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A blog about veterans affairs

Veterans remembered at Kensico Cemetery

Rich Liebson
May
25

Westchester Veterans Affairs Coordinator Vito Pinto will be the featured speaker Friday (May 28) at the annual Veterans Remembrance Service at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla.

Scheduled for 3 p.m., the event honors the memories of veterans with the placement of wreaths and scripture readings.

Pinto, a Navy veteran, flew 175 combat missions in an F4 Phantom as a navigator during the Vietnam War.

The service, which is open to the public, will be attended by representatives from local veterans groups, clergy, scouts and elected officials.

The ceremonies will take place at the Veterans Memorial Monument next to the Administration Building. The cemetery is located at 273 Lakeview Ave.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 at 11:32 am |
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Veterans Stand Down

Rich Liebson
April
19

A program aimed at helping homeless veterans and those at risk of becoming homeless is being held Saturday (April 24) at the Yonkers P.A.L. Youth Activity Center, 127 N. Broadway, Yonkers.

“Veterans Stand Down,” is being sponsored by the Yuonkers Department of Veterans, the Westchester Veterans Service Agency and the Westchester Advisory Board.

From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., representatives from numerous state and local agencies and organizations will be on hand to address numerous issues facing veterans and to provide information on how to get help.

For more information, call the Yonkers Department of Veterans Services at 914-377-6700.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Monday, April 19th, 2010 at 3:10 pm |
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Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day

Rich Liebson
March
25

The United War Veterans Council will host a Vietnam Veterans Recognition Day event Saturday (March 27) in the promenade next to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Plaza in Manhattan.

The event begins at noon with a reading of the names of the fallen, followed by refreshments and a reuniono from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

At 2:30 p.m., there will be a presentation of a video, “The Legacy,” followed by remarks from Medal of Honor recipient Paul Bucha and John Rowan, national president of Vietnam Veterans of America.

The Lobby Promenade is located at 55 Water St., with parking available on Old Slip Street between Water and South streets.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Thursday, March 25th, 2010 at 9:21 am |
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More honors for WWII flier

Rich Liebson
March
16

Last week I did a story about Katherine “Ruth” Kupferberg Kornblum, the 92-year-old White Plains woman who flew military aircraft as a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II. If you didn’t see it, click here and you can read about this remarkable woman now.

As the story mentions, Korblum and other surviving WASPs were honored on Capital Hill and awarded  the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian award.

Kornblum received more accolades on Monday, when she was feted at the Jewish Home Lifecare/Sarah Neuman Center in Mamaroneck, where she has worked as a volunteer for almost two decades.

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The nursing home held a celebration in her honor attended by about 75 guests including family members, friends, residents, trustees and staff. Representatives from state and local governments were also on hand to present present proclamations in her honor and to declare March 15th Ruth Kornblum Day now and forever.

Congratulations to an amazing woman.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
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Academy Bound?

Rich Liebson
February
24

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand recently announced her nominations of local high schoolers to the nation’s service institutions – the United States Air Force, Military, Naval and Merchant Marine Academies.

“Our military academies are distinguished by a devotion to honor, courage and commitment,” she said in a release listing her nominees. “I am honored to nominate these young, talented New Yorkers who exemplify these core values. It is my hope that the accomplished nominees have the chance to live their dreams and serve in our country’s armed forces with distinction.”

Gillibrand chose candidates based on their academic records, leadership potential and overall achievements.

Local kids getting the nod were: Nicole Castro of Mahopac, Matthew C. O’Dowd of Congers, Benjamin R. Berkley of Chappaqua and  Ariel Coreth of Mount Kisco, who are all applying to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Nominees for the U.S. Military Academy at West Point are: Hyangshim Kwak of Tarrytown and Kristian Hill of Ardsley.

Timothy B. Walsh of Cortlandt Manor was nominated to the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Best of luck to all of them.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Wednesday, February 24th, 2010 at 11:51 am |
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Buffalo Soldier to visit area

Rich Liebson
February
4

Trooper Henri A. LeGendre, 85, will share his memories of serving in the 9th Cavalry of the famed “Buffalo Soldiers” Friday and Saturday in Valhalla, Greenburgh and White Plains as part of Black History Month.

LeGendre is historian for the Greater North Carolina Chapter, 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry Association. The Buffalo Soldiers were all-black regiments of the U.S. Army who helped settle the West and later served at West Point until they were de-activated in 1946.

LeGendre will appear at the Whitney M. Young Jr. Society Scholarship Dinner scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Valhalla Middle/High School, 300 Columbus Ave., Valhalla. Call 914-683-5000 for more information.

On Saturday, he’ll be at the Theodore Young Community Center, 32 Manhattan Ave. at 2:30 p.m. Call 682-3648 for moree information.

LeGendre will be at St. Francis/St. Martha’s Episcopal Church, 575 Tarrytown Road, White Plains for Sunday’s 10 a.m. service. For more information call 914-946-8846.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Thursday, February 4th, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
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New Adjutant General

Rich Liebson
February
3

Gov. Paterson announced in a press release today that he’s appointed a 32-year veteran of the Army National Guard as the state’s 52 Adjutant General.

Brig. Gen. Patrick Murphy will replace Maj. Gen. Joseph Taluto upon his retirement on Feb. 14.

In making the announcement, Paterson described Murphy as “an outsdanding officer who brings with him a wealth of expereience integrating the National Guard and active military components into state emergency and security planning, homeleand defense and anti-terrorism activities.”

As adjutant general, Murphy, 52,  will be responsible for ensuring that the state’s 16,000 Army and Air National Guard members are prepared for deployment to combat zones on federal missions and are ready to respond to state emergencies. He’ll also oversee the 2,500-member state Naval Militia and the 700-member New York Guard.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
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It’s all in the family for NY Guard members

Rich Liebson
December
22

Congratulations to 17-year-old Michael Schur of Tarrytown, who last week became the latest member of his family to join the New York Guard, the state’s volunteer force which supports the National Guard.

Schur, an Irvington High School student,  was sworn in at Camp Smith Dec. 19,  by his aunt, Capt. Sophia Scarpellil-Hovraniak, and two uncles, Capt. Lubomyr Shchur and Sgt. Maj. Taras Szczur, who are all members of the Guard.

An active Boy Scout, Schur plans to apply to the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
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Vietnam Vets host holiday vigil

Rich Liebson
December
18

Westchester’s Chapter 49, Vietnam Veterans of America, will host its annual candlelight vigil Sunday at Lasdon Park for those who did not come home.

A procession will move along the Trail of Honor, where candles will be lit at each of the war memorials.tjndc5-5b1vv06rzv5zinm3gqo_layout (2)

The names of those who made the ultimate sacrifice will be read, and veterans will recite a few poems. There will also be a Christmas Tree on display in memory of the fallen.

The vigil is to begin at 4:30 p.m. and the public is invited. Lasdon Park is located at 2610 Amawalk Road (Route 35) in Somers.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Friday, December 18th, 2009 at 9:59 am |
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Korean War hero’s widow honored

Rich Liebson
December
17

Congratulations to Millie Evans of Pelham, who was to be honored today by Pelham American Legion Post 50 and Sound Shore Medical Center in New Rochelle for her 48 years of service to the hospital.

Mrs. Evans is the widow of Army Lt. Lee Evans, who was killed in action July 19, 1952 in Korea. The couple had been married for only two weeks when he was reported missing in action.

Mrs. Evans began hher career in the hospital mail room in 1961, worked as a unit clerk for 13 years and has handled payroll duties in the Nursing Administration Department for the past 34 years.

The hospital and American Legion post were to hold a reception in her honor this afternoon.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Thursday, December 17th, 2009 at 11:56 am |
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Candlelight vigil for fallen hero

Rich Liebson
December
9

Family and friends of Marine Corps Capt. Eric A. Jones, who was killed in Aghanistan when his helicopter went down on Oct. 26 will hold a candlight vigil to honor his memory at 6 p.m Saturday at the Fox Lane High School football field in Bedford.

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Jones, a Pound Ridge native, was providing close support to troops on the ground in the Helmand province. A 1999 Fox Lane graduate, he was buried in the National Cemetery in Bourne, Mass. on Nov. 7.

The public is invited to attend Saturday’s ceremony. Fox Lane High School is located at 632 S. Bedford Road

Posted by Rich Liebson on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 at 3:25 pm |
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Vietnam Vets remember the fallen

Rich Liebson
December
9

Westchester’s Chapter 49 of Vietnam Veterans of America will gather at the “Trail of Honor” in Lasdon Park Saturday to honor and remember the fallen during the holidays.

The VVA has partnered with “Wreaths Across America,” a national organization that collects and lays wreaths at some 300 cemeteries and veterans monuments across the nation. Click here to learn more.

At noon Saturday, the VVA will place seven wreaths at the Westchester County Vietnam Memorial and one at each of the statues along the trail of honor. The public is invited to join them.

Lasdon Park is located at 2610 Amawalk Road (Route 35) in Somers.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Wednesday, December 9th, 2009 at 11:36 am |
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Larchmont supports the troops

Rich Liebson
December
8

More than 800 service men and women deployed in Iraq and Afghanisan will have a happier holiday season thanks to the efforts of  volunteers who packed and shipped care packages containing personal hygiene items, snacks, magazines and other goodies on Sunday.

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The seventh annual “Support for Our Troops’’ effort at St Augustine’s church drew 150 volunteers and donations of gift items and cash from more than 200 people. In all, 825 packages were sent overseas, paid for with more than $10,000 in donations to cover the shopping costs. The packages contained food, toiletries, batteris, playing cards, hats, and other items. Each box also included a letter or card written by a volunteer and a special note of support from New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

To find out more about the package drive and the organization behind it, visit their website by clicking here.

To date, the Larchmont volunteers have sent more than 2,800 care packages since May 2006.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Tuesday, December 8th, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
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Day of Infamy

Rich Liebson
December
7

It’s been 68 years since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor thrust America into World War II. Although President Franklin Roosevelt called Dec. 11, 1941 “a date that will live in infamy,” it seems that Pearl Harbor Day barely receives any recognition any more.

That’s a travesty, but I suppose it’s something that occurs naturally with the march of time. I’ll bet that few Americans can tell you when the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord or when the Union and Confederates clashed at Gettysburg or when their great-grandfathers fought in the trenches of Europe during World War I.

In the long run, it’s not the dates that matter – it’s the fact that throughout our history, men and women in uniform have given their lives for this country. We may not know their names, or when, where and how they died, but every day each of us should be aware of, and thankful for the sacrifices they made.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Monday, December 7th, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
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WVOX hosts Thanksgiving troop calls

Rich Liebson
November
25

New Rochelle-based WVOX radio, 1460 on our AM dial and WVOX.com on the internet, will take calls from soldiers, sailors and airman stationed overseas on Thanksgiving during Bob Marrone’s “Good Morning Westchester” show from 7 :30 to 9 a.m.

The program was set up with help from Sons of the American Legion Post 50 in Pelham, which hosts a show on veterans and active service members Mondays at 2:30 p.m. Recordings of past shows can be found at their website by clicking here.

On Thanksgiving, callers stationed overseas will describe their day and send greetings to family members. The show airs before most of you will be eating, so take a moment to give a listen.

And have a great Turkey Day, while you’re at it.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Wednesday, November 25th, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
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About this blog

"At Ease!" is a place for Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine and Coast Guard veterans to share their experiences and voice their opinions. It doesn't matter if you served during war or peacetime, overseas or stateside, active duty or reserves, as a draftee or volunteer - if you served in uniform, this is the place for you.

We'll let you know about interesting military and veterans stories we find, issues that might affect you, and local veterans events you might want to attend.

If you're a member of a veterans organization in the Lower Hudson Valley, let us know about your events, charity efforts and other news. We may also ask for your help in finding sources to interview for veterans stories in The Journal News and LoHud.com.

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About the authors
KatieRich Liebson is a "military brat" who grew up on bases in the U.S. and Germany during his father's 23-year career as an Air Force enlisted man. Rich enlisted in the Army in 1976 and until his discharge in 1980 was assigned to the 78th Engineer Battalion in Ettlingen, Germany, as a public information specialist and translator. He's been a reporter at The Journal News and its forerunner, the Reporter Dispatch, for more than 20 years. During that time he's covered a variety of beats and has written frequently about veterans and veterans issues.
HemaHema Easley was born and raised in India, where she worked as a reporter for The Associated Press and United Press International. While in India she wrote about the insurgency in Indian-controlled Kashmir and covered the 1999 India-Pakistan conflict in the mountains of Kashmir. She joined The Journal News in 2002. She has covered municipal government in Westchester and now covers on social services in Rockland as well as military issues.

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Return to Vietnam

LoHud's "Return to Vietnam" blog chronicles the journey of Col. Andonios Neroulias (Ret.) and his daughter, reporter Nicole Neroulias, to the country he fought in 40 years ago.