WAPPINGERS FALLS, NY—This Veterans Day weekend, Senator Sue Serino (R, C, I—Hyde Park) once again joined Mental Health America’s Vet2Vet program to honor local veterans at their second appreciation pasta dinner of the year at the Knights of Columbus in Wappingers Falls. Serino and Vet2Vet, along with community volunteers served hundreds of local veterans and their guests over two seatings at the event.
“It is rare opportunity to have a chance to serve those who have served our country and our community, and I look forward to it each and every year” said Senator Sue Serino who has joined forces with the Vet2Vet program to coordinate the events twice per year since taking office. “These events not only play a direct role in connecting our local veterans with critical community resources and one another, but they serve as an important reminder to our local veterans and their families that they have a community behind them who remains grateful for their service and their selfless sacrifices.”
Adam Roche, Program Manager of MHA Dutchess Vet2Vet Veterans' Peer Services, said, “MHA of Dutchess County Vet2Vet program is proud to sponsor Senator Serino’s Veterans’ pasta dinner. We look forward to this event every year to meet and support our local Veterans of Dutchess County.”
The events—the first of which was held at the American Legion in Wingdale this year—are funded through the Dutchess County Vet2Vet program, a program established locally after Senator Serino successfully secured funding in the state budget through the state’s Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Program.
While each dinner aims to bring our veterans together and honor their service, they also help to highlight the program’s important work and remind our veterans of the various resources that are available locally. Vet2Vet was established by veterans, for veterans and leverages peer to peer services to help local veterans who may struggling with the effects of PTSD, TBI, addiction or mental health issues. For more information about the program and available services, visit: https://mhadutchess.org/vet2vet-resource-office/ or call Adam Roche at 845-443-7332 ext. 1307 to make an appointment. Referrals are not necessary to access the program and it is open to veterans of all ages.
As always, non-perishable food items were collected at the event and will be donated to Castle Point Veterans Food Bank, Carmine Romeo of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Department performed for the veterans and Adam Nowik and Bob Monaco—also of the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office—volunteered as the event’s chefs. Students from Ketcham High School, Spackenkill National Honor Society, St. Martin de Porres Confirmation class, Boy Scout Troop 26 and MHA's Young Adult and Teen Challenge, volunteered at the event. Door prizes were donated by the Poughkeepsie Galleria, Texas Roadhouse, Chili's, Antonella's, Stop and Shop in Hyde Park, as well as Rt. 44 and Rt. 9 in Poughkeepsie, Price Chopper, Foam and Wash Car Wash, Red Lobster, Longobardi's, Umberto's, Shop Rite in Poughkeepsie, Joe Cristiano's, Adams Fairacre Farms, Hopewell Drug Store, McDonalds, Nick's Pizza and The Odyssey Diner.