A memorial for Richard Gilley, a Maspeth soldier killed during the Vietnam War, sits surrounded by litter and weeds in Ridgewood. The Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, the owner of the property, has promised to clean the site.
Among the honored guests were Casper Inzerillo, left of Howard Beach, who served in World War II, and Vietnam veteran Pierre Grace of St. Albans.
A group of military veterans on Labor Day threw a picnic for their some of their less fortunate brethren at the VA Community Living Center in St. Albans.
The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32 of Queens organized the day of food, entertainment and comraderie for elderly and disabled veterans going back as far as World War II. Stop & Shop was one of a number of sponsors donating food to the event.
First off, I would like to thank outgoing Veterans’ Affairs Commissioner Terry Holliday for all he did for veterans. He was always available and did the best he could with the budget he was given. He will be missed.
One of the biggest problems for veterans in the outer boroughs is the location of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs. World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans are also senior citizens and have to travel into Lower Manhattan to get to MOVA, which means public transportation: walking and going up and down many stairs to get into Manhattan. Even if you could drive into the city, there is no place to park.
What we veterans need is easier access to MOVA. Each borough should have an office that veterans can get to locally, especially those who are handicapped.
We served our country. Many of us still serve our community. Why are veterans the last group of citizens to get the help and respect we deserve?
The new Queens Library board took further shape Tuesday, as Borough President Melinda Katz made her first appointment to the 19-seat body since she and Mayor de Blasio together purged eight members on July 23 in response to the controversy surrounding the institution.
The new member is Robert Santos of Sunnyside Gardens, who Katz said in a prepared statement “has had a long, wide-ranging career in higher education, cultural institutions, municipal government and construction.”
Pat Toro, a veteran of the Vietnam War, fought vigorously for the rights of fellow veterans until he died of leukemia last Friday.
Pat Toro was a soldier, both on the battlefields of Vietnam and on the political front lines when it came to veterans’ affairs.
On Friday, he died the same way he lived.
Pat Toro, the longtime former president of the Queens chapter of Vietnam Veterans of America and a retired law enforcement officer, died Thursday.
Five Bayside High School students recently won a four-day trip to Washington, DC, based on their awareness campaign for child soldiers and international justice.
The students beat out four other teams from the metropolitan area to win the trip, where they joined others from across the country to present their projects.
The colorful mural on the side of Maspeth Federal Savings bank at the intersection of Grand Avenue and 69th Street proudly proclaims “Maspeth is America.”
Few things are more American than a grandiose painting of a bald eagle soaring alongside Old Glory, just like few neighborhoods in the entire country have more history than Maspeth does.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Whitestone Post 4787 and Vietnam Veterans of America Queens Chapter 32 remembered those who served in World War II during a D-Day ceremony Friday at the Whitestone Veterans Memorial Field.
Veterans gathered at the site, top, with Councilman Paul Vallone, second from left, and state Sen. Tony Avella, right, to pay tribute to those who fought during the crucial battle 70 years ago and their comrades at arms in the war.
Re your May 29 editorial, “Serving veterans and ending a war”:
As a Vietnam-era veteran (Air Force, 1964-68), I’m entitled to receive Department of Veterans Affairs medical care, but I shouldn’t be. And neither should thousands of other vets like me who have no service-connected disabilities.
Under current law, the VA is required to treat all honorably discharged veterans at its hospitals and clinics, even if their medical conditions are not related to their military service. World War II, Vietnam and Korean War-era vets are treated for age-related ailments like cataracts and prostate cancer that have nothing to do with their time in uniform. They are — or should be — covered by Medicare and able to get treatment at any hospital or clinic that accepts Medicare recipients. The same goes for many patients in VA nursing homes who do not suffer from afflictions acquired during their military stints.
Such unlimited coverage wasn’t always the case. The VA was initially mandated to treat only those vets whose physical and mental injuries and illnesses resulted from military service. That changed after aggressive lobbying by veterans’ groups. This expanded mandate is one reason why veterans who really deserve treatment wait so long for it.
Conversely, many vets who deserve VA medical care don’t get it because their discharges are other than honorable. GIs call these “bad paper” discharges, and they are often death warrants for military veterans who desperately need VA help but are denied it.
Limiting eligibility to vets who suffer from service-connected afflictions would improve the speed and quality of VA care. The rules governing discharges must change so all vets who deserve VA care can receive it.
Area vets honored by state Senate
Five distinguished veterans were honored last week with state Senate resolutions that were presented by Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) in his Queens office.
As it has done every Memorial Day for decades, Howard Beach gathered Monday to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Hundreds of people, including many veterans and active service members, paraded through Old Howard Beach under bright sunshine, stopping at the neighborhood’s memorials to those who died in World War II and the Vietnam War.
Veterans, community leaders, residents and elected officials participated in the St. Sebastian’s Catholic War Veterans Post 870 Annual Memorial Parade on Monday to honor the heroes who gave their lives by serving their country in times of need.
More than 100 people marched from St. Sebastian’s along Woodside Avenue to Doughboy Plaza where a remembrance ceremony was held.
• the star-spangled outfits of 8 year old Victoria Pipia, left, and her sister Julia, 5;
• the female veterans and widows waving to the crowd;
As the Crimea annexation plays out, some hawks long for the days of Reagan. If only President Reagan was alive, he would tell Mr. Putin to “get out of Crimea or else,” they say, or George Bush would have threatened Putin with cowboy-speak, and Russia would back down in fear. Fat chance!
The hawks always see threats as the answer to world conflicts. It doesn’t matter whether the dispute affects us or not, they just want us to show ‘em who’s boss by flapping our jaws and flexing our military might. They see Reagan as the man of steel, savior of the free world, and the guy who single-handedly toppled the Soviet Union. Europeans, however, and those more in the know, credit the Helsinki Accords as being the main force for causing the Soviet demise. I would believe the Europeans, who live there.
The right wing loves to credit Reagan because it gives them a hero. They don’t talk about Reagan’s raising taxes more than any other president, cutting and running in Lebanon, selling arms to Iran and illegally funneling money to the Contras, or giving three million illegal immigrants amnesty when he said, “I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here.”
He was the guy who spent billions on the military, and taught Dick Cheney the phrase “deficit spending is meaningless.” It was Reagan who started the hatred for the government. Reagan’s con-game experiment in trickle-down economics, giving more money to the wealthy, has been a dismal failure, and is still having disastrous effects on our infrastructure, middle class, and the lower income brackets today. Declaring war on unions, Reagan fired 16,000 air-traffic controllers in a labor dispute, and this was after their union supported him in the election. The right wing has an ongoing war on the unions today.
At this point in time, we need to rely on negotiation and our G7 partners in Europe to determine the course forward in dealing with the Ukraine situation. Our nation is war weary. We failed in the Vietnam War, fought a needless “war of choice” in Iraq launched under the false claim of weapons of mass destruction, and we’re finally winding down our forces in Afghanistan. We’ve wasted trillions of dollars on wars, and left hundreds of thousands dead and injured in our wake. It’s time we pay attention to what is needed and wanted here at home and stop being the world’s policeman.
Work on the Thomas P. Noonan Playground — named after a Sunnyside Vietnam War veteran — has finally begun.
“Noonan Playground is an important community hub for our seniors, families and local children,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) said at a groundbreaking ceremony on Friday. “This inclusive project is a wonderful example of what we can accomplish when we work together as a community to incorporate the needs of our local residents.”
Plans for the annual Memorial Day Parade in Howard Beach were announced last week.
According to Veterans of Foreign Wars Bernard J. Coleman Post 2565, the day’s events will begin at 9:30 a.m., Monday, May 26 with a Memorial Day Mass at Our Lady of Grace Church at 101st Street and 159th Avenue.
It isn’t often that an art exhibition is celebrated at its closing, but, then again, nothing about the display which had been on view at the 71st Avenue Triangle on Myrtle Avenue in Ridgewood for the past five months was ordinary.
The outdoor exhibit, a collaboration between the city Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program and the Veterans Administration’s New York Harbor Healthcare System, drew a small crowd, including several of the artists, to the site last Thursday for a final farewell to the collection of collages that had been made by a group of intergenerational veterans, participants in the hospital’s art therapy program.
The Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade Committee announced Monday the names of four Queens veterans who will lead the May 26 event.
Re “The Risk of War” by John Amato, Letters, March 27:
It should be obvious that power does what power wants, e.g., Putin annexing the Crimea. As are most people, I am against any nation interfering in the internal affairs of other nations — but for the U.S. to accuse Putin of doing what the U.S. has done on many more occasions, e.g., Iraq, Vietnam, Grenada, etc., is the height of hypocrisy. There is an old saying, “When going to court to sue others for wrongdoings, one should go in with clean hands.” This statement should be self-explanatory. Leaving aside the political rhetoric, the United States and Russia going to war over the instance such as this is ridiculous on its face.
In Queens many bars have come and gone. One was Tutie’s of Ozone Park, an institution and treasure in South Queens for many decades. In the 1940s Tutie’s began to gather up and display memorabilia, long before it was fashionable to decorate a bar or restaurant with such items.
As the years rolled by just about everything you could imagine ended up somewhere in the bar at 88-19 Liberty Ave. There was even a toilet seat hanging from the ceiling. If you could name something that wasn’t there, you’d get a free drink.
Pat Toro served his nation in wartime and his community ever since. Now he needs the community to be there for him.
Toro, a Marine who fought in Vietnam, is suffering from cancer, and desperately needs blood donations. A blood drive has been organized for him April 15 in Whitestone, but at least 40 people have to register for it ahead of time for it to go forward. As of the Chronicle’s press time Wednesday, fewer than half that number have, according to a source familiar with the push.
Assemblyman Ed Braunstein with Victoria Townes, recreation assistant at the St. Albans Community Living Center, and James Remias, a veteran of the Vietnam War.
The assemblyman honored veterans recently for Valentine’s Day, collecting cards and gifts to distribute in St. Albans.