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Department of Defense Authorizes Service Stars on the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal
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National Veterans Cemetery in Pembroke, NY

Senator Schumer’s office has provided an update on the status of the National Veterans Cemetery to be constructed in Pembroke, NY.

Things are moving along in the design process, but as per the timeline, they won’t be ready for construction until minimum 2017. Here’s the update:

  • The VA has contracted out the “Master Planning” work on the 132 acre site in Pembroke where the new cemetery will be constructed. Master planning will continue through this year.
  • In 2016, they will do step 2 and 3 in the planning process – namely the “design development” document and the “construction documents”.
  • It won’t be until at least 2017 when they’d be ready for construction.
  • Meanwhile they are continuing their due diligence on acquiring the adjacent 60 acre site and the 77 acre lot. The 77 acre lot looks pretty clear so far, but the 60 acre lot has some issues that may need to be mitigated. So they are doing their investigations, due diligence, and archeological/cultural assessments on these parcels. No set time yet on when they may be ready to acquire them, but they are working on it.
  • They can construct and open the existing 132 acre site regardless of what may come of the 60 acre or 77 acre site.

Patrick W. Welch, PhD
U.S. Marine Corps (Ret)
Veterans Advocate & Educator
Buffalo Veterans Treatment Court – Senior Mentor

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Stepping Into a New Age

For the first time in the history of the New York a woman has been elected to lead the Veteran of Foreign Wars. The pages of history change slowly at times, but at the 2015 VFW State Convention in Albany, the delegates overwhelmingly elected Marlene Roll as the 2015-16 State of New York Commander.

This didn’t happen by accident or by any whim of someone’s imagination; it happened because Marlene has worked hard to set a new standard paving the way for this historic move. For years she has dedicated herself to helping veterans and supporting the goals and ideals of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Her concentration has not been solely on female veterans but all veterans and their plights after serving their country in war zones all over the world.

She was instrumental is starting the first all-female VFW post while insisting it be recognized as a VFW Post, not just a female entity, and making sure males were accepted there as well. Her tireless efforts and dedication to her service officer duties is another example of her expertise and dedication to veterans and their issues.

Writing a new page in history, setting a new standard, or starting a new age, Marlene has set the stage for a new tomorrow. Change is inevitable and necessary and the VFW has finally made one giant change that can show the world we mean what we say, “No One Does More for Veterans.” Now the New York VFW can surely say we want young, aggressive, energetic and progressive veterans to take the helm because we have elected the perfect example in Marlene Roll as the new State Commander of the Department of New York Veterans of Foreign Wars.

DOC in the Running for National Jr. Vice Commander-in-Chief

At the Department Spring Conference held in Ellenville, New York on March 27, 2015, the Council of Administration unanimously without exception endorsed William “Doc” Schmitz as our candidate for the high office of National Jr. Vice Commander-in-Chief.

Many if not all of you know of “Doc’s” contributions and achievements in the VFW, as well as his dedication to our organization and its mission. I have enclosed a copy of his bio for you to share with your Comrades.

The following Past State Commanders of the Department of New York support William “Doc” Schmitz as New York’s Candidate for Jr. Vice Commander-in-Chief.

We collectively ask that you support William “Doc” Schmitz as New York’s Candidate for Jr. Vice Commander-in-Chief.

Melvin Garrett, 1981-82
Anthony Ferrarese, 1989-90
Mario Raimondi 1991-92
James Longendyke, 1992-92
Art Koch III, 1995-96
Robert Seagraves, 2000-01
Bernard Thompson, 2001-02
Karl Rohde, 2002-03
Harold Burke Jr., 2003-04
James Vinsonhaler, 2004-05
James McNally, 2005-06
Donald Doell, 2006-07
Robert Barnhart, 2008-09
Allan Davenport, 2009-10
Jack Veazy, 2010-11
Harold Leavor, 2011-12
James Durkin, 2012-13
Michael Pascal, 2013-14

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