Posted by: Brian Donnelly
MONTROSE, N.Y. – Montrose Veterans gathered Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the presentation of a new recreational bus at an official ribbon-cutting event.
“It’s very good – spacious,” Benjamin Lewis, bus driver, said. “It gets them around.”
Lewis, who has been driving for the New York State Veterans Home of Montrose for about five months, said that the new bus has an increased capacity relative to the older bus. This should be useful for large group trips, such as shopping trips or Yankees games.
Bill Mahan, member of the Board of Visitors, said that the former bus suffered from an unreliable lift gate, which didn’t cut it for wheelchair-bound veterans.
“It was a long fight,” he said, regarding raising the money to fund the bus.
The properly-equipped bus cost $60,000 and the veterans were able to raise $34,000 from their Donation Account. The remaining funds were raised when Sen. Greg Ball got involved. He worked with Michael Warshaw, president of Heroes in Transition, to fund the remaining $26,000.
Mahan called Warshaw a “true patriot,” but Warshaw deferred to the crowd of veterans.
“I don’t look at myself as a hero in a room of true heroes,” he said.
Warshaw believes that most veterans programs are underfunded and that this was an opportunity for his organization to pick up some of that slack.
“Heroes in Transition is doing God’s work for our veterans,” he said.
Ball stressed that this was all possible without any cost to taxpayers – “just good people getting it done,” he said.
While at the veterans’ home, Ball took the opportunity to visit veteran Ralph Anderson, who will be inducted into the Veterans Hall of Fame tomorrow night at the Mahopac Falls Elementary School. His son Joseph, a decorated general, will accept the award on his behalf. Ralph’s wife Josephine expressed great pride in her husband’s service.
“He’s worked hard,” she said. (ARTICLE)