Memorial Day Events & Festivities in Putnam County 2017

Friday , Saturday , Sunday, May 26,27,28, 2017

  • Putnam County Joint Veterans Council-
    John Morris Memorial Watchfire Vigil, each night
    6 PM-6AM May 26,27,28 Opening Ceremony Friday the 26th at 7:00 PM
    Flag Retirement through out the Vigil.

Sunday May 28, 2017

  • VFW Post 1374 & Auxiliary, Carmel &
    American Legion Post 270-
    9:30 AM Ceremony at monument on Terryhill Road, Kent
    11:00 AM Ceremony at Post Home 32 Gleneida Ave, Carmel
    Refreshments to follow 11:30 Ceremony

Monday May 29, 2017

  • VFW Post 391, Putnam Valley-
    11:00 AM Ceremony Putnam Valley Town Hall
    12:00 Ceremony Lake Peekskill Monument (Chester Place)
    1:00 PM Ceremony Post Home 153 Oscawanna Lake Road
    Refreshments to follow 1:00 PM ceremony at Post Home
    2:00PM Start of “Round of Honor”. Visiting grave sites, cemeteries, and monuments in vicinity, including Lakeland High School, Bill Mangero Park
  • VFW Post 672, Brewster-
    Parade from Brewster Fire House to Electrozone Field (step off 11:00 AM)
    Ceremony at Electrazone Field following parade
    Light Lunch to follow at Post Home on Peaceable Hill Road
  • VFW Post & Ladies Auxiliary 5491 Mahopac & American Legion Post 1080-
    Parade from Clarke Place to Veterans Memorial Park on East Lake Blvd. (step off 10:00 AM)
    Ceremony to follow at Monument
    American Legion Post 1080 Ceremony at noon following VFW
    Ceremony at 333 Buckshollow Road
    Refreshments to follow at VFW Post home
    154 East Lake Blvd & at the Legion Post 333 Buckshollow Rd.
  • VFW Post 9257& Ladies Auxiliary & AMVET Post 1111 Putnam Lake-
    Parade and Ceremony at The Monument located at the intersec-tion of Fairfield and Haviland Dr.
    10:00- parade step off from The Castle Building located on Haviland Dr.
    Refreshments to be served at VFW 9257, located at 4 Fairfield Dr, Patterson NY 12563
    (Note: this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the post!! Our lone surging charter member, Joseph Garcia, will be recognized during the ceremony. )
  • VFW Post 2362 and American Legion Post 275 Cold Spring-
    9:00 AM step off at 85 Main St, Cold Spring Village Hall, to Veterans Memorial on Mains St, then onto the Old Cold Spring Cemetery (Revolutionary War), then to Nelsonville Town Hall. Ceremony at each location. Refreshments to follow at American Legion/VFW Hall on Cedar Street.
  • VFW Post 8013, Somers-
    Annual Memorial Day Parade and Remembrance Ceremony. Step off 10:00 AM from Somers Middle School to Ivandell Cemetery.
    ( Somers Post is part of the Putnam County Council VFW)
  • American Legion Post 1542, Patterson-
    10:00 AM walk from Post home to monument on Rt. 311 for ceremony. Refreshments to follow at Post Home.

Tuesday May 30, 2016:

  • Putnam County Joint Veterans Council– 6:00 PM Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park
    Ceremony at Electrozone Field following parade.
    Light Lunch to follow at post home on Peaceable Hill Road

Cutting Veterans’ Services – It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

Cutting Veterans’ Services – It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again

By Karl Rohde, director, Putnam County Veterans Service Agency

In 1991, Governor Mario Cuomo attempted to reduce his New York State budget by cutting services to the Veterans of Putnam County.  Today, the legacy continues as his son and current NYS Governor, Andrew Cuomo, attempts a similar strategy.

First, a bit of history — Back in 1991 the New York Division of Veterans Affairs announced that they were going to close the Putnam County office for budgetary reasons.  The closing of the office was going to save about $50,000 out of a $5 Million Budget that had to be cut by $500,000.  Fortunately, Putnam succeeded in mobilizing its Veterans and won a reprieve. As part of the new deal, the Putnam County office would remain open, but the County would foot the bill to house the NY State Division Service officer, and provide secretarial assistance for the two days the service officer was on site.  In addition, the County would also provide clerical assistance on the other three days of the week to schedule appointments, as well as providing phone service and computer access at no charge to the State.

After the State’s second attempt to close the Putnam Office in April 2015 was thwarted, I formally requested, as Director of the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency and provider of free office space, clerical support and amenities to the NYS Division of Veterans Affairs, that we receive notification when and if the Putnam Office would be closed. That following January of 2016, the Division closed the office.  Putnam Veterans Services had to reschedule an estimated 50 Veteran client appointments to other dates at a location in Castle Point, which is about 25 miles from our office in Carmel.  Again, we fought and won to reopen our office, so our Veterans, many of whom are elderly and disabled, would not have to bear the burden of inconvenient, costly and unnecessary travel to meet with a Veterans Service Officer to apply for compensation due to military service.

The punishment continued in 2016 when the Division tried to limit Putnam to one day per week with a Veterans Service Officer.  That was also stopped when we proved the need in Putnam for at least two days per week, if not more.

Now in May of 2017, just weeks before Memorial Day, and the New York State Division, at the insistence of Governor Andrew Cuomo, is keen on denying services to the Veterans of Putnam County again.

In order to save money, the Putnam Office will be closed.  This is nonsense. The Division has to save $300,000 in the current budget.  Notwithstanding that the Governor wants to cut his budget on behalf of Veterans, this closing makes little sense.  Our Veterans Service Officer, Brennan Mahoney, will still be employed 5 days per week by the Division.  He will do all those days at Castle Point alongside another fulltime service officer at the same location.  The Veterans of Putnam, Northern Westchester and Southern Dutchess will now be forced to commute to Castle Point to see Brennan even though there is a second service officer already covering the Castle Point location – and where is the cost savings?  It should also be noted that while the clerk at Castle Point is paid by the State of New York, the clerk in Putnam County still costs the State of New York nothing.

The travel expense and inconvenience to these Veterans has not been considered in the least.  The age of the Veteran or the disability that makes travel difficult has not been weighed in this decision.

Why are these statewide cuts being aimed at the very group of people that the New York State Division of Veterans Affairs is mandated to serve?  To put a fine point on it, why is the Division targeting its own clients?  There are no suggested cut backs in management headcount or salary.  No mention of trying to lower the costs in areas where they rent and or lease office buildings.  Rather than a knee jerk response, why weren’t the cuts more thoughtfully vetted?

Veterans and family members who wish to learn answers to these questions should contact Eric J. Hesse, director, New York State Division of Veterans Affairs at (518) 474-6114.

Putnam County Honors U.S. Military with Row of Honor Installation and Annual Pancake Breakfast Kickoff on May 20th

CARMEL, N.Y. – On May 20th at 11am, Putnam County’s annual Row of Honor season will commence at the Carmel VFW Hall, located on Route 52 in Carmel, N.Y. The event will kick off from 9 am to 11am with a Pancake Breakfast fundraiser organized by the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council.  All proceeds will go towards Military Suicide Awareness Programs of the Putnam County Suicide Task force. Suggested donation is $10.00 or $15.00 per family. Residents are also encouraged to sponsor a flag to honor our heroes. Please contact Veterans Services to RSVP for the Breakfast and to order your flag, 845-808-1620 or visit www.PutnamCountyNY.gov/ROH.

“We are excited as always to kick off the Row of Honor tradition with our annual pancake breakfast,” said Karl Rohde, Director of Putnam County Veterans Services. “In support of the 22 veterans who commit suicide daily and the growing population of veterans who are suffering from combat induced mental illness, we are designating funds raised by this event to support our Military Suicide Awareness programs.”

More than 200 flags, which carry the names of beloved Veterans, will continue to fly until Flag Day, June 14th. With a $100 donation, the name of a loved one can appear on a flag. The proceeds will go toward Military Suicide Awareness Programs of the Putnam County Suicide Task force.

To order your flag, call 845-808-1620 or visit PutnamCountyNY.gov/ROH. Checks can be made payable to the Joint Veterans Council to PC Veterans Service Agency, Donald B. Smith Government Campus, 110 Old Route 6, Bldg. 3, Carmel, N.Y. 10512.

Row of Honor Kick-Off Pancake Breakfast May 20th 2017

Join us for the Row of Honor Kick-Off Pancake Breakfast May 20th 2017.

Located at the Carmel VFW Hall on Route 52 Carmel New York.

All proceeds are going towards Military Suicide Awareness Programs of the Putnam County Suicide Task force

Donation : $10 per person
$15 per Family

Sponsorship is Available.

See the flyer below for more details!

Legal Services of the Hudson Valley

We are infinitely proud of what we have to offer to our Veterans and their families at the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency.  We are persistently trying to expand access to a myriad of services.  In recent years we have expanded to have a psychologist from the Vet Center of Danbury meet with Veterans on a weekly basis at the Agency office.  Monthly the VA Hudson Valley Outreach Coordinator is in the office to offer on-the-spot registration for VA health care, appointment scheduling and to answer questions regarding the VA.  We are now proud to welcome the Legal Services of the Hudson Valley (LSHV) to our office each month.

The Legal Services of the Hudson Valley will be providing free civil legal services to those who have served under the auspices of their “Veterans and Military Families Advocacy Project” In LSHV’s own words “They served their country-they deserve equal access to justice at home”.  The passion for justice they have will protect Veterans and their family’s right to the basic necessities of life as guaranteed by law.  There are a host of areas that they will offer civil legal representation in: housing, consumer affairs, Social Securities and SSI Disabilities claims, elder law, domestic violence and public benefits. Unique for Veterans and service members they offer assistance with Veteran Benefits appeals, military discharge upgrades, and military record corrections. LSHV will be at the Veterans Service Agency on the second Wednesday of the month from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

The more services that we can have in a single office provides the Veteran and the Veterans family with a one stop shopping venue.  Again we welcome LSHV to our family.

Dwyer Vet2Vet Program Presents: Hayrides for the Veterans Special Event December 26, 2016

Come for a special Afternoon at the Putnam county veteran residence
Wagon rides, refreshments Good cheer Veterans bring your children Grandchildren Friends and neighbors

Join with the Dwyer Vet2Vet Program At the Veterans Residence on 9 drewville lane, Carmel December 26, 2016 at 1-3 PM
Horses and oxen Courtesy Rock hill farm
Stop by and meet some veterans

Karl Rohde Presents First Public Reading of “Hero’s Highway” at Arts on the Lake

Karl Rohde Presents First Public Reading of “Hero’s Highway” at Arts on the Lake

KENT, NY (November 16, 2016) – On Veteran’s Day, The Arts on the Lake, Lake Writers Group hosted its annual reading.  Members of the group gathered to take in an array of writing genres from their peers, including memoirs, poetry, novel excerpts and more.  This year, the event happened to coincide with Veterans Day.  In honor of the sacrifices of the nation’s brave military men and women who serve, the group invited Karl Rohde, also a writer, and the Director of Putnam County’s Veterans Service Agency, to participate.book-cover-actual-jpg

“We could not have been happier to have Karl participate in such a meaningful way at our event,” said group leader, Tom Kersting . “Karl helped us honor those in service to our country and by sharing  several poems that he wrote while serving in Vietnam, he enabled attendees to connect with that experience.”

Rohde’s poetry is part of a Putnam Veterans’ anthology of artistic expression that was recently published under the title of Hero’s Highway. According to John Bourges, the program coordinator for the Dwyer Vet2Vet Program in Putnam, the book was created as a project for the PFC Joseph P Dwyer Vet 2 Vet Outreach Program of Putnam County.

“Our Veterans Outreach Studio meets on the first Wednesday of every month in Patterson to explore veterans’ creativity and artistic talents.  The catalyst for creating the book was to share the unique art and creativity coming out of these meetings with veteran peers at the Veterans Chow Down that took place on November 1st.”

“The response to the book has been tremendous, says Bourges. “We are in our second printing and plan to use the book as a fundraising tool to support other events and activities for our vets. For more information about the book and to obtain a copy, please visit the Dwyer Vet2Vet of Putnam website at www.dwyervet2vetputnam.org/upcoming-events.html.

 

PUTNAM VETERANS MUSEUM HOSTS WORLD WAR II VETERAN, 97, FORMER CARMEL RESIDENT Lt. Richard G. Hopkins, USN Ret. and Daughter Donate Treasures of Storied Military Service

PUTNAM VETERANS MUSEUM HOSTS WORLD WAR II VETERAN, 97, FORMER CARMEL RESIDENT

Lt. Richard G. Hopkins, USN Ret. and Daughter Donate Treasures of Storied Military Service

Carmel, NY, November 1, 2016 — Veterans and volunteers at the Putnam Veterans Museum recently hosted some very special guests.  World War II veteran Lt. Richard G. Hopkins, USN Ret., and his daughter Susan Hopkins came to Veterans Memorial Park in Carmel to present the museum with artifacts from his service and Putnam County’s past.

Hopkins, 97, was born on Oak Street in Brewster, and his family moved to Carmel when he was young. Now residing in Westchester, Lt. Hopkins likes to visit the museum that exhibits ship models he donated in honor of his late brother, T/5 Reed Hopkins, member of the 1257 Combat Engineers Battalion, U.S. Army.  Reed, also a Carmel native, died in France during World War II.

The ship models include the USS Decatur and USS Porter, two vessels on which Lt. Hopkins served during his 28 years of active duty with the U.S. Navy and an additional 2 years of service in the Reserves. The museum also displays a model of the USS Dahlgren, yet another model that Lt. Hopkins can detail from bow to stern.  The USS Decatur and USS Dahlgren models were made in Sweden by a master ship model-maker; the USS Porter was made in Eastham, Mass., by a master ship model-maker.

The Hopkins family has deep roots in Putnam County’s history, so deep that they precede the Revolutionary War.  Lt. Richard Hopkins is the sixth-generation descendent of Lt. Solomon Hopkins of the 6th Dutchess County Regiment with the New York Militia during the Revolutionary War.  Solomon’s wife, Elizabeth Crosby, was the sister of Enoch Crosby, the famed Revolutionary War soldier and spy.

Susan Hopkins was pleased to present a framed drawing of the Enoch Crosby house in Brewster to complement the historical display that commemorates the soldier/spy story.   “A member of the Daughters of the American Revolution Enoch Crosby Chapter gave it to me; and when I first saw the display here, I thought it would be perfect to donate it,” said Susan.

“We are so grateful to Lt. Hopkins for his service and the generosity of his family,” said County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Adding this beautiful drawing of the Enoch Crosby house to our Veterans Memorial Museum is rare a gift. This historic treasure will be appreciated by many visitors for years to come.”

Putnam County residents and veteran-volunteers were on hand that day to host the Hopkins’. They included Jim McCarthy, Michael Tiren, and Jerry Imbo, all U.S. Army veterans.  A representative from the Putnam County Historian’s Office was on hand to record this very special visit.

“I really enjoyed hearing Richard’s fascinating account of being part of the rescue of the USS Kearney (DD-432) off Iceland after it was torpedoed by U-boats,” said Jim McCarthy, “and the stories of his incredible world-wide adventures spanning the China Sea, Casablanca and Barcelona – when as an engineer he actually met and shook hands with Generalissimo Franco while onboard the USS Coral Sea.”

Not all of Lt. Hopkins years were spent at war on the high seas. There was a time when he was stationed at the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and for two years he was in charge of the heartrending job of bringing home the war dead.  After 32 years in the service through wars and conflicts, Lt. Hopkins found it was time for a change.  “I was up for Lieutenant Commander and they said I had to do three years more and I said, ‘You can have it!’, said Hopkins with a hearty laugh. “I got a chance to work for IBM up in Fishkill so I took it.”

On this sunny fall day, Lt. Hopkins donated his display case of service medals, ribbons and awards which include two World War II campaign medals, the World War II Victory medal, combat action ribbons and an impressive number of good conduct medals.  The case will be prominently exhibited along with his service portrait, his brother’s portrait and the beloved ship models – a special and collective display of sacrifice.

Before leaving the museum, Lt. Hopkins stopped to admire another special exhibit.

“That’s the New York!” he exclaimed, pointing to the ship model of the USS New York LPD-21. This post-9-11 United States Navy warship’s bow was forged from the steel of the World Trade Center and its official motto is “Strength forged through sacrifice. Never Forget.”

Lt. Hopkins smiled and commended the veteran volunteers saying, “That’s good that you got that model!”

The Putnam County Veteran Memorial Park is located at 201 Gipsy Trail Road in Carmel. The Putnam Veterans’ Museum is open on Wednesdays from 10 am – 1 pm and is administered by the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency.

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NOW IT IS their TURN TO LISTEN Putnam County Veterans Task Force 4th Annual Legislative Forum

NOW IT IS their TURN TO LISTEN
Putnam County Veterans Task Force 4th Annual
Legislative Forum
We have invited elected officials
Who are On the
National, State & County levels
We ask you to join us at the TOPS Center
To support Veterans legislation and issues
Being Presented to those who make the laws
November 17, 2016 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Donald B. Smith Campus
Bureau of Emergency Services Auditorium

112 Old Route 6. Carmel, NY 10512

2016legislativeforumlistenflyer

Fresh Connect: The New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs has launched the third consecutive year of its Fresh Connect Checks program

Fresh Connect: The New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs has launched the third consecutive year of its Fresh Connect Checks
program. Through this program, Veterans, Servicemembers, and their immediate family members (including surviving spouses of Veterans) are eligible to receive one set of 10 Fresh Connect Checks, each one bearing the cash equivalency of $2. These checks are redeemable with
participating vendors at farmers markets across New York State for fresh produce and other fresh food products. Fresh Connect Checks are available at every New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs office, and can be distributed only by Division of Veterans’ Affairs employees. Individuals interested in a Division of Veterans’ Affairs Veterans Benefits Advisor attending an event with Fresh Connect Checks to distribute are strongly encouraged to contact the Division at (518) 474-6114.