Category Archives: Suffolk County VAB

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.

Suffolk County Veterans Advisory Board

Sr. Vice Commander Dave Rogers attended the Suffolk County Veterans Advisory Board where they discussed issues that effect veterans across Long Island.

Liver Fluke Update: Suffolk County Veterans Service Officer Tom Ronayne traveled to Washington DC to talk about expanding the testing for Liver Fluke. Since 14 out of 50 test came back positive the Veterans Services is asking for an additional 10,000 test to include areas that have a large population of Vietnam Veterans like Suffolk County, Florida and California.

The current problem is there is only one doctor that does the test, and it took over a year to get just the 50 tests done. Talked about trying to be rights to expand the test. They have also raised the price for each test as they hold the rights over them from 15.00 a test to 35.00 a test.

Another problem is Vietnam Veterans who have died of what is believed to be Liver Fluke related illnesses never had pathology done on their livers as a understanding of the effects.

Also don’t know if this is transferable to family members.

Suffolk County Veteran Services is also discussing with the VA if it would be wise to simply treat all Vietnam Veterans as testing would take so long and once the disease is active there is no cure.

VA Riverhead Clinic:

Suffolk County Veteran Services gave the VA Riverhead Clinic their space, allowing them to expand, this will include bringing addition services to the Riverhead Clinic including PT, OT. The Veteran Center in Babylon will also have an office in the Riverhead Clinic

Veterans Service Officers: There will be 3 new Service Officers as of March 26th with another 2 more eyed for the near future.

Sampsa Grant:

Suffolk County Veterans Services looks to build more programs that helps identify more of the veterans population and need in Suffolk County. Also looking for developing more alternatives to incarceration at precent level. Also identify veterans in jail and on way to jail. This is only for non-felonys.

Also looking for ways to help more veterans get enrolled in the VA, at current the VA only enrolls about 33% of current veterans.