Monthly Archives: June 2014

Incredible Conference Offered at RIT for Veterans June 17 and 18


This is Kelly Sorensen from RIT. RIT has put together an incredible conference that will explore the the uses of effective access technology.

Part of this conference will focus on the use of effective access technology and its application to disabled veterans. There is a lot of potential for our region to become a nationally known best practice for combining access technology with our already first rate veterans programs to form an even more formidable community for serving veterans and their families. VA General Counsel Will Gunn and Syracuse IMVF Executive Director and Founder Dr. Tim Haynie will be among the keynote speakers. If a veteran would like to attend dinner on the 17th its $20.

Admission into any of the sessions of this conference is free to veterans (minus dinner). The conference is June 17 and 18 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. For more information and a full schedule please visit

If you’re willing to promote this event on your website, social media or through word of mouth please contact Kelly at

American Legion Supports Veterans Choice Act

Barbara J. Kerr
Executive Secretary
The American Legion
Department of New York
112 State St., Suite 1300
Albany, NY 12207
518-463-2215 FAX: 518-427-8443

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” – Jose Narosky

From: Raughter, John B. []
Sent: Tuesday, June 03, 2014 4:44 PM
To: All Legion Leadership
Subject: Release: American Legion supports Veterans Choice Act

Legion supports Veterans Choice Act

The senate bill would allow VA enrollees to use private health care under certain conditions

WASHINGTON — Legislation introduced in the Senate on June 3 would give veterans more choice and flexibility in their health-care treatment under certain conditions, such as the inability of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers to schedule appointments in a timely manner.

Veterans would be free to seek health care in the private sector if VA cannot schedule a timely appointment for them, or if they live more than 40 miles from the nearest VA medical center or community-based outpatient clinic.

Under provisions of the American Legion-backed bill (authorized for only two years) VA enrollees would receive a “Choice Card” to use for medical care from a non-VA provider.

In his letter of support, American Legion National Commander Daniel M. Dellinger wrote that the bill “provides resources now to assist veterans being denied health care by lengthy wait-times.”

Noting that any legislation addressing access to VA health care should protect the department as the primary means of care for veterans, Dellinger stated, “The health care veterans will receive through non-VA facilities will still be managed through VA’s office of non-VA care….

“While this legislation expands on VA’s existing authority to allow veterans to receive care outside the system when VA cannot meet the demand for care, it strengthens the system by providing clear direction on how that outside care will be managed with the end goal of bringing those veterans back into the system.”

The measure would also improve transparency by directing VA to post on its medical center websites the current wait-times for appointments, and establish disciplinary procedures for any employee who knowingly falsifies data pertaining to wait-times and quality measures.

Provisions of the VA Management Accountability Act (H.R. 4031), which passed the House, are also included in the bill, which would give the VA Secretary the authority to demote or fire senior executives based on performance.

An October 2012 resolution ( passed by The American Legion called on VA to “develop a well-defined and consistent non-VA care coordination program, policy and procedure that includes a patient-centered care strategy” that takes veterans’ “travel and distance (from VA facilities) into account.”


Media contacts: Washington – Marty Callaghan:202-263-5758/202-341-8900, or Indianapolis – Joe March, 317-630-1254/317- 748-1926, , John Raughter, 317-630-1350 / 317 441-8847. A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr.Dellinger is available at

Calling All Veterans: A Few Seats Left!

40 seats still open.



Tuesday, June 10, 2014, Final Objective Lobby Day


11:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY.

  • Free Rochester-area bus leaves 6:00 AM at Exit 47 Leroy “park and ride” lot.
  • Complimentary coffee/donuts on bus.  Arrive in Albany 11:00 AM. 
  • Complimentary lunch and briefing, meetings with legislators, news conference.
  • Bus leaves Albany 5:30 – 6:00 PM with stop at Thruway restaurant for dinner.



CALLING ALL VETERANS: Support the Justice for Our Veterans Act


Your Veteran Brothers & Sisters in Trouble Need Your Help.

Help pass the Justice for Our Veterans Act (A. 7529A and S.5624A)

before the State Legislature leaves town on June 19th!


This bill is strongly supported by the American Legion, Marine Corps League, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Clear Path for Veterans, Rochester Veterans Outreach Center, NYSDA Veterans Defense Program and others representing over 250,000 NY veterans.


Tuesday, June 10, 2014, Final Objective Lobby Day


11:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Legislative Office Building, Albany, NY.

Free Rochester-area bus leaves 6:00 AM at Exit 47 Leroy “park and ride” lot.

Complimentary coffee/donuts on bus.  Arrive in Albany 11:00 AM. 

Complimentary lunch and briefing, meetings with legislators, news conference.

Bus leaves Albany 5:30 – 6:00 PM with stop at Thruway restaurant for dinner.


Please Register for June 10th Lobby Day: Contact Anne Rabe, Veterans Defense Program, 518-465-3524 (day) or 518-732-4538 (eve),


Justice for Veteran Joe: Specialist Joe Smith returns home from combat duty with undiagnosed PTSD after his platoon suffered many deaths. His battle buddy is being harassed by a man at a bar. Joe defends him, acting reflexively as he was trained to do. He breaks the man’s jaw, sending him to the hospital. Charged with 1st degree Assault, Joe faces 5 to 25 years in prison. If this bill were law, a court would ensure Joe got a medical evaluation and PTSD treatment. The court could then reduce or dismiss the assault charge when Joe finishes his treatment.


Increasingly, our veterans are coming home with untreated PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, alcohol/drug addiction or depression. If they commit a crime, veterans deserve a fair criminal justice process with a medical evaluation and treatment.  


The bill establishes procedures so that veterans in the criminal justice system receive necessary treatment if they are suffering from physical or mental illnesses as a result of military service that may have played a role in the charged offense. If a vet completes the court-ordered treatment plan, the court has the option to reduce or dismiss the charges when appropriate. Veterans charged with a violent Class A felony, such as murder, or any sex offense, would have medical evaluation/treatment recommendation, but are not eligible for the diversion program.


The men and women who put their lives on the line for America’s freedom deserve any needed support upon returning home. The Justice for Our Veterans Act puts our nation’s pledge to support the troops into action. It directly assists, in a concrete way, the most vulnerable of our veteran


Anne Rabe

Organizing Coordinator

New York State Defenders Association


194 Washington Ave., Albany, New York 12210

The NYSDA Veterans Defense Program provides defense attorneys with training, backup and litigation support in the defense of veterans, assists public defense programs with procedures for the defense of veterans, and encourages restorative justice programs for veterans. Contact Director Gary A. Horton for more information at 585-219-4862, , 23 Jackson Street, Batavia, New York 14020.


Honor Guard Busy

The Honor Guard has been called upon four times in the last week to help grieving families say goodbye to a valued family member who has been called home. On Monday, June 2, the Honor Guard was privileged to be called to Sampson Veterans’ Cemetery in Seneca County. The James R. Hickey Post #120 considers it an honor to render the final tributes to our fellow veterans.

100_1329 Flag detail and Rifle firing party stand at Parade Rest awaiting detail commands.

From left to right: Howard Moore, Dave Keukelaar, Joe Sobus, Jim Arthurton, Bob Trox, Fred Gardner, Dave Borland, George Pierce,
Bob Eagley. In a single picture is Anne Guest as the bugler for Taps.
Anne Guest provided Taps at the ceremony

Anne Guest provided Taps at the ceremony. Thank you for the pictures provided by Bev and Dave Keukelaar.

Sampson Veterans Cemetery honors a new arrival.

Sampson Veterans Cemetery honors a new arrival.


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