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West Seneca Veterans Committee
West Seneca Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony
The Annual Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony sponsored by the West Seneca Veterans Committee will be held on Monday, May 29, 2017. Parade marchers will step–off from Southgate Plaza, near Evans National Bank, in West Seneca at precisely 10:30am and march north on Union Road to the West Seneca Town Hall, where units will gather for the annual ceremony to honor all Americans who gave their lives to keep our nation free. The guest speaker will be Russell D. Ward, a Vietnam veteran who received the Purple Heart for wounds sustained during the 1968 Tet Offensive and is currently the Senior Vice Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart. The member units of the West Seneca Veterans Committee, which include American Legion Post 735, Marine Corp. League Detachment 239, Veterans of Foreign Wars VFW Post 8113, Navy Seabee Veterans of America Island X–5, AMVETS Post 8113, Harvey D. Morin VFW Post 2940 and the 82nd Airborne, will place American Flags alongside a casket symbolizing America’s war dead. The public is invited to attend the Memorial Day Ceremony to honor our soldiers who died in all of America’s wars. Hot dogs and refreshments will follow at American Legion Post 735, located across the street at 35 Legion Parkway.
Construction on the Library/Community Center as of May 10, 2017
Changes Coming to the West Seneca Walkway of Freedom Complex
As you may know, the library/community center expansion project will soon begin. This project will have an effect on the Walkway of Freedom Complex.
Here are some of the action items that are needed:
- Five (5) of the Learning Stations will be removed and placed into storage. This will include the learning stations for World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War and the Afghanistan War.
The Learning Stations were removed and placed into storage.
- The Harvey D. Morin Post 2940 and the West Seneca Veterans Committee benches will be removed and placed into storage.
The Harvey D. Morin, VFW Post 2940 bench was removed and placed into storage on October 7th.
- The Path of Courage and the Path of Honor signage will be removed and placed into storage.
The signs were removed and placed into storage on October 7th.
- The Vietnam War Memorial, currently in front of the library, will be dismantled and moved into storage.
The The Vietnam Memorial has been removed and placed into storage.
- The Fireman's Memorial and the Policeman's Memorial are to be placed in front of Town Hall.
Both memorials have been moved to their new location. The monuments have been placed on either side of the West Seneca Town Hall sign.
And the biggest will be:
- The removal of the engraved bricks on the Path of Courage from the Gatling gun back to the Path of Glory. This will be about 300 bricks. The engraved bricks will be removed, numbered, placed on pallets and stored.
The engraved bricks were removed on October 11th, loaded on pallets and placed into storage.
- All of the blank bricks that currently make up the Path of Honor will be removed, placed on a pallet and stored.
The blank bricks were removed on October 11th and placed into storage
The reason this work had to be done was is to protect the benches, signs, and most importantly, the engraved bricks from heavy equipment. Work will on the new foundation and we want to be sure that nothing from the Walkway of Freedom complex will be damaged during the construction phase.
If you purchased a veterans brick and it is currently located in the Path of Courage, your brick(s) will be removed until such time as it is safe to be replaced back into the pathway.
We will not be offering bricks for sale this year due to the uncertainty of when construction is to be completed. Once the pathways can be recreated, bricks will be offered for sale.
We apologize for any inconvenience at this time, but the construction will ultimately benefit the Walkway of Freedom complex and the West Seneca Veterans Committee is excited for the positive changes that will be coming to the Walkway of Freedom.
The Tank is Coming to West Seneca
After five years working with Congressman Brian Higgins' Office, the United States Army Donations Program and assistance from the West Seneca Town Board, the West Seneca Joint Veterans Committee has been able to secure an obsolete military vehicle to be permanently displayed in the Walkway of Freedom complex in the West Seneca Veterans Memorial Park. The obsolete vehicle coming to West Seneca is an American M60A3 Tank.
The first M60 tanks were issued to the United States Army in the fall of 1960 as replacements for the M48 Patton Tank. The M60 was one of the world's most successful main battle tanks with 15,000 having been produced and serving in the armies of 22 countries. The tank has provided proven battlefield performance over four decades and has been continuously advanced and upgraded with advanced weapon control, ammunition, stronger armor and increasingly powerful engines.
The M60A3 was introduced in 1978 and was the first production line tank to be outfitted with the Tank Thermal Sight (TTS). The TTS allowed the Tank Crew to pick out an enemy vehicle in the dark. The tank was also equipped with a meteorological sensor device that fed data directly into its ballistics battle movement computer and smoke dischargers. The M60A3 remained the main battle tank of the U. S. Army and Marine Corps until it was phased out of service in 1997 and was superseded by M1 Abrams, a third generation main battle tank.
Arrangements to bring the tank to West Seneca are ongoing and we look to mid-summer to have the M60A3 Tank proudly on display in Veterans Memorial Park.
A Glimpse of the Future?
With the proposed expansion of the West Seneca Library, the Veterans Memorial Park, more specifically, the Walkway of Freedom may see some changes to its layout. The memorials currently in front of the library will have to be relocated and the Pathways within the Walkway will have to revised.
Below is one possible rendering of how the Walkway of Freedom may look when the library renovations are completed
Calling All West Seneca and Western New York Residents Who Served during the Korean War Era and the Vietnam War Era
Over 1.7 million servicemen and servicewomen served in Korea during the Korean War, and more than 3.4 million troops were deployed to Vietnam during that war. In addition, millions more of our military served around the world during the Korean War era and the Vietnam War era. Their contributions to our military can never be fully appreciated and was important to our nation no matter where they served. We want to recognize and honor our local Korean era and Vietnam era veterans by creating a database of their service. This database will pay a lasting tribute to the West Seneca and all local area residents who served during those two eras.
Our goal is to create a database that will pay a lasting tribute to all who served during the two conflict eras. If you or a member of your family served during the Korea or Vietnam eras, we would like to hear from you.
- Veteran must have been honorably discharged from military service
- Must have served on active military duty during the following conflict eras:
- Korean conflict era (June 27, 1950 – January 31, 1955)
- Vietnam conflict era (February 28, 1961 – May 7, 1975)
To create the database, our Korean War and Vietnam WEar era veterans or a member of their family must complete a questionnaire. If you would like to participate, click on the Korean and Vietnam Era Veterans Questionnaire link below, print and complete. Drop off the form or mail to the Veterans Committee at American Legion Post 735. The database compilation will be posted on the West Seneca Joint Veterans Committee website and preserved in hardcopy at the West Seneca Historical Society. If you have any questions, please contact Jim Manley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to view the Database Questionnaire for Korean and Vietnam Era Veterans. Print, complete and mail.
Help us thank our veterans for their selflessness, bravery and their sacrifice in advancing the cause of peace and freedom. Documenting the service of our Korean and Vietnam Era veterans will preserve their memory for generations to come.
2016 West Seneca Community Flower Gardens
The West Seneca Veterans Committee would like to thank all of the Community Groups, Businesses and Individuals who are participating in the West Seneca 2016 Community Flower Gardens to help beautify the Town Hall-West Seneca Library corridor. Due to your interest and committment to the Community Gardens project, almost all 35 garden beds were adopted turning the Pathways into a beautiful walking path. This is the second year that the Community Flower Gardens project was a unique opportunity to bring people and different organizations together for a positive beautification project. A little healthy competition between groups made for creative flower arrangements benefitting the whole community.
The West Seneca Veterans Committee would like to THANK the following Community Groups, businesses and Individuals who adopted a Flower Bed in the 2016 Community Gardens:
East Seneca Auxiliary
Beyond the Basics Property Services Inc.
CSEA - White Collar Unit
Rotary Club of West Seneca
William's Florist & Gift House
M&T Bank - Southgate Branch
NYS Assemblyman Michael Kearns
Home Depot #1231 West Seneca
The Kobler Family
Union Fire Company
Seneca Hose Co.
Matthew and Emily Melski
Hunt Real Estate - West Seneca Branch
West Seneca Girl Scout Troop #30495
The Lions Club
Yost-Neon Displays Inc.
West Seneca Environmental Commission
Seabees Veterans of America, Island X-5 Buffalo, New York
Bob & Cathy Fiscus
Bob & Kate Watson
Burchfield Nature and Art Center
Supervisor Sheila M. Meegan
Family of Wendy Royce McCann
Harvey D. Morin VFW Post 2940
West Seneca Senior Center
If you have not visited the Community Gardens, please take the time to visit and stroll through the flowered pathways. Take a moment, rest on one of the benches and reflect on the purpose of the Walkway and honor all of our veterans who served this great country.
Path of Glory
Path of Courage
Path of Honor
The West Seneca Joint Veterans Committee was formed in 1957, when many veterans wished a centrally located monument in the Town of West Seneca, dedicated to all wars. The idea of the town veterans banding together for the common good was felt so strongly, through the monument endeavor, that all agreed to continue the organization.
- To channel all town veterans affairs through a single committee, whether these affairs pertain to government, the Town Board or matters involving other community groups or organizations.
- To encourage and foster communication among the individual veterans posts and groups.
- To reduce the duplication of functions and services provided by individual posts, and increase the coordination of community activities provided by veterans groups.
- To provide a unified and solid front on behalf of all veterans in the Town of West Seneca.
- To promote and strengthen comradeship among the individual veterans posts or organizations.
West Seneca Veterans Committee
Meeting Schedule for 2017
(Subject to Change)
DATE TIME HOST MEETING LOCATION 9/22/2017 7:30PM Navy Seabees American Legion Post 735 10/27/2017 7:30PM AMVETS 8113 VFW Post 2940
2017 - Upcoming Veterans Committee Events
10:30 AM Memorial Day Parade
to Town Hall
11:00 AM Veterans Day Ceremony Walkway of Freedom
World War II – West Seneca War Service Records
When the United States entered World War II, hundreds of young men and women from the Town of West Seneca joined the military to do their part to protect our freedoms from thoses forces that tried to dominate countries around the world.
An ongoing project is recreating the information from the original WAR SERVICE RECORDS collected during the World War II years. The public is invited to help update records contained in this listing.
National Veterans Cemetery - Pembroke, New York
Things are moving along in the design process, but as per the timeline, they will not be ready for construction until at the very minimum, 2017.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration (NCA) announced the name Western New York National Cemetery for the new national cemetery planned for construction in Pembroke, New York.
“The Veterans of Western New York deserve a final resting place worthy of their service to our nation,” said Ronald E. Walters, Interim Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs. National cemeteries are named based on the geographic location of the cemetery. VA relies on local Veterans and community leaders to submit name suggestions. Of the names submitted, “Western New York National Cemetery” best met VA’s naming criteria and is consistent with the requirements specified in title 38 United States Code § 531, requiring VA property, including national cemeteries, to be named for the geographic area in which the facility is located.
Any other name suggestion, such as that of a particular person, requires congressional action.
VA purchased the Genesee County property at 1232 Indian Falls Road off Exit 48A on Interstate 90 for $625,000 in May 2014. The cemetery will serve more than 96,000 Veterans, their spouses and eligible children in the Buffalo and Rochester areas. The initial phase of construction will develop approximately 70 acres and provide for approximately 10 years of burials, accommodating both casketed and cremated remains.
The nearest open national cemetery is Bath National Cemetery located in Bath, New York, approximately 85 miles away.
Buffalo & Erie County Naval and Military Park
The Buffalo & Erie Naval & Military Park is open daily from 10:00AM til 5:00PM until October. Admission for Adults is $10.00; $6.00 for Seniors over the age of 60 years; and $6.00 for Children up to the age of 17 years old. Veterans who have the Erie County Thank-A-Vet ID Card receive $1.00 off the admission price.
Online Colleges for Veterans and Military Personnel
Affordable Colleges Online has put together a comprehensive guidebook to help military and veteran students avoid the potential pitfalls of online education.
Veterans, active military and eligible family members can gather specific insight into distance learning and military online colleges in the comprehensive guidebook, prepared with service personnel in mind. The guidebook can provide service members and veterans with flexible degree program options to help with the advancement or transition to civilian life no matter where they are in the world.
New Veterans Support Line
The Vets4Warriors peer support line, 1-855-838-8255 (1-855-VET-TALK), provides easy access to supportive, non-attributional conversations with trained veteran peers representing all branches of the military. This team of veteran peers has immediate access to behavioral health clinicians to respond to potentially emergency issues and can offer referrals to local community services, military veteran centers, and military healthcare providers based upon the needs of the Service Member.
A variety of services will be provided to include non-clinical (legal, financial) and referrals for clinical services (substance abuse, behavioral health).
Vets4Warriors Website: www.vets4warriors.com
Online Military Student Resources Guide
To help student veterans, Accredited Schools Online has put together a comprehensive guidebook that contains more than 150 resources to help student veterans and their families overcome the challenges of higher education and career training. The guidebook addresses the many challenges that college-bound veterans face daily, including those of a financial, social, academic, medical and geographic nature; and to provide valuable information and resources vetted by actual student veterans who have experienced (and overcome) these challenges first-hand.
To view the Guide to Online Military Student Resources, visit Accredited Schools Online.
This guidebook provides financial information and options for veterans, different associations and groups available for educational purposes, and pointers on how to choose the college best suited to their needs.
Have you Been Exposed to Asbestos? Veterans and Mesothelioma Information
While many veterans gave their lives to defend our country, others came home only to die decades later from mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos, a toxic material used extensively in all branches of the military. Veterans in all branches of the military were exposed to asbestos, placing them at risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related risks.
Men and women from all four branches (Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines) of the United States military have defended our country for decades, both in times of war and in times of peace. Veterans put their lives on the line each and every day, both on the battlefront and at the many U.S. military bases located around the world. Of all the individuals in the United States that have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer, the veteran population has been affected the most. Approximately thirty percent of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are veterans who have served in the U.S. military. The simple reason for this increased risk is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos, the only known cause of mesothelioma, was used by the U.S. military in literally hundreds of applications. Exposure to asbestos was unavoidable for some military personnel which is the reason why mesothelioma remains one of the most serious diseases affecting veterans today. Veterans who served from 1940 to 1980 are at high risk of developing health problems from asbestos. Those who served more recently are also in danger because it took decades for the military to remove or replace the asbestos products. Veterans who were stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan may have been exposed to asbestos when older buildings that contained asbestos and/or asbestos-related materials were damaged. Asbestos was used in all branches of the military for many years. During the years of World War II and the Korean War, shipbuilding was at its peak. In fact, about 4.3 million Americans worked in shipyards during World War II. The daily tasks shipyard workers were required to perform placed many of them at risk for developing asbestos-related diseases. Navy veterans are at the greatest risk for developing mesothelioma as asbestos was widely used in naval ships and shipyards.
Navy veterans were exposed to high levels of asbestos present in many areas of navy ships including boiler rooms, engine rooms, galleys and sleeping quarters. While the soldiers who lived and worked aboard the ships - including gunmen, boilermen, and firemen - were susceptible to inhaling asbestos, those who built and repaired the ships were even more prone to developing diseases associated with the toxic mineral. They were tradesmen such as pipefitters, plumbers, mechanics, shipfitters, electricians, welders and boilermakers to name a few.
The military’s reliance on asbestos not only put service members at risk, but it also endangered their family members through secondary asbestos exposure. During the peak years of asbestos use, many veterans brought home asbestos fibers on their work clothes and unintentionally exposed their spouses or children to the toxic mineral. These secondary exposures were far less severe than the heavy firsthand exposures that frequently occurred at Navy shipyards, yet they still had the potential to cause mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses. One common scenario for secondhand exposure: A serviceman’s wife inhales asbestos while washing or handling her husband’s asbestos-laden clothes. Children have also suffered secondhand asbestos exposures by playing with their fathers or hugging them when they return home from work. Secondary exposure is rarely a problem when service members are deployed overseas, but it can be a serious risk for families who live on military bases or in military family housing. If a veteran ever returns home covered in asbestos dust, there is a chance a family member may develop a related illness later in life.
There are a number of benefits available to veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases. Mesothelioma has been recognized by the VA as a service-connected condition, and as such those who have been impacted are entitled to VA Health Care, Disability Compensation, and Dependency & Indemnity Compensation.
If you need information on mesothelioma, treatment options, doctors who specialize in mesolthelioma cases, what financial aid or V.A. benefits may be available, visit:
Navy veterans were unnecessarily exposed to asbestos during their service, placing them at risk for Pleural Mesothelioma. Learn more about how veterans were exposed and benefits that can help today. Visit:
Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of active duty are entitled to benefits from the federal government. Did you know that veterans have a higher incidence of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases than the general population? Learn more about this serious, incurable cancer and find out what benefits you may be entitled to. Visit:
FREE Annual Pass to National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands for US Military and Their Dependents
US military members and the dependents of deployed military in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, as well as most members of the US Reserves and National Guard can apply for a Free Annual Pass to National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands. The Annual Pass may be obtained in person at Federal recreation sites that charge entrance or standard amenity fees. Proper military ID is required (CAC Card or DoD Form 1173).
Although there is no Free Pass specifically for veterans, many veterans qualify for one of the other discount passes offered as part of the National Park Pass Program:
- If you are 62 or older you qualify for a Senior Pass. You can buy a Senior Pass in person from a participating Federal recreation site or office or by mail.
- If you have a permanent disability you may qualify for an Access Pass. This is a free lifetime pass that you may obtain in person from a participating Federal recreation site or office or by mail.
Military Wallet Discounts:
The Military Wallet website offers great information on benefits, discounts and most anything that affects the military member's wallet!
VA Begins Dental Insurance Pilot Program:
VA is partnering with Delta Dental and MetLife to allow eligible veterans, plus family members receiving care under CHAMPVA, to purchase affordable dental insurance. More than 8 million veterans who are enrolled in VA healthcare can choose to purchase one of the offered dental plans. The three-year pilot program is designed for veterans with no dental coverage, or those eligible for VA dental care who would like to purchase additional coverage. According to the VA, participation will not affect anyone's entitlement to VA dental services and treatment, and there are no eligibility limitations based on service-connected disability ratings or enrollment priority assignments. People interested in participating can complete an online application through either Delta Dental, www.deltadentalvadip.org, or MetLife, www.metlife.com/vadip. Enrollment is now open and coverage begins Jan. 1, 2014. The program will be available throughout the United States and its territories.
Veterans One-Stop Center opens in Buffalo to provide help for veterans and their families:
The mission of the Veterans One-Stop Center is to bring people, organizations, and resources together in time, space, and effort to effectively improve the well-being of all Western New York Veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.
The assistance center, located on the second floor at 1280 Main Street, Buffalo, with a coalition of independent service providers, including the Western New York Veterans Housing Coalition, Goodwill Industries of Western New York, VA Healthcare for Homeless Veterans, City Mission, Child and Family Services, St. Vincent DePaul Thrift Store, and the Erie County Department of Social Services, will give a veteran a place to go and receive help from as many providers as necessary
Simple Dollar: An In-Depth Tax Guide For Veterans
As a veteran, there are specific benefits you can take advantage of to maximize your return when you file your individual income taxes. It is extremely beneficial to identify which types of pay and compensation are exempt from taxes so you know what is excluded from your gross income on your return.
The Simple Dollar was created to offer an in-depth tax guide designed specifically for veterans to help them recognize the benefits they receive. Also contained in the guide is updated information that is crucial for the upcoming 2017 tax season.
This ultimate guide not only has 6 tax tips for veterans, but also lists the federal exclusions, taxable benefits and state benefits a veteran receives.
For further information, click here to learn more about income tax benefits.
Local Veteran Post Activities:
Want to know when the next veteran's activity is scheduled: Bar-B-Que, Parade, or Breakfast? Check the West Seneca Veterans Committee Member Calender for the latest events.
Explore Veterans benefits
Military veterans and their families have an online source of help for getting the benefits they have earned.
On the website Explore VA, produced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans can learn about many kinds of benefits: health care, education, job services, home loans, housing, life insurance, pensions, disability compensation and much more.
Veterans can also apply for those benefits through the site and track the status of your claim. If you want to reach out for more information or to friends or fellow veterans, you'll find social networking tools to help you out.
For this and much more, log onto:
Erie County Clerk Announces "THANK A VET" Discount Program
Erie County Clerk Christopher L. Jacobs has announced a complementary program that is a way to recognize the veterans in our community for their service and sacrifice. Available to any veteran in Erie who files their military discharge forms/DD-214 with the County Clerk's Office.
Filing your discharge or separation papers is free of charge and certified copies of recorded discharges are made, free of charge, for veterans or their immediate families whenever needed. Discharge papers are proof of your military service, and can be used to establish eligibility for a variety of benefits including property tax exemptions and civil service credits.
Once you file your discharge papers, Erie County will provide a personal discount card, free of charge, that can be used in participating local businesses.
Eligible veterans will receive a photo I.D. card which identifies them as an honorably discharged veteran. The veteran can then use this I.D. card at participating merchants who have agreed to honor the card by providing the holders with a discount on purchases or services.
In addition, if you an ID card from the Department of Veterans Affairs, you can also receive a 10% discount at Lowes and Home Depot stores
Click here to visit the Erie County Clerk website for additional information and updated merchant listing.
In conjunction with NYSPHSAA, SECTION 6, returning veterans now have an opportunity to become high school sport’s official or umpire. NYSPHSAA Section 6, partnering with its participating officials organizations, will help veterans integrate back in to WNY communities, network and have the ability to earn and supplement their income. NYSPHSAA will help offset costs associated with becoming a first year high school sports official.If any veteran is interested in becoming a certified New York State high school sports official or umpire, click for more information.
Veteran Tickets Foundation
The Veteran Tickets Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization dedicated to giving back to those who gave us so much. The Foundation teams up with major sports teams, leagues, promoters, organizations, venues and everyday event ticket holders to provide free and discounted tickets to the more than 26 million Military and Veterans in the United States.
Do you have event tickets that you would like to donate and receive a tax deductible receipt? Please contact the Veterans Ticket Foundation to start that process and please SPREAD THE WORD AS AN EMPTY SEAT DOESN'T DO ANYONE ANY GOOD!!!
Support our Military, Veterans and their Families with entertainment, lasting memories and reintegration opportunities by providing free tickets to sporting events, concerts and family activities.
For complete information, please visit www.vettix.org
Giving free and discount event tickets away is not a handout or charity. It is an expression of appreciation, acknowledgement and an enduring symbol that we as a nation honor the service of our troops now and long after their tour of duty has passed.
|2017 Veterans Meeting Schedule|
|Upcoming Veterans Committee Events|
|Member Post Information|
|United States Flag Etiquette and Care|
|Calendar of Veteran Events|
|Erie County "Thank A Vet" Program|
|Tribute to Our Veterans|
|Military Branch History|
|Earned Stripes Sports Program|
|Honoring Our Veterans - World War II|
|Honoring Our Veterans - Korean War|
|Honoring Our Veterans - Vietnam War|
|Walkway Master Alphabetical Brick Listing|
|Model 1897 Gatling Gun|
|Walkway of Freedom History|
|Walkway of Freedom Notes of Interest|
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