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Putnam County Veterans Service Agency

Veterans SitRep News

A Tale of Two Grievances

10 May 2023

As a way to deal with certain situations some of my friends and I ask each other at times if they want to fill out a “Hurt Feelings Report”. While that is a bit tongue and cheek about a real or imagined grievance what I am about to tell you are two real grievances and should be taken 
seriously. In recent weeks three police departments in Putnam County, the Putnam County Department of Social Services and Mental Health, Putnam County Veterans Service Agency and Guardian Revival/Dwyer Vet2Vet worked feverishly to get a suicidal Veteran admitted to the VA. The Veteran was bounced around two hospitals prior to getting admitted to the VA and finally in the 5th week the Veteran was transferred to a second VA facility that has the capacity to deal with his mental health issues. Five Weeks. Let me repeat that five weeks before he was able to get the proper help. 
Countless phone calls and e-mails were generated. Guardian Revival was able too at the end of week three organize a Zoom call with the VA medical leadership and representatives of all the aforementioned services. Remember three weeks and four weeks. We were assured that we would be given a point of contact phone list to prevent this from happening again. As we enter the sixth week we have not received the POC list. I hope all of you are outraged about this. We are not asking the VA to lance a boil we are asking them to take responsibility to assist a suicidal Veteran. While the VA is spending countless hours and dollars to apologize for its motto that “To care for him who 
shall have borne the battle” because it is not gender inclusive a Veteran who is our neighbor is ignored. When in a email it was pointed out to the VA that another often used motto from them is 
"Choose VA”. Well we were choosing VA to no avail. One of the Doctor’s responded that it was complicated. No doc it was not complicated. We have Veteran who is hurting you have to help that Veteran in a real an meaningful way. It is not complicated. This is a call to action contact our  congressman and air this grievance. Contact the VA and air this grievance. Grievance number two has been on TV and in our local newspapers thanks to our new Assemblyman Matt Slater. First a bit of context each year for the past several years when then Governor Cuomo gave his budget address, he praised Dwyer Vet2Vet for the wonderful peer support the program provided in several counties throughout the state. Then when his actual budget came out Dwyer Ve2Vet was cut out of the 
budget. Veterans and Veteran advocates had to go to their State elected officials and beg for the money. Beg for money to assist Veterans. It was restored but not without a great deal of work and energy that could have been better spent assisting Veterans. With the departure of Mr. Cuomo we received some good news from the new governor. Not only would Dwyer be funded but it would b expanded to every county in the state. Halleluiah!!! Governor Hochul kept her word Dwyer is in the new budget. However there is a big however over $7 Million dollars of other funding for Veterans has been removed from the state budget she proposed this year. Yes the Governor gives and she takes away. Leaving Veterans once more to beg for funding. There are 14 programs that the Governor 
is cutting from the budget at about $2.6 Million. There is also another $5 Million she is proposing to cut that would go to Veterans Service Organization for their buildings. As Assemblyman Slater stated at his press conference regarding this issue: “A 227 billion budget containing billions of dollars in 
new funding while our governor has proposed cutting millions of dollars that support our brave Veterans and service members is egregious”. Our own County Executive Kevin Byrne pointed out at the press conference how these cuts directly impact Putnam County in that several of the post buildings are in need of repair and items like a generator. The County Executive noted that these Veterans service organizations continue to give back to the community and that the state should recognize that. So yes grievances-not hurt feelings. Please contact your state and federal elected 
officials and tell them you want to air a grievance on behalf of our Veterans

Putnam County Office Building

40 Gleneida Avenue
Carmel, New York 10512

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