veterans connections

Hundreds of spectators gathered along Long Pond Road in the town of Greece Monday to enjoy a Memorial Day parade.

The annual parade, which honors military personnel who lost their lives during combat, was a last-minute decision by town Supervisor Bill Reilich, who decided to move forward with the display after hearing about disappointment from residents when word of the initial cancellation got out. 

New York State Division of Veterans' Services

A Memorial Day ceremony held at the Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Seneca County on Monday took on special significance because of action by a state committee last week.

That committee voted to recommend Sampson as New York’s first state veterans’ cemetery.  New York is one of the few states that does not currently have a state veterans’ cemetery.

Joel Evans, acting director for the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services, said the decision is significant.

Max Schulte | WXXI News

Nearly 50 veterans received their COVID-19 vaccine -- the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot -- on Monday at the Veterans Outreach Center.

While the pop-up clinic was aimed at reaching veterans who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, not everyone who was vaccinated was homeless.

After getting his shot at the South Avenue center, Samuel Robbins had one question for the nurse: “When can I be around my grandkids?”

75 years ago this month, the Allies celebrated V-E Day. As time marches on, the voices of those who fought in the war or who were part of the war effort on the home front become fewer.

This hour, we hear from two local veterans who share their experiences. Our guests:

  • Jack Foy, machine gunner in the Army 87th Infantry Division, World War II
  • Corporal John Woods, Army Air Corps, World War II

freeimages.com/Steven Bulhoes

Social distancing in the time of coronavirus has transformed daily life across the world. 

Isolation is especially challenging for military veterans who are already dealing with mental health problems. 

In the U.S., the suicide rate among veterans is about double that of the general population.

The White House/YouTube

A local World War II veteran says he still can’t believe the recognition he got Monday at the Veterans Day parade in New York City.

That veteran is Jack Foy, a survivor of the Battle of the Bulge, one of the fiercest battles of World War II.

Foy was invited to be on the reviewing standing Monday when President Trump talked made reference to Foy’s service.

“We are proudly joined today by a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, a native New Yorker who is 94 years old and still going very, very strong, Corporal Jack Foy,” Trump told the crowd.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the veteran unemployment rate has been on the decline, but veterans report hurdles in reentering the work force.

We talk with local veterans who discuss their experiences with the job market. Our guests:

  • Laura Stradley, veteran, and executive director of the Veterans Outreach Center in Rochester
  • Terry Winslow, veteran, and security manager for del Lago Resort and Casino
  • Blair Morgan, veteran, and vice president of human resources at del Lago Resort and Casino 

On this Veterans Day, we talk with refugees who served the U.S. military as interpreters in Afghanistan and Iraq, and who have come to America on Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs). By law, the SIV process should take no more than nine months, but bureaucracy and backlogs have forced candidates to wait for years. For many interpreters, an SIV is a matter of life and death: interpreters who served with U.S. forces are considered traitors by the Taliban.

This hour, our guests share the challenges they and their families have faced in coming to America. We also preview a film about SIVs called "The Interpreters" that will air tonight on WXXI-TV. In studio:

  • Mujtaba Haidar , Afghani interpreter for the U.S. military who came to America on a Special Immigrant Visa
  • Javayd Samadie. Afghani interpreter for the U.S. military who came to America on a Special Immigrant Visa
  • Ellen Smith, director of Keeping Our Promise, a program of Refugees Helping Refugees

On this 100th anniversary of Veterans Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he is introducing legislation to streamline the process for establishing New York's first State Veterans Cemetery.

American Heroes Channel/Honor Flight Rochester


Two World War II veterans with local ties will be featured in a national TV program Monday night as part of a Veterans Day remembrance.  

The show is called Honor Flight Heroes, and it will be on the American Heroes Channel, which is owned by the Discovery network.

The two veterans are Philip ‘Curly’ Voystock and Harold Stryker, and they will be featured in the pilot program for a potential series about veterans.