Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

New York Senator Charles Schumer stood with the family of local veteran and Veterans Outreach Center founder Tom Cray Monday afternoon, calling on the VA to better assist veterans diagnosed with glioblastoma.

Cray served two combat tours in Vietnam, but does not receive service-related compensation for the cancer because it is not recognized as a service-connected illness by the VA.

Filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick believe now is the time to turn back to the Vietnam War. They say to understand war, we need the passage of time. Their forthcoming 10-episode series called The Vietnam War, launches Sunday, September 17 at 8 p.m. on WXXI-TV. It's an immersive narrative featuring archival footage, photographs, and conversations with nearly 100 witnesses, both in American and Vietnam. You can watch a 30-minute preview here

Lynn Novick is the co-director and producer of the series with Ken Burns. She's our guest this hour, discussing how the project came together and what she hopes viewers will gain from watching the series.

You can join the live audience of two special broadcasts of Connections at The Little Theatre on Thursday, August 24. The episodes will explore different elements and perspectives of the Vietnam War. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Please register here.

Karen Shakerdge/WXXI

For the first time, veterans with an other than honorable discharge can access mental health services at VA centers. Veterans with this kind of status served in the military but have not been eligible for benefits until now.

V A Center In Canandaigua

CANANDAIGUA, N.Y. (AP) — Construction funding totaling $141 million has been allocated for an upgrade to an upstate New York veterans medical center.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will issue construction bids next month for the Canandaigua Veterans Affairs Medical Campus. The money will be used for renovations and new buildings, including an 84,200-square-foot  outpatient clinic.


SOUTH BRISTOL, N.Y. (WXXI News & AP)  A 100-year-old woman honored at a New York air show last weekend for her World War II service as a civilian pilot flying military aircraft has died. 

According to her obituary posted on the Johnson-Kennedy Funeral Home website, Dawn Seymour died Tuesday at her home in the Finger Lakes region.  Her obituary says she died peacefully at home, overlooking Canandaigua Lake.


The National Warplane Museum in Geneseo is honoring the role of women in aviation during this weekend's air show.

The Geneseo museum's guests of honor include 100-year-old Dawn Seymour, a member of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots during World War II. Known as WASPs, they ferried warplanes across the United States to free male pilots for combat overseas.

Seymour, from South Bristol in Ontario County, piloted B-17 bombers during the war. The museum is home to one of less than a dozen B-17s still capable of flying.

Matt Ryan New York Now

A bill to expand New York state’s medical marijuana program to cover sufferers of post-traumatic stress disorder passed both houses of the Legislature, but will Gov. Andrew Cuomo sign it into law?

New York’s medical marijuana program is far more restrictive than most states. About a dozen conditions are eligible for treatment, including, according to the State Health Department, “severe and debilitating” forms of cancer, HIV, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

Battle of the Bulge vets mark Memorial Day

May 29, 2017
Alex Crichton

Their ranks are thinning, but a handful of members of the group Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge gathered at the Port of Rochester on Memorial Day to honor their fallen comrades.

A rendition of taps punctuated the somber mood during the annual ceremony for the group.

92 year old Jack Foy was a 19 year old machine gunner with General George Patton's Third Army during the Battle of the Bulge, the largest and bloodiest conflict ever fought in the history of the US Army.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

The bright sun and warm temperatures this Memorial Day reminded everyone at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Highland Park that summer is right around the corner.

But that’s the problem, said veteran Ken Moore. That the meaning of Memorial Day is sometimes buried under barbeques and beach time.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

One of this area’s largest Memorial Day parades was held Monday in Rochester.

The light rain at the beginning of the parade didn’t do much to discourage people who already had been lining parts of East Avenue and West Main Street; they just opened up their umbrellas, took out their rain gear, and waited for the dozens of marching bands, floats, and numerous local military service people and veterans to make their way through the route.