Meet Hero Dog LT Robert Kirby! Hero dogs are “exceptionally trained canines who are teamed with other heroes, U.S. military veterans who have served honorably in our armed forces. Together these heroes form a dynamic team that can restore independence, provide confidence, and improve the quality of life for a veteran who has been injured or disabled.” LT Kirby’s training was sponsored by Post 1156 and he will soon be matched with his veteran partner. Stay tuned for more information!
Comrade Joe Germano attended the 74th Annual Commemoration of the Battle for Iwo Jima. He visited the Pacific Islands of Guam, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima. During his visit he was fortunate enough to meet the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Robert Neller. Comrade Germano is also seen here on his return trip Captain George Bustillo, and three copilots. Captain Bustillo emailed saying “It was a pleasure and an honor to have you onboard our 777-300 ER flight from Tokyo to Newark today. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.”
Joe Germano was nominated by Senator George Latimer to be inducted into the New York State Veteran’s Hall of Fame in 2017. The intent of the Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame is to recognize outstanding veterans from NYS who have distinguished themselves in both military and civilian life. Joe is a life-long resident of Mamaroneck and a WWII veteran. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943, and served in the Pacific Theater. Joe returned to Mamaroneck following his discharge in 1946 where he built a reputation as a successful businessman and a dedicated supporter of many community organizations. Joe has been recognized over the past 70+ years as highly valued member of our community, and is well deserving of this recognition.
VFW Post 1156 recently recognized 5 WWII members who remain actively involved in the Post. In the photograph above, they are (left to right) Joe Germano, Tom Santoro, Carl Mirande, Stanley Plesent and Tony Marsella. Joe and Tom served in the US Marine Corps, Stanley and Tony in the US Army and Carl in the US Navy. Joe, Tom and Carl served in the Pacific Theater, and Stanley and Tony served in the European Theater.
Joe, Tom, Carl, Stanley and Tony each continue to participate in the meetings and events of our Post. Post Commander Burt Corwin considers the five of them to be the distinguished elder statesmen of the Post. Four of the 5 were born and raised in our community, graduated from Mamaroneck High School and enlisted in the Army, Navy or Marines. Each of them then returned to our community after WWII and raised their own families here. The fifth member (Stanley Plesent) did not grow up here, but lived in Larchmont for over 30 years before recently returning to Manhattan. We hope to have them as comrades for many years to come.
Tony Marsella was nominated by Senator George Latimer to be inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The Kemper Memorial Park Preservation Fund (KMPPF) was the driving force behind this well deserved selection. The induction took place on Tuesday, May 20 in Albany. (May 20 happened to be Tony’s 90th birthday.) The ceremony was attended by Tony’s wife Josephine, daughter Donna and other family members, together with Commander Burt Corwin and Jan Northrup, President of KMPPF. There was a reception for Tony hosted jointly by the KMPPF and VFW Post 1156 at the post on Sunday, May 25 to allow his many comrades and friends who cannot attend the ceremony in Albany to congratulate him. http://mamaroneckreview.com/wwii-vet-keeps-memory-alive/
Stanley Plesent was recently awarded the French Legion of Honor for his contribution to the liberation of France during World War II. Stanley served in the European Theater as a member of the 36th Infantry Division. This award was presented to Stanley at a ceremony on May 9 at the U.S. Military Academy by the French Consulat General in New York Bertrand Lortholary. (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/french-honor-world-war-ii-vets-west-point )
Commander Burt Corwin led the effort in concert with Commander Ed Murray of American Legion Post 90 and Commander Al Bender of American Legion Post 347 to obtain Mamaroneck School Board commitment to the partial school tax exemption for veterans. In the end, we were successful against difficult odds. The critical events were our ads in the Mamaroneck Review on 3/14, 4/11 and 4/18, the district survey conducted by the Board from 4/9 – 4/21 and the subsequent public hearing on Tuesday, 4/22. We provided a strong case for the exemption, and the Board decided by a 4 to 2 vote (1 member was absent) to grant the exemption. The success of this effort brings some measure of school tax relief to 370 wartime service veterans or their surviving spouse, so it was certainly worthwhile.
VFW Post 1156 has long been an ardent supporter of service dogs for disabled veterans. In early 2012, we learned about ECAD, which breeds, trains and places dogs for people with various disabilities. ECAD’s Project HEAL focuses on providing service dogs for physically and/or psychologically disabled veterans. ECAD visited the Post as part of our March 2012 monthly meeting, and the rest is history. The Post has donated over $10,000 to ECAD since then, and was instrumental in securing a large donation for them from St. John’s Church in Larchmont in Spring 2012.
For over 60 consecutive years, VFW Post 1156 has hosted a picnic in August and a holiday party in December for veterans from the Montrose VA Hospital. The Post was recognized for its long history of service by Gerald Culliton, Director of the Hudson Valley VA Healthcare System. A plaque was presented to the Post by Yvette Rodriguez, Director of Volunteer Services, at the 2011 holiday party. The plaque was accepted on behalf of the Post by past commander Bill Capodanno, and hangs prominently on our “Wall of Honor”.