Capt. Swenson to Receive Medal of Honor at White House Ceremony on Oct. 15
State Senator Patty Ritchie is announcing that William Swenson, a former Army captain and Fort Drum soldier slated to receive the Medal of Honor next week, is now featured in her “Hometown Heroes” exhibit; a traveling tribute to recipients of the nation’s highest military honor now on display at museums, libraries and other locations throughout Central and Northern New York.
Capt. Swenson will be awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery during combat in Afghanistan in 2009 on October 15th at a special ceremony being held at the White House.
“Representing our nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor is awarded to those who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to serve their country, and next week, we will pause to thank Capt. Swenson for his courageous actions,” said Senator Ritchie.
Specialist Isaac Wieboldt recognized by O'Brien, Town Board for Hurricane Sandy heroism
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- During Hurricane Sandy, Army National Guardsman Isaac Wieboldt, 21, assisted the Island Park Fire Department in the evacuation of at least 28 people simultaneously threatened by both rising flood waters and a serious fire.
Earlier this year, he was recognized with the New York State Medal for Valor, the state's most prestigious military decoration.
Last night, Senator Ted O'Brien, Pittsford Town Supervisor Sandra Zutes and members of the Pittsford Town Council added local recognition to the many accolades Wieboldt has received.
State Senator Patty Ritchie honored the late US Army Lieutenant General Paul Cerjan in Henderson Harbor Thursday, presenting the bill naming the I-81 Ft. Drum Connector in his honor to the Cerjan Family.
Senator Ritchie proposed legislation to name the roadway in General Cerjan’s honor, and it was signed into law by Governor Cuomo last year.
“General Cerjan played a key role in the transformation of Fort Drum and because of him, the post went from becoming a small reserve training center to a world-class military installation,” said Senator Ritchie.
“It’s fitting that we named this roadway in his honor; because it’s goal—making things safer, and easier for 10th Mountain Division soldiers, their families and others visiting Ft. Drum—is much like the goals that General Cerjan had.”
Funding Will Benefit PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program
for Veterans, River Community Wellness Program
State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $185,000 in special funding to help veterans in Jefferson County who are struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other combat-related illnesses.
The funding will be split evenly between two local support programs offering peer-to-peer support activities; the PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans—which was established in part through a grant secured by Senator Ritchie last year—and the recently founded River Community Wellness Program.
“The brave men and women who serve our country are such a huge part of our community here in the North Country, and that’s why it’s so critical that we have resources available to them to help them cope with the transition when they return home from serving overseas,” said Senator Ritchie.
“Programs like PFC Joseph Dwyer Peer Support Program for Veterans and the River Community Wellness Program give our troops the opportunity to interact with fellow soldiers, who may be experiencing the same emotions and challenges related to serving ones country. I am pleased to be able to offer this funding, which will go a long way towards making sure these solders—who have sacrificed so much—get the care they need.”
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Senator Ted O’Brien issued the following statement today, on the occasion of the 231st anniversary of the creation of the Purple Heart award by George Washington while he was Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army:
“Today, on Purple Heart Day, we honor America’s bravest military servicemen and women, both past and present.
The Purple Heart is America’s oldest military decoration, established by General George Washington in 1782 to recognize exceptional examples of heroism and sacrifice among members of our armed services.
Senator Lee Zeldin (R, C, I—Shirley) attended the first ever Military Family Appreciation Day at Heckscher State Park this past Sunday, July 28th. The event was organized by the Soldiers Project, a group that offers free, confidential counseling for military members and their families.
Traveling Exhibit Recognizes Local Medal of Honor Recipients
State Senator Patty Ritchie is recognizing local Medal of Honor recipients through a traveling display that will be featured at museums, libraries and other locations throughout Central and Northern New York throughout the coming months.
The display features several St. Lawrence and Oswego County Civil War heroes, a group of little known Jefferson County Medal of Honor recipients who served at Madison Barracks at the turn of the century, and a former member of the 10th Mountain Division from WWII.
“So many brave men and women have put their lives on the line for their country, and the Medal of Honor is the ultimate honor for that service,” said Senator Ritchie. “What many people don’t realize is that our region is home to 45 of New York State’s Medal of Honor recipients. I would like to thank the organizations who will be hosting this exhibit and introducing people in our communities to the heroes who have called our area “home.”
The Soldiers Project is hosting a free family fun day funded by the Knapp Swezey Foundation at Heckscher State Park on Sunday, July 28, 2013, from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm for military families residing in Suffolk County. This event promises a day of fun for all ages including food, music, games, and activities. If you’re interested in participating, please register your family to attend by June 30th, 2013.
Kennedy wants new legislation that will help military families live more comfortably and make ends meet, after making great sacrifices for state and nation.
Kennedy’s bills will provide tuition assistance for children whose parents served in armed forces, help vets and their families cover property tax bills, boost veterans’ access civil-service jobs.
Kennedy: Entire families bear the burden of sacrifice when a son or daughter, husband or wife, father or mother is called to duty to protect our freedom and security. Our state must do more to support military families.
This week, many people will join friends and family members to fire up the grill, load up the cooler, and find that perfect spot to watch a spectacle in the sky for the Fourth of July holiday. But, the Fourth is so much more than cookouts and fireworks displays. It’s a chance to salute our nation—as well as those who defend it.
This year, our nation will celebrate its 237th birthday. It was on July 4th 1776 that the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Continental Congress, declaring the 13 colonies a free nation. If you’d like to read the document for yourself, you can request a copy by clicking here.
Senator Phil Boyle Has Partnered With Cell Phones For Soldiers To Provide Troops With Free Calls Home Senator Phil Boyle and nonprofit Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. are asking community residents to help troops call home by donating gently-used cellular phones. Although the military landscape is ever changing, as many as 290,000 troops are serving in the U.S. military overseas around the world. By donating to Cell Phones for Soldiers, community members can provide troops with that precious connection to loved ones back home.- On Saturday, June, 29, 2013, community members can bring their used cell phones to the American Legion Hall 94, 22 Grove Place in Babylon from 10:00AM until 1:00PM.
The 4th Annual Military & Veterans Appreciation Event will be held on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at Watkins Glen International in conjunction with this weekend's Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen. Find out more...
There is still more to be learned about the Army’s troop restructuring plan and its full effect on Fort Drum and surrounding North Country communities, but one thing is clear: our region will be impacted from the loss of troops, their families and civilian employees at the post, and in surrounding communities.
The potential for additional, even deeper cuts as a result of inaction on the federal budget, referenced repeatedly during the Army’s Pentagon announcement, raises even greater concerns, and makes today’s news a strong wake up call for Congress to act.