Category Archives: Suffolk County Council

Dept of NY VFW State Convention

Commander Dave Rogers attended the Dept of NY State Convention.

During the convention he attended the Legislative Committee, where they talked about the legislative issues before VFW.

VFW Veteran Service Officer Funding:

The VFW has requested continued funding for the highly effective Veterans Service Officer program. In 2018 funding of up to 125,000.00 for the VFW was approved and more than 500,000.00 of back funding has been justified and is soon to be awarded to the VFW for Service Officer activities for the past six years. We will lobby to continue this 125,000.00 yearly.

PFC Joseph P. Dwyer- Peer to Peer Mentoring:

The VFW Strongly supports continued funding for the highly regarded Dwyer Program and supports additional grant funding routed through the Division of Veterans Affairs of one million dollars for veteran to veteran services. In 2018 funding of 500,000 was approved and will be available for all Posts to apply for approximately 30,000.00 in accordance with DVA requirements published on their website.

Division of Veterans Affairs -RFP Enabled funding for VSO’s:

The VFW supports continued direct funding for VSO’s of Congressional recognized Veterans Service Organizations such as the VFW and DAV and lauds the newly appropriated funding to develop a two-year RFP within the Division of Veterans Affairs for the recognized veteran service organizations to apply for funding for additional veteran service officers and peer to peer counseling. In 2018 500,000 was approved.

Dwyer Peer to Peer Certification Program:

To encourage this career path, we are asking the legislature and the Governor to examine existing resources within the Division of Veterans Affairs, Office of Court Administration, Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse to create an optional registration/accreditation track for veteran mentors in and out of the court system.

Veterans Defense Program:

The VFW is grateful that the legislature and Governor have a Veteran Focus and provide funding directed to the Veterans Defense Program. For the past three budget cycles, appropriations have provided highly successful defense counseling for veterans who get in serious trouble with the law as a result of service related stressors. The VDP creates hope for veterans and was instrumental in interfacing with veterans who have crossed paths with the law at the felony level. While Veteran Treatment Courts are expanding in all areas of the state, that focus is largely on misdemeanors. The VFW, deems the Veterans Defense Program essential in taking up where VTC leaves off as service related stressors do not distinguish between felony and misdemeanor.

Educational Funding for Veterans Defense Program:

We support additional funding for VDP initiatives including a Veterans Defense Practice Manual, Veteran Mitigation Specialist Training, a convening of Veterans Treatment Court defense attorneys and full-time specialists to assist in their already overburdened caseload.

Section 55-c Program amended to encourage Governor’s Executive Privilege:

The VFW supported a legislative initiative to amend the civil service law creating a new section (55d) which mandates rather than leave optional a requirement that the Civil Service Commission create up to 500 additional civil service positions for disabled veterans. In reviewing the mandate approach to this disability issue the VFW supports the law remaining permissive but requests a provision requiring the State Agencies to report to the Governor and/ or the Legislature on efforts to fill these vacancies within a reasonable timeframe.

Active Duty Service-Members Property Tax Exemption:

This legislation amends the real property tax law to redefine an active duty member of the military thereby broadening the application of the permissive property tax exemption currently given veterans honorably discharged. The VFW seeks an amended approach to create a separate section of law extending a similar permissive property tax exemption to those on active duty. The objective of this bill is to encourage active duty service members to stay in New York upon retirement and to assist them while they serve. This bill passed the Senate, has not seen movement in the Assembly.

The Convention:

Commander Rogers also had a chance to address the Convention and talk about the issues facing the next generation of veterans which the VFW is looking to approach for membership. He talked about the need to make some changes, while understanding that change is not always easy, but also about mentoring veterans today for the leadership of tomorrow.

The Commander attended the State Commanders Dinner, a BBQ at the Albany Post, and networked with comrades from different districts on working together and building programs to help veterans.

Suffolk County Veterans Advisory Board


Incoming Commander Dave Rogers attended the May meeting of the Suffolk County Veterans Advisory Board, where the following items were discussed.

  1. Armed Forces Day will be moved into the Downstairs Plaza at the H. Lee Dennison Building inside the building due to projected rain. Tony Davis, Senior Regional Experience Officer will be the guest speaker.
  2. During the month of June, Suicide Awareness Month, Veterans Services will be placing at the H. Lee Dennison Building, right of the Armed Forces Monument 660 US Flags equaling the 22 veterans a day that committee suicide per month and 30 US Flags equaling the 1 active soldier per day that committees suicide per month. While reflecting on this we discussed the issue that more soldiers are being deployed multiple times, and after deployment being sent either to a new unit, or having to return home to civilian life for National Guard and Reserves, only to be called up again after a few months. We also talked about the fact that many of them once model soldiers, become less then honorable discharges because of PTSD, giving them no access to the VA to handle their problems. For those that are in this situation, the Veterans Services in Suffolk will follow up to see if this is the cause of your discharge and not just turn you away. For those that also don’t have access or are waiting for access there is the Dwyer program that helps veterans regardless of their discharge status. The only exception to discharge status at the VA is those that suffer from Military Sexual Trauma.
  3.  The Veteran POD at the Yaphank Prison will be getting a service dog. In an attempt to lesson the Recidivism, which at the Veteran POD is the lowest at only 5-6%, by not only having a service dog in residence, but also by bringing in a trainer who will teach the veterans in the POD how to be a service dog trainer in apprenticeship. Allowing them to not only seek, but have training in a job when they get out. The service dog and trainers will be provided by Paws of War.
  4. There were not a lot of applications for grants through the Suffolk County Marathon, there will be a planned training for the future grants. The next marathon is Oct 28th.
  5. Members of the Suffolk County Veterans Advisory Board have been invited to attend the State of the County, more info to come after the speech.
  6. Veterans Services will be moving to the South side of the building in the next couple of weeks, the great thing about the new offices is that each service officer will have an individual office to better ensure veterans privacy.
  7. The new Vet Center and expanded clinic in Riverhead is in the final stages. There is already a full time Veterans Service Officer stationed in Riverhead, and they might put another based on the increase in veterans going to the Riverhead clinic and Center.

Installation of 2018-2019 Officers and Award Banquet

VFW Post 2913 and the Post 2913 Auxiliary held their 73rd Annual Installation of Officers and Awards Banquet. This is a unique time of year where we not only get to install the officers but thank special members of the community for their support to the VFW, Veterans of Patchogue and the Patchogue Community.

This event was well attended with about 90 people in attendance including members of VFW Post 2913, the Post 2913 Auxiliary, friends and community members of Patchogue and the Commanders, Honorees and Distinguished Guest which included:

Past State VFW Commander Dennis Sullivan and his wife Theresa of Post 4927 AUX.

Past Suffolk County Council Commander George Egan

Suffolk County Legislator Rob Calarco

The Mayor Of Patchogue Village Paul Pontieri

Village Trustees Lori Devlin and Susan Henke Brinkman

Executive Director of the Greater Patchogue Chamber David Kennedy

Erin Deletto and Kyle Watts of St. Joseph College SVA

LTJG Gary Vertichio and the LT Michael P. Murphy Sea Cadets

LT Michael P. Murhy’s Mother Maureen Murphy

Commander of the American Legion Jon Ralph

The evening started off with light Horderves and Music by Jason Kaplan. at 7:30 Out-Going Commander George Barrett Opened the Post with the Sea Cadets performing the Color Guard. Chaplain Mike Amodio gave the opening prayer and presented the POW/MIA Table. The Post meeting was than suspended for the Awards Ceremony and Dinner.

Due to the amount of work that has been done in the community, from members of the community and around the post this year a lot of awards where presented at the Dinner. All Honorees received an award from VFW Post 2913, as well as from Congressman Lee Zeldin, State Senator Tom Croci, County Legislator Robert Calarco, and Village of Patchogue Mayor Paul Pontieri.

Officer of the Year, PO Alberto Acebedo was recognized for being part of arresting 3 out of 5 pattern crimes this last year. Patchogue Ambulance Company recognized Christopher Boccabella for his continued hard work in the community answering over 1000 calls. Ex-Capt Joseph Fising was not able to be present to receive his award for many years of service to the Patchogue Community. This year we included the Media Award for the Long Island Advance who has shown a lot of support to the VFW and the Veterans of Patchogue insuring that we have coverage for our events and programs we do in the community.

Three special awards where presented that night. First to Nicole Niemiec a member of the Patchogue Medford High School Red and Black Newspaper for her coverage of the Veterans of VFW Post 2913, unfortunately Nicole was not able to be present. The Village of Patchogue DPW was awarded for their continued support to veterans and their programs in the village, DPW was also not able to attend. David Kennedy accepted the award on behalf of the Patchogue Chamber of Commerce. Thanks to their efforts and support VFW Post 2913 was able to make new connections in the Village, expand some of their programs, get new sponsors and share information with the members of the chamber.

Member Awards were given to Peter Palamidis and Scott McKendrick. Peter Palamidis was walking in Swan Lake and noticed that the Vietnam Memorial Stone was not being taken care of and that they tree had died. Instead of just complaining Pete jumped into action and reached out to people to help fix the problem. Thanks to his hard work there is a new tree planted, the stone is now visible from the street. A dedication ceremony will be held on June 2nd at 10 AM at Swan Lake.

Scott McKendrick a member of the Post and also of the Sons of the Union worked very hard this last year with members of the Sons, the Village of Patchogue, the Patchogue Chamber and others in the community to see that the Civil War Statue in the Veterans Park get repaired. Thanks to his hard work, the statue is well on its way to being repaired and the supports redone. The statue is expected to be back in place for Veterans Day in Nov.

Besides the members of the Post who help out around the hall. Members of the Community and Friends of Out-Going Commander and Hall Rental Chairman George Barrett made a lot of projects possible this year. Some helped with repairs around the post, some with cooking for fundraisers and a few doing both. In order to show our appreciation VFW Post 2913 presented them with special awards for their support. The Honorees included, Ken Stoeckert, Tony Riggio, Joe Dragone, Bob Otto, Jim McGunnigle, Frank Wragge.

Besides for the work that we do the VFW also recognizes members who have been in service to the VFW for more than 5 years. This year the Post presented a 20 Year Pin to Chaplain and Past Commander Michael Amodio, and a 65 Year Pin and Patch to Past Commander Winn Davis for their continued support and membership to the VFW.

The LT Michael Murphy Sea Cadets was presented with a certificate for their participation and support during our Installation Dinner by providing the Color Guard.

Than the Auxiliary presented their membership awards including presentations to Auxiliary members McKendrick and Rogers for their support and service.

The Post then presented it’s Man of the Year Award to In-Coming Commander Dave Rogers, who was instrumental in getting a lot of donations, grants and collections for the Post, the Homeless Program, Buddy Poppies and the Installation Dinner. Rogers also received a quilt from the Post 2913 Auxiliary for his support to the veterans of Patchogue.

After the Awards dinner was served which included Chicken Cordon Bleu (cooked by Jim McGunnigle), Corn, Broccoli rabe (Cooked by George Barrett), Pasta Primavera (Village Idiot), Rolls and Salad, with the assistance of members of the Post George Barrett and, Dave Rogers and Bob Rogers of the Auxiliary. The set up for the evening was made possible by the work of members of VFW Post 2913 George Barrett, Dave Rogers, George Egan, Jeff Molitor, Members of the Auxiliary Nancy Barrett, Maria Shine, and Bob Rogers and friends of the Post Tom Rogers, and Jim McGunnigle.

None of the evening activities could have been possible without the journal sponsors and donors to the evening. The Village of Patchogue, The Greater Patchogue Foundation, The Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, St. Joseph’s College, Friends of State Senator Tom Croci, Friends of County Legislator Rob Calarco, The Patchogue Arts Council, Harmony Cafe, Friends of Town of Brookhaven Councilman Neil Foley, The Patchogue Fire Department, The Long Island Advance, Reese’s 1900, Friends of the Patchogue Medford Hall of Fame Booster Club, Roast Coffee and Tea, Swan Realty, Trudy Lauben of Coldwell Banker, the Patchogue Medford Library, The Patchogue Lioness Lions Club, Montauk Beer, Blue Point Brewery, Subtle Tea, Old-Timer Moonshine, Kilwins, The Patchogue Garden Club, Amazing Olive, The Village Idiot, The Cheese Patch, The Colony Shop, Graphic Impressions, Hummel Hummel Bakery.

After Dinner the Post was called back to order for the Installation of Officers. The Auxiliary lead by President Nancy Barrett had their installation done by long time member and and Past President Ida Davis. After the Installation President Nancy Barrett spoke about her gratefulness for all the Auxiliary has done and her looking forward to the future working with VFW Post 2913 on events and fundraisers.

VFW Post 2913 than conducted their installation by George Egan. Outgoing commander George Barrett escorted the members to the Alter where they took their pledge of office, followed by a prayer from Chaplain Michael Amodio. Commander Rogers was presented with his gavel of Office and his Commander Hat, Rogers than spoke about his years of service in the military and how he plans to use what he learned through that to help the VFW. He also spoke about how the VFW was instrumental in getting his life back on track and his commitment to continue to give back to the VFW.

Commander Rogers than presented Out-Going Commander George Barrett with a Past Commanders Scroll and Past Commanders Pin, than presented all the incoming officers for the 2018-2019 year with a scroll of Office and Pin of their Office. The Meeting was than turned over to Commander George Barrett who closed the post.

Guest than enjoyed deserts and coffee provided by Hummel Hummel Bakery, Roast Coffee and Tea Trading Company and a special Commanders Cake made by Brittnie Perry of Roast.

Suffolk County Voice of Democracy

Suffolk County Council held their annual Voice of Democracy Award Ceremony. Congratulations to the winners Jordan McClintock for 1st Place in the County and 2nd Place in the District. Efrain Laguna for 2nd Place in the county. Katrina Ellis for 3rd Place in the county.

The winners were joined by their families and members of their VFW Posts came out to show support as well. Besides their awards presented by Sabrina Lacy Commander of the Suffolk County Council and Dave Rogers Jr. Vice Commander and Chairman for the Voice of Democracy for the County VFW they were presented awards from local officials to show their support for the students and the program. All students received a certificate from Congressman Lee Zeldin. Efrain Laguna received an award from Town of Babylon’s Councilwoman Jaqueline Gordon. Jordon McClintock received certificates from Jane Bonner from the Town of Brookhaven and Sarah Anker County Legislator.

Coffee with a Veteran

Our second Coffee with a Veteran was a great success, we had a lot of support shown by the community and got to network with locals, village officials and other veterans. Thanks to all that came out tonight. Commander George Barrett, Past Commander Scott McKendrick, Senior Vice Commander Dave Rogers, Past County Commander Andy Vega, American Legion Post 269 Commander Jon Ralph, Peter Palamidis, Robb Novonty, Richard Lau, Mayor Paul Pontieri, Village Trustees Susan Henke Brinkman and Joe Keyes, The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War of Long Island Commander Tom Badamo, and other gathered at Roast Coffee and Tea to share stories and network.