PTSD Screening Day. VA encourages Veterans to get screened for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) any time they experience symptoms that could be related to PTSD and seek treatment if needed.

Veterans who would like to know more about PTSD and how to address it can explore VA’s virtual resources below.

What to do if you have PTSD

If you think you may have PTSD, the National Center for PTSD has a self-screentool to determine helpful resources to support you. While it is not meant to diagnose PTSD (only a health professional can do that), it’s a way to discuss the next steps with your VA care team.

The PTSD Decision Aid can help you figure out the best form of therapy for you.

"There’s a comparison chart to help you explore options so you can work with your care team to decide what treatment is right for you," said Dr. Sadie Larsen, psychologist at the National Center for PTSD.

Learn more about PTSD and how to treat it

How do you make sense of the information out there about PTSD? Check out videos with hand-drawn images that explain PTSD and ways to treat it.

The PTSD Bytes podcast discusses PTSD topics and virtual resources in 10-15 minute "bite-sized" episodes. You can also read the show notes, which have links to resources.

Access PTSD virtual support tools

The PTSD Coach app provides information about PTSD and tools to help address symptoms. Veterans who may not have a mobile device can try PTSD Coach Online, which comes with downloadable worksheets and checklists that cover managing stress, sleeping better and more.

Apps like PE Coach, CPT Coach and ACT Coach are considered treatment companions, enhancing your therapy sessions with a care professional, while others like the Insomnia Coach and Safety Plan apps may help you address related issues on your own. None of the apps replace treatment, but they can connect you to support resources like the Veterans Crisis Line.

Virtual resources for Veterans and family members

Supporting a family member with PTSD is not something you have to do alone. VA’s support resources like the PTSD Family Coach app and the CRAFT-PTSDonline course focus on ways family members can take care of themselves and encourage loved ones to seek treatment.

If you’re experiencing PTSD-related stresses like relationship issues, financial difficulties and others, the Moving Forward course helps Veterans gain skills to enhance resilience and optimism. Veterans can take the course on their own or work with a VA care professional.

Watch Veterans’ personal stories

Find solace in watching other Veterans’ experiences with PTSD on AboutFace. Another site, Make the Connection, also shares stories of Veterans who’ve faced challenges with their mental well-being to encourage you in your wellness journey. VA provides a variety of PTSD resources to help you in your mental wellness journey. To learn more about taking the next step, visit the National Center for PTSD. For more information on telehealth resources, visit the VA Telehealth Services page.

Read article online:
https://news.va.gov/132587/five-virtual-resources-on-ptsd-screening-day/

VA Enhances Claim Status Tool for Veterans

VA enhances claim status tool for improved Veteran experience
Veterans can now easily view their VA claim status online with the upgraded Claim Status Tool on VA.gov


June 19, 2024

Automated Benefits Delivery, Veterans Benefits AdministrationVA’s Claim Status Tool allows Veterans to quickly
view the status of their VA claim, decision review or appeal online through VA.gov. This free service allows Veterans the flexibility to access and monitor their claim online or from their mobile device 24/7. Veterans can select the time of day that best suits their schedule.


To begin, simply create a secure, personal online account on VA.gov using the free Login.gov or ID.me services. You can also sign in your account with your existing Login.gov, ID.me, DS Logon, or MyHealtheVet account.

Once online, you have instant access to view your claim, upload any required information and download available decision letters without having to wait for a person to process your request.  

Some new features include:
  • User-friendly interface: Easier to navigate and find what you need.
  • Real-time notifications: Get up-to-date information about your claim status instantly.
  • Mobile optimization: Manage your claim on your phone or tablet, from anywhere.
  • Clearer information: See your claim details presented more clearly, making it easier to understand the status and next steps.

This is one of several recent updates aimed to improve the digital self-service experience of the VA Claim Status Tool, making it easier to view and manage your VA claim and quickly locate the information you need online.  

These updates are part of VA’s commitment to provide Veterans with the best possible service and support.

Please visit the How to check your VA claim, appeal, or decision review status online page on VA.gov for step-by-step instructions on using the tool.
VA To Host PACT Act Events in All 50 States
VA to host PACT Act events in all 50 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico this summer to encourage Veterans and survivors to apply for health care and benefits

These events are a part of the PACT Act outreach campaign — the largest outreach campaign in VA history — which has driven historic applications for VA health care and benefits

WASHINGTON — Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced it will host the second annual PACT Act Summer VetFest — featuring more than 100 Summer VetFest events in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico — to encourage Veterans and survivors to apply for the health care and benefits they have earned under the PACT Act. These events will take place from June through August of this year.

These events will be casual, family-friendly gatherings featuring Veterans and their families, Veteran advocates, and the VA health care and benefits professionals who serve them. At the events, VA staff will be ready to help Veterans apply for PACT Act-related benefits (or complete a previous intent to file), enroll in VA health care, get screened for toxic exposures, and more.

In addition to hosting more than 2,600 events since the passage of the PACT Act, VA has also sent millions of letters and emails, launched a nationwide advertising campaign, and enacted the first-ever text messaging campaign to reach eligible Veterans. Key results from the ongoing campaign include:

  • More Veterans are applying for benefits than ever before: Veterans submitted 2,433,729 claims applications in 2023 — an all-time record by more than 39%. Thus far this year, Veterans have submitted more claims than last year at this time.
  • Veterans submitted record "intents to file" in 2023: Veterans submitted 2,299,815 intents-to-file in 2023 — an all-time record and 62% more than in 2022. VA is currently reaching out to these Veterans to encourage them to finish their benefits claims before their intents-to-file expire.
  • Veterans are enrolling in VA health care at the fastest rate since 2016: As noted above, more than 400,000 Veterans enrolled in VA health care over the past 365 days — a 30% increase over the previous year. This is the highest enrollment rate since 2016.

These numbers are only expected to grow due to VA’s recent expansion of PACT Act health care eligibility, which began March 5th, 2024. Under this new authority, all Veterans who meet the basic service and discharge requirements and were exposed to toxins and other hazards while serving in the military — at home or abroad — are eligible to enroll directly in VA health care, years earlier than called for by the PACT Act. This means that all Veterans who served in the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Global War on Terror, or any other combat zone after 9/11 are eligible to enroll directly in VA health care without first applying for VA benefits.

Veterans and survivors can apply or learn more about the PACT Act by visiting VA.gov/PACT, by calling 1-800-MYVA411, or by attending an upcoming outreach event. View the full list of upcoming Summer VetFest events.  

Two upcoming VetFest events in our area are:
Aug. 10-11, 2024, Montgomery, NY: Orange County Air Show
Aug. 17, 2024, Northport, NY: Northport VAMC & SPVA Veteran Appreciation BBQ
For more dates throughout the States, view this link:  
https://news.va.gov/131861/get-1-on-1-assistance-at-va-vetfest-events/

To read entire article, view this link:  https://news.va.gov/press-room/va-host-pact-act-events-in-all-50-states-veterans-healthcare-benefits/#:~:text=WASHINGTON%20—%20Today%2C%20the%20Department%20of,care%20and%20benefits%20they%20have
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.

VVA 333 will hold their usual monthly meeting on Thursday, July 11th, 2024.  The Chapter welcomes current, former and prospective VVA members to attend.  The meetings are held at the Kearsing-Edwards American Legion Post #1600, 20 Station Road, Pomona, New York starting at 7:30 p.m.  

NOTE: ZOOM IS AVAILABLE FOR THIS MEETING. SEE THE LINK INFO BELOW.
Topic: John Mastandrea’s Zoom Meeting 
Time: July 11 2024 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)  


Join Zoom Meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/6305675618?pwd=UVUzSXR0V2JkelJSeUtHZ3R3N2p0dz09&omn=89893724736

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: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kAooTO4Vk

Also check out the VVA #333 website created and maintained by Debby Frank.  Below 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.  

And 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 EJF308@aol.com.
The VVA #333 website address is:   http://vva333.com

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

Vet-to-Vet:   Special Events
THE ROCKLAND COUNTY JOSEPH P. DWYER
VETERAN PEER SUPPORT PROGRAM
WEEKLY ACTIVITIES AND 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: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/98384040455?pwd=djE3VGhUTDJzRU1HMEJ6bnJxa3E2QT09

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 iquintana@vettovetrc.org. 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:  iquintana@vettovetrc.org

America's First Woman POW in Vietnam

MilitaryTimes.com

She was America’s first woman POW in Vietnam — and was never found

By Claire Barrett
Monday, May 27, 2024

Dr. Eleanor Ardel Vietti was last seen alive on May 20, 1962. (Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency)

In the dense jungle terrain in Darlac Province, near the provincial capital of Ban Me Thuot, South Vietnam, American doctor Eleanor Ardel Vietti had found her calling to heal.
Yet that same calling led her to become America’s first female prisoner of war in Vietnam. To this day, Vietti remains the only American woman POW whose fate remains unknown.

According to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, 1,244 Americans are still unaccounted for in Vietnam. Fifty-nine civilian women were killed during the war.

Called to service, Vietti, alongside the Christian and Missionary Alliance and tribal nurses, worked to treat those afflicted with leprosy within South Vietnam’s largest ethnic minority, the Montagnards — a French phrase for "mountain people."  Within Montagnards communities the rates of the disease could reach a staggering 30 percent, among the highest in the world.

However, amid escalating tensions between guerrilla factions under Ho Chi Minh and South Vietnamese forces and their foreign advisors, the U.S. State Department cautioned all American expats to leave the country.  Targeted attacks against the Montagnards were also on the rise, but despite that and government warnings, Vietti and other missionaries — notably, Daniel Gerber, a member of the Central Mennonite Committee, and Rev. Archie E. Mitchell — believed they were in no inherent danger and continued their work within the Leprosarium compound.
The night of May 20, 1962, was one of the last nights Vietti and the two men were ever seen alive.

That evening 12 armed guerrilla fighters descended on the colony, tying up Archie Mitchell and Gerber, and ordering Vietti out of her house. Vietti and the other two captives were bound and taken away. With no ransom demands ever made, it remains unclear why the three prisoners were taken.

Mitchell, incidentally, was the lone survivor of the 1945 Japanese balloon-bombing attack off the coast of Oregon that killed his first wife, Eloise, and five neighborhood children. The Japanese strike was the only successful enemy attack on mainland America during World War II.

It seems likely that the Viet Cong raid was aimed at obtaining hospital equipment, with Rev. T. Grady Mangham, director of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, telling the New York Times in 1962, "I rather think they were in need of medical supplies."

Since that evening Vietti’s status remains "Unaccounted For," with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency concluding, "The three missionaries were forced to march south, and were eventually executed while in Viet Cong custody. The exact locations and circumstances surrounding their deaths are unknown."

Rumors remain about their status, with jungle tribesmen through the years claiming that they spotted a white woman with two white men. These assertions have never been substantiated.
Since 1994, the official position within the U.S. government has been that no American captured during the war remains alive.

To view story: https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2024/05/27/she-was-americas-first-woman-pow-in-vietnam-and-was-never-found/


NEWS | June 11, 2024
A New Podcast Highlights DPAA's Efforts to Account for Missing Personnel
By Sean Everette, DPAA Public Affairs

Washington D.C. –
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) launched its new podcast, Missing and Not Forgotten: Fulfilling Our Nation’s Promise, dedicated to the ongoing efforts to search for, recover, and identify Americans missing from the Nation’ past conflicts. Episodes can be found on DVIDS, Spotify, Apple Podcast, YouTube and Amazon Music.

DPAA’s media relations chief and podcast host, Sean Everette, will delve into topics including mission updates, new developments, current news, and more. With new technologies and forensic advancements emerging, DPAA’s podcast keeps listeners informed about the innovative approaches used in the noble mission to account for the Nation’s missing.

Read further:  
https://www.dpaa.mil/News-Stories/Our-Stories/Article/3802650/a-new-podcast-highlights-dpaas-efforts-to-account-for-missing-personnel/
Washington Appointed Commander in Chief
June 14th: The Birthday of the U.S. Army

The U.S. ARMY BIRTHDAY: America’s Senior Service

America's Revolutionary War began on 19 April 1775 with exchanges of musketry between British regulars and Massachusetts militiamen at Lexington and Concord. As their fellow citizen soldiers from New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island responded to the alarm, a state of war existed between the four colonies and the British government. Called the Army of Observation, a force of New Englanders surrounded Boston and had the British troops who occupied it under siege, but they needed help. They appealed to delegates who represented all thirteen colonies to join them in the struggle for American liberty.

When the delegates to the Second Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia on 10 May, they soon learned that armed men commanded by Ethan Allen and Benedict Arnold had captured the British forts at Ticonderoga and Crown Point on Lake Champlain in New York. The constitutional crisis, in which Americans sought a redress of grievances from the British king and Parliament, had become open hostilities. The delegates realized that even though many desired reconciliation, they would now have to address the new military situation. The Congress took the next step that eventually transformed a local rebellion into a war for independence when it established the Continental Army: the force we know today as the U.S. Army.

On 14 June 1775, Congress "Resolved, That six companies of expert riflemen, be immediately raised in Pennsylvania, two in Maryland, and two in Virginia… [and] as soon as completed, shall march and join the army near Boston, to be there employed as light infantry, under the command of the chief Officer in that army."

The delegates then prescribed an oath of enlistment that required the soldiers to swear:
"I have, this day, voluntarily enlisted myself, as a soldier, in the American continental army, for one year, unless sooner discharged: And I do bind myself to conform, in all instances, to such rules and regulations, as are, or shall be, established for the government of the said. Army."
The next day Congress voted to appoint George Washington "to command all the Continental forces" and began laying the foundation for "the American army."

With words that sound hauntingly familiar two hundred forty-five years later, "The delegates of the United Colonies … reposing special trust and confidence in the patriotism, valor, conduct, and fidelity" of George Washington, issued its first commission by appointing him "General and Commander in chief of the Army of the United Colonies, and of all the forces now raised, or to be raised by them, and of all others who shall voluntarily offer their services, and join the Defense of American liberty, and for repelling every hostile invasion…"

Resources

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 www.facesoffreedom.us. 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.

Regards,
Walter Schuppe
Avon, CT
Phone:  (860) 558-1072
E-mail:  walter11_22@yahoo.com

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:

https://www.amazon.com/Endless-Roy-Tschudy/dp/1524668516/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Roy+Tschudy+Endless&qid=1638898608&sr=8-1#customerReviews
"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.  
Employment Opportunities
BRIDGES has posted the Job Vacancy to hire a new Director for Veterans Services which includes directing the Rockland County PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Veteran Peer Support Program. Click on the BRIDGES careers website link for a job description or see attachment for a job description and duties and responsibilities.
https://www.bridgesrc.org/careers/

United States Postal Service:  Now Hiring.   Apply Now:  http://usps.com/careers
Requirements:  need to be 18 years old at the time of appointment or 16 years old with a high school diploma; United States citizen, permanent resident, or citizen of American Samoa or other U.S. territory; able to pass a criminal background check, drug screening, and medical assessment.  Bring your driver's license, education history with addresses, employment history for the past 7 years, and DD214 if you are a veteran.  In July there are two ways to learn how to apply:  In-person Hiring Workshop with On-Site Assistance to be held at the Suffern Post Office, 15 Chestnut Street, Suffern, New York 10901 on Wednesday, July 31st, 2024 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm.  Or join for an information zoom call:  Zoom every Thursday in July...anytime between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  

Hiring Veterans:  
Each week, we receive job announcements from employers and employment websites—including RallyPoint, RecruitMilitary, VetJobs and HireMilitary—looking to hire Veterans. This post contains links to job listings for the week of June 24, 2024. Each week, we’ll continue to post relevant and timely listings as we receive them, and for the locations listed.  Check this link for further information:  https://news.va.gov/132471/hiring-veterans-jobs-of-the-week-for-june-24/

CHORE
CHORE helps people maintain the independence of living at home by providing free minor household repairs and home improvements that make living at home safe. CHORE is always looking for volunteers that have experience in minor home repairs/improvements and electric work. Interested volunteers may submit resumes to Sue Cibirka at scibirka@bridgesrc.org or call at 624-1366 ex 101.

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 Timothy.McGuigan@va.gov or call 503-307-0193.  
For further information, contact Timothy J McGuigan, MS
, HR Senior Consultant, VA Hudson Valley HCS -- (503) 307 0193. VISN2HRSBUHudsonValley@va.gov

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 NY.gov ID to apply for Department of Civil Service examinations. If you do not have a personal NY.gov 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:

Continuous Recruitment Examinations
The Department also accepts applications for most continuous recruitment examinations on an ongoing basis, with no application deadline.
  • Continuous Recruitment Examinations -
              https://www.cs.ny.gov/jobseeker/public/cr.cfm

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:
    https://www.cs.ny.gov/help/

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.
https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/4624

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: https://www.va.gov/jobs/
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:   
https://www.va.gov/oalc/career.asp

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

Good Samaritan Hospital, Suffern, New York.  Good Samaritan Hospital is affiliated with Westchester Medical Center.  See this link for available employment - https://wmchealthjobs.org/search-jobs/

Rockland County Employment Information:
Here is a link to current job openings available in Rockland County
http://rocklandgov.com/departments/personnel/job-opportunities/

Rockland County Veterans' Credits:
http://rocklandgov.com/files/8115/1120/9567/Veterans_Credit_Info.pdf

New York City Civil Service Jobs, Tests, and Results as listed in The Chief:
http://thechiefleader.com/news/civil_service/

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

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: http://a856-gbol.nyc.gov/GBOLWebsite/
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 John Leighton of the Rockland County Marine Corps League - 845-521-5361 or via email: jhleighton@att.net.
RockVets Monthly E-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: NewYorkVets@gmail.com.

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 NewYorkVets@gmail.com or send us a note through our website:  https://newyorkvets.org.  Thank you for passing this newsletter along to other veterans or those who care.

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

Pat McGlade
Co-Founder / Director
Website: http://newyorkvets.org
RockVets Newsletters:  https://newyorkvets.org/newsletters

Email: NewYorkVets@gmail.com










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