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At Ease!

A blog about veterans affairs

Veterans feeding veterans

Rich Liebson

White Plains American Legion Post 135 hosts it’s annual Thanksgiving luncheon for Montrose VA hospital patients tomorrow, as they’ve done for years. It’s a great event that gives the patients a chance to get out for a while and enjoy good food and company.

Look for a story about this year’s feast Wednesday on lohud.com and in The Journal News. I’ll try to post a fiew photos here too, for loyal At Ease! readers.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Monday, November 23rd, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
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Veterans registration day

Rich Liebson

Westchester County veterans not registered for medical benefits can do so Thursday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the county Veterans Service Agency, 112 E. Post Road in White Plains.

Former service members can also obtain the new anti-ID theft veterans identification cards, which help streamline benefit services. Make sure to bring your discharge papers (DD-214) with you.

Veterans benefits are constantly changing and a visit to the Veterans Service Agency will keep you up to date on what you’re entitled to. For a complete rundown of the services offered by the agency, visit their website by clicking here.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Wednesday, November 18th, 2009 at 10:42 am |
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Pelham American Legion on CBS Early Show

Rich Liebson

A color guard from Pelham’s American Legion Post 50 joined New York State America Legion Commander William Kearsing and Fang Wang, former national vice commander on the CBS Early Show last week in a runup to Veterans Day.


The group appeared in the GM Building Plaza with Early Show co-hosts Harry Smith and Maggie Rodreguez. Color Guard members were Joseph Hall, Ron Oravec, Phil Perrorazio, Robert Lepple and Robert McGuirl.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
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Support the troops, get free eats

Rich Liebson

The South Side Inn on Route 6N in Mahopac is hosting a “Support the Troops Night” Saturday.

Bring in socks, T-shirts, non-perishable snacks and other goodies between 4 and 8 p.m. and enjoy a free hot buffet and live music while you’re there. All donated items will be shipped to service members overseas.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
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Tower of Hope fundraisers on Veterans Day

Rich Liebson

Simultaneous fund raising events for Tower of Hope, an organization that teams veterans with severe physical and/or psychological disabilities with specially-trained service dogs are being held Wednesday at the Pocantico Hills home of Jeff and Pat Joseph and in Pound Ridge at the home of Dr. Emer Leahy and her husband, Donald Perun.

Founded by Sleepy Hollow resident Cathy Carilli, whose husband, Tom Sinton, was killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11, Tower of Hope pays about $25,000 for each service dog, which includes training, placement and ongoing veterinary care.

The dogs do a myriad of tasks for their owners, who receive the animals at no cost.

Check out the organization’s website here for more information on the programs, the fundraisers, and how you can help.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Monday, November 9th, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
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Yonkers to host Vietnam wall replica

Rich Liebson

The Vietnam Wall Diginity Memorial, a traveling replica of the Vietnam War Memorial located on the mall in Washington, D.C. comes to Yonkers next week for Veterans Day.

Scheduled to arrive Tuesday with a police motorcycle escort, the wall will be set up at Fleming Field and officially open to the public on Wednesday in a ceremony scheduled for 2 p.m. The wall is to receive a 24-hour honor guard staffed by volunteers, who will also be able to help visitors find the names of loved ones or friends who were killed in the war. The city is still looking for volunteers, who can call 914-377-6700 for more information.


Click on to the city’s website at for additional details.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Thursday, November 5th, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
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Medal of Honor Display Completed

Rich Liebson

The Medal of Honor display at Mount Pleasant Town Hall will be completed Saturday (Nov. 7) when Rep. Nita Lowey presents the American Legion Medal of Honor Committee with the U.S. Navy’s version of the nation’s highest honor.


Pete Fiumefreddo, commander of the Hawthorne American Legion post and the driving force behind establishment of the display and of a monument at Town Hall honoring all of the New Yorkers who have received the Medal of Honor, said the presentation will take place at 10:30 a.m. Earlier this year the medal committee unveiled the Army and Air Force medals. Arrival of the Navy version was delayed by red tape, Fiumefreddo said.

The display, and the monument bearing the names of New York’s recipients, “will serve as an everlasting testament to the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have received this honor for their courage and valor,” he said.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
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Pelham American Legion Dinner

Rich Liebson

New York National Guard Capt. Robert Zizolfo will be guest speaker at Pelham American Legion Post 50’s annual Veterans Week dinner-dance Friday evening at the Davenport Club in New Rochelle.

Capt. Zizolfo is base operations officer for the Guard’s training site at Camp Smith. He spent two years in Iraq as commander of the 145th Maintenance Company, directing a force of more than 300 soldiers who provided logistical maintenance and support at seven bases .

The dinner-dance begins with a cocktail hour at 7:30 p.m. and concludes at 12:30 a.m. Included are a full course dinner and music provided by a disc jockey.  The event is open to the public. Tickets, which cost $60 per person, can be obtaianted by contacting Post Commmander Frank Barbieri at 1-646-533-0187.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009 at 11:10 am |
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Mount Vernon vets to rededicate park

Rich Liebson

The Central Committee for Veterans Affairs of Mount Vernon will hold a
rededication ceremony on Saturday Oct. 24 for the Anthony T. Fava Veteran’s
Memorial Park.
The 2 p.m. event at the intersection of Mount Vernon, Stevens and West
Lincoln avenues will raise awareness for a rehabilitation of the park that
the veterans group would like to undertake.
A cocktail reception will follow at the Elks Lodge, 88 West Lincoln Ave. In
case of rain the ceremony will also be in the Elks Lodge.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Friday, October 23rd, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
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Join the military, get health care

Rich Liebson

While the national debate over health care insurance and public options rages on, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Sunday ran a story about Bill Caudle, who was laid off from his job at a plastics company in March.

Caudle, 39, started Army basic training earlier this month in Fort Jackson, S.C. It wasn’t patriotic fervor that caused him to enlist at a somewhat advanced age – it was the fact that he was about to lose his health insurance. His wife has ovarian cancer and after trying every other option, the father of three did what he felt he had to do. A four year enlistment will guarantee healthcare for his wife.

Click here to read the entire story.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
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Spin for Soldiers

Rich Liebson

A local health club will hold a “Spin for Soldiers” fundraising event Sunday to support an organization that provides service dogs to veterans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The event will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the New York Sports Club, 420 S. Riverside Ave. in Croton-on-Hudson.
The public is invited to meet a wounded veteran with his service dog and to participate in the stationary bicycle exercise or sponsor one of the “riders” to raise money to help another veteran through The Tower of Hope.
To register or sponsor a rider, click here and follow the link to the Spin Event announcement.  Or, you can sign up at the club.  and click on the Spin Event announcement to register or sponsor a rider, or sign up at the club.
For more information, contact the sports club at 914-271-8909, call The Tower of Hope at 203-286-0900 or email the organization at rlund@thetowerofhope.org.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
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Yonkers National Guard unit to get new commander

Rich Liebson


The Army National Guard’s 101 Signal Battalion, based in Yonkers,  will welcome Lt. Col. Greg Dreisbach as its new commander Saturday at a ceremony in Fort Dix, N.J. during a training weekend.

Dreisbach, an Iraq War veteran, also currently commands the New York National Guard’s security assistance task force in New York City.

He served as an assistant signal officer for the Army National Guard’s 42nd Infantry Division in Tigrit, Iraq in 2005 and was responsible for maintaining communications of an area the size of West Virginia in north central Iraq. He was subsequently awarded the Bronze Star for his service there.

Dreisbach is budget director for Suffolk Regional Off Track Betting in civilian life.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Thursday, October 1st, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
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Castle Point Job Fair

Rich Liebson

Veterans can meet with private and government employers, benefit advisors, state and county service organizations and other employment counselors on Friday, Oct. 9 at a job fair being held at the Veterans Administration’s Castle Point Campus.

Information on job opportunities, resume writing tips, benefits, housing, education, claims and more will be available. Make sure to bring several copies of your resume and military discharge papters (DD Form 214).

The campus is on Route 9 D in Castle Point and the fair is being held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Building 13.

For more information contact Debra Lucas at 845-831-2000, ext. 4629.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Wednesday, September 30th, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
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Putting faces to the names

Rich Liebson

Officials from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund estimate that 40 percent of those who visit The Wall in Washington, D.C. are too young to remember the war or any of the more than 58,000 people whose names appear on the memorial.

To keep the memories alive, an $85 million learning center is being build underground at the National Mall to educate visitors about the Vietnam War and those who fought and died there. Exhibits will include a timeline and a sampling of items left at The Wall by loved ones of those who died in the war.

Perhaps the most spectacular display being planned is a larger-than-life wall of photos of the men and women whose names are etched on the memorial, to be shown on each of their birthdays.

It’s a way to remind visitors that the people who fought and died in Vietnam were in fact people, not just faceless names on a monument.

To that end, the Memorial Fund and FedEx have started a Call for Photos campaign to gather images of those who died in Vietnam.  Friends and family member can bring their photos to any of the more than 1,600 FedEx Office Print and Ship centers to be scanned for use at the Education Center at The Wall. Contributors will be asked to fill out a form identifying the person and will be asked to share a memory of that person.

Click here to check out the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund website and find out more.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Thursday, September 24th, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
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New Support Group

Rich Liebson

The American Red Cross in Westchester County is teaming up with Four Winds Hospital to provide a support group for families of deployed military personnel, returning service members and those returning to civilian life to share their common concerns.

The Iraq/Afghanistan War Family and Military Support Group will hold its first meeting at 7 p.m.  Monday (Sept. 21) at  the Red Cross’ 106 North Broadway office in White Plains.

The group is intended to create a supportive environment  and provide resources for coping and adjusting to civilian life, post traumatic stress disorder and other issues relating to life in and out of the miltary.

Anyone interested can e-mail Jackie Jones at JonesJa@usa.redcross.org or call 914-946-6500 ext. 309.

Posted by Rich Liebson on Friday, September 18th, 2009 at 2:10 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.