Deadline to Send a “Touch of Home” to Troops is November 15th
With Veterans Day just around the corner, St. Lawrence County Clerk Mary Lou Rupp is joining State Senator Patty Ritchie in her campaign to collect holiday cards for the military as part of the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program.
“The holidays can be a lonely time for our men and women in the military,” said St. Lawrence County Clerk Mary Lou Rupp. “That’s why I am collecting cards at my DMV offices in Canton, Ogdensburg, Massena, Gouverneur and the St. Lawrence County Clerk’s office in the county courthouse .”
The program—which is sponsored by the American Red Cross—aims to collect donated Christmas cards to be sent to US soldiers serving overseas. This year, Senator Ritchie is also once again joining with Ogdensburg native and radio host Melody Burns to collect holiday greetings. Last year, Senator Ritchie was able to collect 2,200 holiday cards from Central and Northern New Yorkers to distribute to service members at military installations, veterans hospitals and other locations.
West Amherst, NY– State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer and State Assemblyman Ray Walter, along with members of The Wilson Family, today unveiled the interstate highway 990’s new designation as the “Staff Sergeant William R. Wilson III Memorial Highway.”
Today, Senator Bill Larkin (R-C, Cornwall-on-Hudson) called on the president and Congress to put the needs of veterans and their families first and set aside their partisan differences to ensure veterans are not harmed any further during the federal government’s shutdown.
Invites Public to “Send a Touch of Home” to Overseas Troops
State Senator Patty Ritchie today announced that she is once again joining with local radio personality Melody Burns to collect donated Christmas cards to be sent to US soldiers serving overseas through the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program sponsored by the American Red Cross.
“Last year, Northern and Central New Yorkers donated 2,200 holiday cards to distribute to our service members at military installations, veterans hospitals and other locations,” Senator Ritchie said. “These cards let them know that we truly appreciate their service and their sacrifice.”
“During the holidays, it’s very important that we remember our nation’s heroes who sacrifice so much to protect our nation and our liberties,” said Burns, who hosts a daily radio show on Talk 1300 AM WGDJ in Albany. “I have been promoting this Holiday Mail for Heroes program on my radio show in Albany. Two years ago I collected 1,000 cards. Last year, we collected 6,000. I am very pleased to again partner with Senator Ritchie to reach families across Northern and Central New York.”
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.
Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) will once again be sponsoring a “Cell Phones for Soldiers” program to benefit our troops serving overseas on Saturday, October 12th.
Residents with outdated or unwanted cell phones can donate them at the Seaford Train Station Parking Lot (northwest corner of Sunrise Highway & Jackson Avenue, Seaford) on October 12th from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. Participating in the program is easy; residents can simply drive up, drop off their unwanted cell phones, and drive away.
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.”
Albany, N.Y., July 9—Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) to designate a portion of State Route 14A between the town of Reading in Schuyler County and the village of Dundee in Yates County as the “Christopher J. Scott Memorial Highway,” has been signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.
Cuomo approved the measure early last week, on Wednesday, July 3, to coincide with the following day’s Fourth of July observance. He approved several similar pieces of legislation honoring three other fallen soldiers across New York.