Putnam County Clerk Encourages Veterans to Take Advantage of Return the F.A.V.O.R Discount Program

CARMEL, N.Y. – As the county prepares to celebrate Veterans Day, Putnam County Clerk Michael Bartolotti reminds Putnam residents, who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, to participate in the Return the F.A.V.O.R. Discount Program to get year-round savings as a small token of appreciation.

“Putnam County has always been a very patriotic community and I am thrilled to be able to continue this program which allows my office and the local merchants a way to say thank you to our Veterans every day,” said County Clerk Bartolotti. “The merchants are all eager to ‘Return the Favor’ and give thanks for all the sacrifices you have made to guarantee our freedom and safety.”

The Return the F.A.V.O.R. (Find & Assist Vets of Record) Discount Program entitles Veterans to hundreds of discounts on merchandise and services throughout Putnam County.

“You cannot put a dollar amount on what we, as a society, owe our Veterans,” said Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell. “What we can do is take every opportunity we have to show our gratitude. I support the County Clerk’s Return the Favor program and encourage all of the Veterans to use it. It can save you money on meals, home heating and other services as well as on rounds of golf at Putnam County Golf Course.”

Veterans who file their DD214s at the Putnam County Clerk’s Office are issued a Putnam County Veteran ID card that enables them to take advantage of discounts offered by local merchants.

“Filing the DD214 with the County Clerk’s Office is an important thing for Veterans to do,” said Bartolotti. “By my office keeping it on file you do not have to worry about losing it. It is an essential document required for many Veterans services. The Return the F.A.V.O.R program is a bonus.”

Putnam County’s Return the F.A.V.O.R. program is a wonderful way to help and honor our Veterans at the same time,” said Art Hanley, chairman of the Putnam County Joint Veterans Council. “Participating Veterans are assured that they will always be able to find a copy of their DD214 and the ID card they are issued is good for discounts from merchants throughout the county who wish to say thank you for your service.”

A list of the participating merchants and the discount offered is available on the County Clerk’s website, putnamcountyny.com/county-clerk, along with the program’s rules and conditions.

“The program’s success is dependent not only on the participation of our Veterans, but also our local merchants,” said Bartolotti.  “As such we strongly suggest every Putnam County business to enroll as a participating merchant.”

Merchants who are interested in participating in the Return the F.A.V.O.R program can find applications to join there as well.

For more information, visit putnamcountyny.com/county-clerk or call (845) 808-1142 x 49301.

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.”

Veterans Mobile Service Office to Come to Putnam

County Executive MaryEllen Odell is pleased to announce that a certified mobile service office (MSO), which assists Veterans in dealings with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), will be operate in front of the DeCicco’s Family Market in Brewster on Wednesday, Oct. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be the first time that the van, which is run through the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter #137 NY, is setting up hours in Putnam County.

“Too many Veterans do not know about or do not have access to the benefits and services provided by the federal government,” said Odell. “Having the MSO van come to Putnam is one more way that we can help our Veterans. I hope that all the Veterans in Putnam and the surrounding communities take the opportunity to visit the van.”

The van is equipped with on-board computers and staffed by certified DAV Service Officers, who are professionally trained to assist all Veterans, not just DAV members, in dealing with the VA in the filing of claims, claim follow ups and general claim information.

Veterans do not have to be Putnam County or New York residents to use the van’s services.

“We get a lot of Veterans who come to the van who are getting information for the first time,” said Michael Hartnett, commander of DAV Chapter #137, N.Y. “The van provides such an important service to the Veterans.”

All Veterans will be served as per order of arrival and should bring a copy of his or her DD-214 military discharge papers.

“Thank you DAV for bring this mobile clinic to Putnam County,” said Karl Rohde, Director of Putnam County Veterans Service Agency. “Any time we can help educate the public regarding Veterans needs and assist our Veterans in gaining much need services is a plus.  Having this van in our county will go a long way in providing awareness of Veterans needs.”

DeCicco’s Family Market will be providing refreshments and lite fare.

The DAV is one of the oldest and most prestigious Veterans Service Agencies in the Unites States. It was officially chartered by the United States Congress in 1931. It is widely acclaimed by many as the most helpful of active Veterans Service Agencies. In addition to many physical locations throughout the United States, the DAV sponsors the traveling MSO van, which covers all areas of the U.S. east of the Mississippi.

DeCicco’s Family Market is located at 50 Independent Way, Brewster, NY 10509.

The DAV MSO van will be in the parking lot of the Jefferson Valley Mall on Thursday, Oct. 22.

Murphy, Serino and Odell to Host Veterans Chow Down Dinner

CARMEL, N.Y. – Honoring the men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, Senator Terrence Murphy, Senator Sue Serino and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell are teaming up with the PFC. Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet Program to offer the 2015 Veterans’ Chow Down, a complimentary appreciation dinner, on Sunday, Nov. 1 at Putnam County Golf Course, located at 187 Hill Street in Mahopac.  There are two seating times, noon and 3 p.m. for veterans and their guest to choose between.

“When it comes to Veterans, there is no task too small,” said Murphy.  “Without these incredibly brave men and women, our world would be completely different today.  The very least we as a community can do is offer a special thank you and recognize their service and sacrifice.”

The Chow Down will bring Veterans together with their brothers and sisters in arms for a family-style meal.  Entertainment will be provided by the USO.  Military vehicles, dating from 1916 to 2012, that are part of the American Veterans Historical Museum’s Interactive Military Display will be available for the attendees to see and even climb into.

“The 2015 Chow Down is an opportunity for local Vets and their guests to come together, share a meal, learn about some unique resources available to them, and -more importantly- to remind that that they have an incredibly grateful community behind them,” Serino said.  “While words are rarely enough to truly thank our Veterans -and their families- for the countless sacrifices they have made on our behalf, it’s important that we take every opportunity to show our gratitude and that’s what the event is all about.”

In addition to the meal and fellowship, the Chow Down provides an opportunity for the Veterans to learn about local services that available to them.

“Providing a complimentary meal to local veterans from the Putnam and Northern Westchester area is a simple gesture to show the men and women, who has served in the U.S. Armed Forces, how much we appreciate the sacrifices they made defending our freedoms,” said Odell.  “The 2015 Veterans’ Chow Downs also gives us an opportunity to support the work of the Putnam County Veterans Service Agency through the Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet Program.”

The Joseph P. Dwyer Vet2Vet Program, which is staffed by Veterans, 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.

“It is rare that Veterans have an opportunity to be recognized and thanked by the public and by elected officials,” said Karl Rohde, Director of Putnam County’s Veterans Service Agency.  “What better way to do this than with a family style meal where they can share the comradeship they cherished during their service.”

Attendance is limited. Veterans are asked to RSVP for the Chow Down on Senator Murphy’s website, murphy.nysenate.gov or call 914-962-2624.

WANTED: Veterans to Serve as Information, Referral & Support Specialists for the PFC. Joseph Dwyer Veterans Peer to Peer “Warmline”

The Mental Health Association in Putnam County
1620 Route 22, Brewster, NY 10509

WANTED: Veterans to Serve as Ambassadors, Information, Referral & Support Specialists
for the PFC. Joseph Dwyer Vet2Vet Program of Putnam County

Hours of Work: approximately 5-10 hours per week; scheduled according to program needs

Responsibilities are as follows:
The PFC. Joseph Dwyer Veterans Vet2Vet Program of Putnam County assists Veterans and military families in obtaining services within their local communities. Ambassadors to the program are asked to:
• attend local community events to network with current military, Veterans and their families, local agencies, businesses and promote the program.
• Represent the program at community locations for “drop-in” hours, offering information, referrals and support.
• Staff the Putnam County Vet2Vet Warmline, a new program developed to assist callers, Veterans and their family members, by offering information, referrals and support.

Program staff will be comprised exclusively of Veterans providing “peer support” based on their own lived experiences. Training will be offered for all staff in skills necessary to handle calls from the community including: active listening techniques; confidentiality; how to recognize and handle a crisis, in addition to suicide prevention training.

Minimum Qualifications: Applicants will also be required to bring a copy of their DD214. Preference will be given to Veterans from Putnam County. Knowledge of local resources for Veterans also a plus. Applicants should also possess good communication skills and be self-motivated.

Please submit a resume by fax to- (845) 278-0600 or email to jmazzucco@mhaputnam.org or obtain an application for employment by
calling (845) 278-7600, ext 214.

MHA is an equal opportunity employer.


Food City – Celebrating Freedom and those who protect it

Food City is a food chain and is located in the Southeast, headquartered in Bristol, TN.
This is a great commercial. Not a word spoken, and none was needed in order to understand the message.
Very few commercials deserve to go viral.

This one does.

At Food City, we honor those people that serve and protect our country, and we know that without the men and women who watch out for us, we would not have any of the luxuries we do. We are the land of the free because of the brave and we salute you!

County Executive MaryEllen Odell & Vincent Tamagna Interview Tom DeMicco a WWII Veteran

County Executive MaryEllen Odell & Vincent Tamagna interview Tom DeMicco about Transit in Putnam County
Tom is a WWII Veteran that served from September 1941-February 1945.

Click to see the coverage of the interview below as well as some images.

Military & Veteran Family Resources

Military service personnel and their families are special and unique people who live extra-ordinary lives. There are unique challenges they may face. Here are some resources for military personnel, veterans and their families.

VFW Service Officers- Help with VA claims and access to services

Veterans Crisis Line- Immediate assistance and counseling for veterans and their families
1-800-273-8255, press 1

VFW National Home for Children- Alternative housing and family programs for veterans and military families; the Helpline can connect you with services near you
1-800-313-4200, Mon-Fri (not 24 hours)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline- Immediate assistance if feeling suicidal
Call 24/7

For a teardrop sticker template to encourage military suicide prevention awareness,
Visit www.ladiesauxvfw.org

Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health- Information and resources for all forms of mental health issues

Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances (DELTA)

Principles of Prevention from the VetoViolence to stop violence in homes
(POP is a free program that offers accredited hours for training, approximately 74 minutes in length)

Make the Connection- Finding a VA program near you