Posted by Plamena Pesheva
Dozens of WWII veterans and volunteers, along with Senator Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson), boarded buses last week and traveled to visit the WWII Memorial in Washington DC.
Ball, Heroes in Transition and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 21, planned the free road trip for the local veterans. Some of the veterans who are going on the trip are George Merritt, of Somers, and Yorktown’s Frank Tempistilli and Joseph Arena.
Ball all said the men and women who fought or the nation’s safety and freedom, deserved an opportunity to see the national monument that was created in honor of their service. He asked residents last month to help sponsor an individual WWII veterans’ trip.
“When I first announced this trip, I pledged to do it at no cost for the veterans that attend,” Ball said. “I am so happy to see that so many community members and small businesses really stepped up to the plate and helped make this trip possible and 100 percent free for the Greatest Generation, our WWII veterans.”
Veterans from Brewster, Buchanan, Chatham, Cortlandt, Hopewell Junction, Lewisboro, Mahopac, Mount Pleasant, Mt Kisco, North Salem, Ossining, Patterson, Pawling, Peekskill, Pleasantville, Poughquag, Pound Ridge, Somers, Verplanck and Yorktown Heights all attended the trip.
When the two charted buses filled with WWII veterans arrived at the WWII Memorial in Washington, DC they were greeted by cheering volunteers. The United States Air Force Honor Guard also performed an official Wreath Laying Ceremony at the memorial. After the Wreath Laying Ceremony, the WWII veterans traveled over to Bolling Air Force Base where they watched a drill demonstration and musical ceremony.
Senator Ball’s grandfather, an Army veteran of WWII, attended the trip.
“I have never been so proud in my life as I am right now, to be an American. God Bless America,” Herman Schreiber said.
Heroes in Transition, a not-for-profit that has been providing assistance to veterans in honor of fallen Marine Captain Eric A. Jones since 2010, co-hosted the trip with Senator Ball.
“It is our honor to be able to help these American heroes finally see the WWII memorial and also find peace by being able pay their final respects to their dear friends and fellow military servicemen and women who lost their lives in WWII,” Heroes in Transition President Michael Warshaw said.
In addition to Heroes in Transition, Senator Greg Ball also hosted the trip in conjunction with Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 21.
“We deeply appreciate all the efforts of Senator Ball and Heroes in Transition to make this trip possible,” said Eugene Parrotta, Chair of Senator Greg Ball’s Veteran’s Advisory Council, and member of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Chapter 21. “What a wonderful thing to provide these WWII veterans with an opportunity to see the memorial that was built in their honor.”
The trip was made possible by dozens of donations from community members and local businesses including a generous $2,500 donation from the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters and an entire breakfast sponsored by ShopRite of Cortlandt Manor. Other businesses that donated food and services include: FirstLight Homecare, Bucci’s Deli, Sauro’s Deli, Patterson Deli, Competitive Telecoms Group, Putnam County Hospital and Dante’s Deli II. (ARTICLE)