Putnam Awarded REDC Money for Cooperative Feasibility Study

CARMEL, N.Y. – County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced on Thursday, Dec. 10, that Putnam County was granted funds through the fifth round of the New York State Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) initiative to develop a cooperative county-wide blueprint for the future.  The state is supplying $50,000 for Putnam to lead a feasibility study with the other nine municipalities within its borders that offers solutions to critical issues pertaining to economic development and tourism throughout the county.

“The study is about taking a holistic approach toward the planning of the communities in Putnam County,” said Odell. “We have learned through the years that issues such as infrastructure, sewer, water and broadband extend past the borders of individual villages and towns. By collectively working together we can combine our resources, identify appropriate areas for potential economic growth and tourism as well as find solutions for longstanding obstacles.”

The study is intended to be the first-step in a multiphase plan. Once the study determines ways to promote tourism and improving the hamlets and commercial districts, a strategic approach can be used to make the best use of available funding processes.

“Putnam County, along with the six towns and the three villages within its borders, has learned that when dealing with New York State or the federal government the results are better achieved when we work together,” said Putnam County Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra. “The findings from the feasibility study will help us to determine which projects we can move forward collectively and which ones a municipality can choose to pursue on its own.”

The Putnam County Planning Department will be working in conjunction with the towns and villages to gather the necessary information.

“Kent, like each of the other municipalities, has its own characteristics that make it a unique place in the county,” said Kent Town Supervisor Maureen Fleming. “To know that we can maintain our identities, while working together to find solutions for the issues we all have, is an important aspect of this study.  We already share services with one another but this opening us up to conversations about the big picture of Putnam County.”

Two other Putnam-specific projects were awarded grants through the REDC initiative. The Town of Patterson was awarded $22,500 to undertake a consolidation study of its two fire departments. Also, the Town of Philipstown, in a partnership with Scenic Hudson, was awarded $400,000 to design a trail between Little Stony Point and Breakneck Ridge. It is part of multiphase plan for the Hudson Highlands Fjord Trail.

“I am pleased with the outcome of this year’s REDC initiative,” said Odell. “The way the funding was allocated shows the applicants the importance of planning.  Studies will be modestly funded and projects that have been done their due diligence will be supported by the state. Putnam has the potential access to more funding through the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council once we have identified the projects we want to move forward on.

The state awarded the Excelsior Job Credits program $9.6 million for future projects in the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council and $38.2 million was allocated for local governments issuers to sell tax-exempt bonds for economic development, infrastructure and community revitalization projects. In addition, the region was awarded $1.7 million to use toward adopting energy efficiencies.

This was the fifth round of REDC funding. Several projects from Putnam have been granted funding in the past. Past recipients include Green Chimneys of Brewster, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in Cold Spring and the Village of Brewster’s revitalization plan Envision Brewster.

The Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council consists of Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester counties. It was awarded at total of $90.4 million through the REDC initiative.

Photo caption: The designing of a trail that will go from Little Stony Point to Breakneck Ridge (shown) in Philipstown was one of the projects from Putnam County awarded money from the fifth round of grants given through the New York State Regional Economic Development Council initiative.

 

KEVIN’S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

This little guy, Kevin Blackman, has been fighting leukemia since only 3 months of age. This week as so many of us are
celebrating the holiday season visiting decorated trees and Santa Claus,. Kevin, after several weeks of chemo at St. Jude’s in
Tennessee, is going to Boston in hopes of a bone marrow
transplant. He needs first and foremost your prayers that the transplant can be done. Secondly let’s send he and his family
whatever we can so that all those extra costs that they face can be met. Kevin’s grandfather is a driver for the Office for Senior Resources and his mother Kelly attended St. James and Carmel High.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT!

HOW YOU CAN
CONTRIBUTE:
Cash or check to Sherrie Gilmore at the Office for Senior Resources extension 47109
(checks made out to Kevin Blackman)
Online at GO FUND ME :
KEVIN’S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE

Kevin's Flyer (3)

 

 

Putnam First Responders Conduct Emergency Exercise with Metro-North

CARMEL, N.Y. – County Executive MaryEllen Odell observed the full-scale joint emergency exercise between the first responders of Putnam County and the MTA Metro-North Railroad that was held on Saturday, Nov. 21 at the Metro-North Railroad Brewster Yard. The Brewster Fire Department was the host department of the event.

“We never want to see the scenarios happen in real life, but it is good to know that the MTA Metro-North Railroad and our first responders are prepared with the tools and knowledge to handle these types of incidents,” Odell said. “Seeing everyone in action reaffirmed my confidence in the ability of the first responders who are committed to keeping the residents of Putnam County safe.”

In the drill scenario, a passenger train traveling north along Metro-North Railroad’s Harlem line encountered a motor vehicle impeding the right-of-way. The train engaged its emergency brakes, but was unable to stop in time. Passengers of the train in the front two cars sustained injuries as a result of the impact.

“Ensuring the safety and security of our customers, employees, and the public at large is the most important thing we do,” said Metro-North President Joseph Giulietti. “We strive to prevent accidents from taking place, but nevertheless, part of being safe means being ready to act quickly and carefully in the event that something does go wrong. Our exercise in Brewster helped us to do that and we appreciate the assistance of County Executive Odell, Mayor [James] Schoenig and all of the teams of first responders who participated with us in the exercise.”

The Metro-North staff and the first responders went through the response and recovery actions of the scenario. The areas of consideration were: critical transportation, operational coordination, mass search and rescue operations, public health and medical services, on-scene security, protection, and law enforcement and operational communication. The scenario included Metro-North employees, first responders and other participants who acted as victims or bystanders.

“Understanding how to handle a large-scale situation that has both injured and non-injured groups is such an important takeaway fMTA 1rom drills like this one,” said Brewster Fire Chief Tom Leather. “We are always looking to hold exercises like this one with the large corporations within Putnam’s borders. It allows our volunteers an opportunity to practice the skills they need in a safe environment, the departments gain inside information from the corporations about the emergency plans they have created and we develop working relationships with the employees of the corporations. The experience is truly valuable.”

The goal of the exercise was to ensure the participants familiarization with Metro-North’s Passenger Train Emergency Plan (PTEP), emergency response procedures, and equipment. In addition, the players were able to demonstrate incident management and coordination between the Metro-North entities, local dispatch centers and on-scene Unified Command during a complex incident. It also provided an opportunity to evaluate the rail-based search and rescue operations, management of mass casualty incident (MCI) response capabilities, including patient management and tracking, the ability to maintain a secure perimeter and facilitate crowd control and Metro-North’s and local first responders’ ability to address passengers with disabilities during emergencies.

“The value of an exercise like this is immeasurable,” said Putnam County Commissioner of the Bureau of Emergency Services Anthony Sutton. “Drills such as this put first responders together in a setting where they can observe and learn each other’s capabilities and tactics. As a first responder, you do not want to meet the members of other services for the first time at an actual crash. My hat goes off to the organizations and individuals that planned, hosted and participated in this opportunity to practice in a very realistic scenario. Putnam’s first responders learned many lessons and best practices today. Now have this learning experience to draw on should they someday face a real emergency of this nature.”

MTA 2In addition to the Brewster Fire Department and the MTA Metro-North Railroad, other participating entities include: Brewster Village Police Department, Carmel Fire Department, Carmel Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Croton Falls Fire Department, Lake Carmel Fire Department, Mahopac Falls Fire Department, Mahopac Fire Department, MTA Metro-North Railroad, MTA Police Department, New Fairfield CT Fire Department, New York State Police, North Salem Volunteer Ambulance Corps, Patterson Fire Company, Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services, Putnam County Office for People with Disabilities, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, Putnam Lake Fire Department and Transcare EMS.

Photo caption: Firefighters from the Brewster Fire Department participate in the Joint Emergency Exercise between Putnam County first responders and the MTA Metro-North Railroad. Photos provided by MTA/Patrick Cashin.

Putnam Remembers the Soldiers Overseas with Operation Defend the Holidays

CARMEL, N.Y. – During this season of giving, we need to remember that our greatest gift is that of freedom. For the second year, Putnam County Government and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department are working in a joint effort with United for the Troops to raise money to send comfort packages to those serving in the U.S. Armed Forces overseas. The effort is known as Operation Defend the Holidays.

“The men and women soldiers serving overseas have sacrificed so much to protect our liberties and defend our freedoms; it is a gift that gives to us every day of the year,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “Sending a comfort package lets the troops know we are thinking about them during the holiday season.”

Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith agrees.

“Speaking from my own experience as a soldier who was posted overseas during Christmas, I can personally attest to how uplifting it is to one’s morale to receive a care package from back home,” Smith said. “That is one of the reasons  I strongly support the efforts of Operation Defend the Holidays  and urge folks here on the home front to remember our brave young men and women who are serving our country far from home this Christmastime.”

For a $15 donation, a care package will be sent to a soldier overseas on your behalf.  You will be given a card acknowledging the gift. Your name will also appear on a virtual wall highlighting the number of comfort packages that have been sold.

Last year 360 comfort packages were sent to the soldiers on behalf of Putnam County employees as well as their friends and family members. This year the program is open to the public as well.

United For The Troops is a 501-c-3 that sends care packages to troops serving overseas. It was started by Mahopac residents Jim and Pat Rathschmidt. The couple along with their friends and neighbors launched the organization in 2007 when Rathschmidt’s son, Luke, was serving with the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army in Iraq.

Following numerous conversations with service men and women, the group found out that while the military provides soldiers with the essentials for day- to-day life, many of them miss the extra amenities that they enjoy while at home. The organization’s purpose is to make the soldiers’ lives a little better while serving overseas by sending items such as cookies, DVDs, CDs, snacks and t-shirts.

“While all of our comfort packages are made up of donated items, it costs us about $15 to ship a care package overseas,” said Jim Rathschmidt. “Through the great efforts of County Exec. MaryEllen Odell, Sheriff Don Smith, the county employees and other Putnam residents, we will be able to ship even more boxes to our men and women serving our country overseas. Thanks to the generous support we receive, our mission to ‘Bring A Little Comfort To Our Troops’ continues on.”

Donations can be pledged by submitting the form found at putnamcountyny.com/carepackage. Terry Oliver, confidential secretary to County Executive MaryEllen Odell, is accepting the contributions. Checks can be mailed to Terry Oliver, 40 Gleneida Avenue, Third Floor, Carmel, N.Y. 10512. She can be reached at 845-808-1001 or via email at terry.oliver@putnamcountyny.gov. Checks can be made out to United for the Troops with Operation Defend the Holidays written in the memo section.

United For The Troops has sent over 10,000 comfort packages to the troops since its inception.

The deadline to donate to Operation Defend the Holidays is December 18.

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“Last Chance” Public Flu Vaccination Clinic Scheduled for December 10 at the Putnam County Department of Health

“Last Chance” Public Flu Vaccination Clinic Scheduled for December 10 at the Putnam County Department of Health

Brewster, NY – The influenza season is upon us with flu activity being reported sporadically across the nation. In the United States, flu activity is usually highest between December and February, but cases may linger as late as May. With flu activity starting to increase and family and friends gathering for the holidays, now is a great time to get a flu vaccine to protect yourself and your loved ones. The Putnam County Department of Health (PCDOH) is hosting its final public flu vaccination clinic Thursday, December 10, coinciding with National Influenza Vaccination Week, observed December 6 through December 12. The clinic hours will be 1:30 to 4:30 p.m., at the main health department office at 1 Geneva Road in Brewster. No appointments are necessary. Any Putnam County resident age three years and older is eligible to receive flu vaccine at this clinic. The fee, covering vaccine cost and administration, is $25. There is no fee for those over age 65 or with a Medicare card. High- dose flu vaccine will be available for individuals age 65 and older, which studies have shown appears more effective in fighting flu in seniors.

So far this year more than 3700 flu vaccinations have been given by the PCDOH; 2432 of these were administered in the schools. If you have not yet received your flu shot, it is important to do so as soon as possible since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for the immune system to build the antibodies your body needs in order to provide protection against the flu.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health is to improve and protect the health of our community, made up of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our website at www.putnamcountyny.gov or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth , www.facebook.com/RunWalkPutnam, www.instagram.com/PutnamHealthNY , and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.

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FLUSCHEDULE

Putnam County Golf Course Caterer Featured in WAG Magazine

CARMEL, N.Y. – Homestyle Caterers, the official caterer of the Putnam County Golf Course, is spotlighted in the November 2015 issue of WAG magazine. In the article, “Homestyle Caterers: With Tradition on the Menu,” Al Ciuffetelli talks how he and his brother Joseph, who is also his business partner, contribute a significant portion of their success to keeping family at the core of their company.

“That’s a big part of what we are,” he says in the article. “Family’s a big part of it.”

Many of their nearly 60 employees are family members.

The importance of family extends out to relationships within the community.

Homestyle Caterers hosts family friendly Friday-night barbecues and concerts at Putnam County Golf Course in Mahopac during the summer months and does a lot of work with not-for-profit organizations and local causes.

“We’re all about the community,” he adds in the article.

In addition to handling the food service at Putnam County Golf Course and organizing the private and public events held there, Homestyle Caterers is also responsible for the catering at Dunwoodie Golf Course in Yonkers, does off-premise catering and provides lunches to schools and institutions in the lower Hudson Valley.

“We serve 2,000 meals every single day,” he says in the article.

Most recently Homestyle Caterers has added providing the catering and booking the entertainment at Westchester County Center in White Plains. It has Kenny Rogers set to perform on Dec. 11.

To read the article visit www.wagmag.com/with-tradition-on-the-menu.

Photo: The Ciuffetelli brothers share a laugh. Photograph by John Rizzo.

Putnam Accepting Applications for 2016 PILOT Program Student Internship Program

Carmel, NY – For the third year, Putnam County Government will once again offer high school, college and graduate school students the opportunity to apply for paid and unpaid summer internship opportunities throughout its many departments as part of the Putnam Invests in Leaders of Tomorrow (PILOT) Program.
“The PILOT program has been a win-win for Putnam County and the students who participate,” County Executive MaryEllen Odell said.   “The PILOT program not only gives students from Putnam County an opportunity to have a hands-on real world experience but also the chance to learn the role county government has in our communities. In addition, Putnam County is able to benefit from the talent and eagerness of our youth.”
Past interns have found the PILOT program provided insight and resources that will help them as they consider their career choices.
“It was a great opportunity, I made great connections and I learned a lot about how the county government operates,” Zachary Cecere, a 2015 intern in the Purchasing Department, said.
The P.I.L.O.T Program helped some interns validate their career choices.
“Going into it I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to be a prosecutor,” said Timothy Martin, who is in his senior year at SUNY Buffalo and was a 2015 intern in the District Attorney’s Office. “But I found it interesting that you aren’t just working for yourself, it is very team oriented… it was a great experience.”
Some of the intern’s had eye opening experiences in regard to what occurs in their county.
Christine O’Loughlin, a 2015 intern in the Department of Social Services, stated, “Some cases are like TV, you wouldn’t think that they happen where you live, but it’s nice to see that there are people working to make it better.”
Odell first introduced the concept of PILOT back in 2013. Since its inception, interest in the PILOT Program and the number of student applicants has grown dramatically.
Eligible participants must be Putnam County residents who are graduate, college, or high school students in their junior or senior year.  Applicants must be at least 16 years of age. For college students a GPA of 3.0 or higher is recommended.
The 2016 Summer PILOT program will be held May 23 through August 12, 2015, depending on student availability.  Internship hours, are typically 28 hours a week, and will be coordinated with Department supervisors.
Online filing instructions are now posted on the Putnam County Personnel website at www.putnamcountyny.com/personnel.  The application consideration deadline for students is Friday, January 15, 2016.  Initial candidate interviews will begin in December.
Photo Captions: County Executive MaryEllen Odell with many of the 2015 PILOT interns.

Odell Orders Putnam’s Historic Courthouse to be Lit Blue, White and Red in Solidarity with France

CARMEL, NY – Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell has ordered the Historic Courthouse in Carmel to be illuminated in blue, white and red lights to represent it county’s solidarity with France in the wake of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks on the county.

“Our hearts go out to the victims and their families and friends,” said Odell. “As a community that still feels the pain of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, we empathize with the French citizens and visitors whose lives will be forever changed. To have the historic courthouse lit in blue, white and red shows that we are united in the commitment in liberty and justice for all. ”

The lighting of the courthouse will coincide with President Barack Obama’s order to have the American flag at half-mast until sunset on Thursday, Nov.19.

Odell Recognizes WWII Veteran and Iraq Veteran during Putnam’s Row of Honor Opening Ceremony

CARMEL, N.Y. – County Executive MaryEllen Odell was joined by local elected and appointed officials to recognize the efforts of a Bob Palmer, a World War II Veteran from Brewster, and Ryan Lepore, an Iraq Veteran from Putnam Valley, during the opening ceremony of the Veterans Day Row of Honor, held on Monday, Nov. 9 along Lake Gleneida. Up-and-coming music sensation Hailey Knox, a Carmel High School senior, sang the National Anthem.

“Veterans Day is about remembering the efforts of all the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces,” said Odell. “We decided to honor one of our oldest Veterans and one of our youngest Veterans to recognize the Veterans who walk amongst us every day.”

Palmer, a third-generation military service man, served in the United States Army from August 1942 to December 1945, achieving the rank of Platoon Sergeant and commanding a 16-man gun section. He was part of the 445 Anti-aircraft Artillery Battalion in the 8th Infantry Division during the European campaign of World War II. During his service, Palmer earned the American Service Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

Following his WWII service, Palmer worked for Conrail for 41 years. He is a Life Member of the Brewster Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 672 and served as its Chaplain for 20 years.

For three decades, Palmer categorized and placed over 1,200 American flags on Veterans graves from Southeast- mostly by himself.  In 2012, the torch was passed and the “The Bob Palmer Project” was started- not to duplicate his singular effort- but to follow his intent. The Brewster/Southeast community now places the more than 1,200 American flags on the graves of Veterans before Memorial Day, to not only honor and remember our veterans, but to honor Bob Palmer and his commitment to the community and Veterans.

Lepore who was a freshman at Putnam Valley High School on September 11, 2001, felt it was his duty to serve his country. After graduating in 2005, he followed his older brother Richard’s footsteps and joined the Army.

Stationed in Vilseck, Germany, Lepore was deployed to Iraq for 15 months in between 2007 and 2008, during “The Surge.” He was a cannon crewmember on a Howitzer Cannon and his unit conducted combat patrols and raids in a hostile environment. Lepore was honorably discharged with the rank of private first class in 2010.

After returning home, Lepore joined Putnam Valley VFW Post 391. In 2015, he became the Commander of Putnam Valley VFW Post 391 to help Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans transition and cope with civilian life. Lepore is the first post commander who served in the current Iraq War and one of the youngest VFW commanders in the country.

“Our freedom isn’t free and that is what Veterans Day is all about,” said Sheriff Donald B. Smith. “It is the day we honor all the Veterans and we say ‘Thank you.’ We remember nor only those who made the ultimate sacrifice but those who put their lives on hold and marched to the sound of the gun shots. On Veterans Day we need to also remember those soldiers who are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.”

The Row of Honor is the installation of over 250 American flags with the names of Veterans, law enforcement officers and first responders, lines along the shores of Lake Gleneida to honor the men and women who served, or continue to serve, to protect us and defend our freedoms. It is on display twice a year to observe Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

“We have 250 flags here on Lake Gleneida,” said Odell. “The program has been very successful and it has been noted nationally and throughout the Hudson Valley region. Visitors are stopping by and spending time admiring the flags and honoring those whose names appear on the tags. It is a touching way to show your respect to our Veterans and our veteran First Responders.”

The Row of Honor began in 2013 and was so well received by the public that Odell decided to make it a semi-annual event. The Row of Honor is a fundraising venture among the Joint Veterans Council, Putnam County Tourism and Putnam County government. This year, money raised through sponsorships of the flags will be used to support the Putnam County Veterans and Military Museum, which is located in Veterans Memorial Park in Kent.

“Seeing the sea of American flags is incredible,” said State Senator Terrence Murphy. “I am honored to stand here today. It is important that we do what we can for our Veterans. That is why I am so pleased to announce that the passage of the Vietnam Veterans’ Equality Act has been signed into law by Governor Cuomo. The Vietnam Veterans of America will now be recognized by New York State as an official benevolent order. It will now have the status and resources to better serve New York’s Vietnam Veterans, along with the other rights and privileges conferred to other traditional Veterans service organizations.”

In addition to the colorful display of American-made Stars and Stripes there will be flags representing the five branches of the United States Armed Forces: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. There will also be flags representing the Army and Air National Guards, Merchant Marines, Fraternal Order of Police, POW/MIAs and a special 9/11 flag.

Sponsorships may be purchased for $100 per flag. Checks should be made out to the Joint Veterans Council and sent to the Putnam County Veterans Affairs Office, Donald B. Smith Government Campus, 110 Old Route 6, Bldg. 3, Carmel, NY 10512. For further information, call Art Hanley at (845) 808-1620 or go online to putnamcountyny.com/roh.

Photo Caption: State Senator Terrence Murphy and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell recognized the efforts of Veterans Ryan Lepore of Putnam Valley and Bob Palmer of Brewster during the opening ceremony of the Veterans Day Row of Honor.

Hundreds of Veterans Chow Down In Putnam County

MAHOPAC, NY – Hundreds of local veterans and their families enjoyed the first Veterans Chow Down hosted by State Senators Terrence Murphy and Sue Serino and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell held on Sunday, Nov. 1 at the Putnam County Golf Course.  The event, which was presented in cooperation of the PFC Joseph Dwyer Vet2Vet Program, paid tribute to the men and men from Putnam County who served in the U.S. Armed Forces.

“The goal of today’s event was to offer a small token of appreciation to the brave men and women who defended our freedoms,” Senator Murphy said.  “We are the land of the free because of the brave and there is no task too small when it comes to caring for our Veterans.”

The Veterans were served family-style a menu featuring creamed chip beef on toast (aka S.O.S.), Chicken Marsala, and smoked ham. A trio of singers from the USO provided live entertainment and the American Veterans Historical Museum set up exhibits and displayed several military vehicles.

“The sacrifices that our Veterans – and their families – make on our behalf are innumerable and we need to take every opportunity that we can to remind them that they have an incredibly grateful community behind them,” Senator Serino said.  “The Chow Down is our way of bringing out vets together, showing our appreciation and recognizing them for all that they do in our community.  Thank you to everyone who helped to make it a tremendous success.”

Dozens of volunteers welcomed the Veterans and served the meal.

“It is our honor today to serve our Veterans, who served our country and protected our freedoms,” Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell said.  “I also want to thank all of the volunteers – the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, high school and middle school students as well as adults, who worked alongside us to make today possible.  On behalf of Senator Murphy and Senator Serino and the PFC Joseph Dwyer Vet2Vet Program and thanking all of our Veterans and their families a happy and safe holiday season.”

The cornerstone portion of the event was built around the Vet2Vet Program, which is run by Putnam County’s Veterans Service Agency. It provides a place for peers (fellow Veterans, members of the Armed Forces and their families) to connect with and support one another in a safe and nonjudgmental environment.  It is a free, anonymous and confidential program that provides support, lunch-and-learn workshops, mentoring opportunities as well as training and development options.

Reports continue to show service members returning from active duty are at an increased risk of PTSD. Statistics from the Federal Government indicate nearly 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffer from PTSD, which is double the rate from Operation Desert Storm. In addition, there is an ongoing effort to reduce the suicide rate of veterans, which currently stands at a staggering rate of 22 every day.

“Today was a homerun,” said Karl Rohde, Director of Putnam County Veterans Service Agency.  “There were smiles on everyone’s face.  The veterans were proud to be here and proud to be veterans.  They loved the food and the entertainment from the USO.  Thank you to County Executive Odell, Senators Murphy and Serino for always supporting the Veterans and with the PFC Joseph Dwyer Vet2Vet Program to make this event possible.”

The event was warmly received by the Veterans guests.

“It was an incredible event,” said Veteran Earl Gunderson of Phillipstown. The food was delicious and it was great to sit at the table and some old stories.”

Veteran Nick Mucciarone of Mahopac agreed. “Today was wonderful, it could not have been better.  It was a beautiful affair and we really appreciate it.”