WXXI AM News

veterans

We honor veterans this Memorial Day and welcome guests from Honor Flight Rochester. The non-profit organization flies veterans from the Greater Rochester area to Washington D.C. to visit the memorials built in their honor. To date, 2,231 veterans have flown on 47 "missions."  

The veterans joining us in studio share their Honor Flight experiences and reflect on their service to our nation. Our guests:

  • Major Peter Glennon, co-founder and chairman of Honor Flight Rochester, and U.S. Air Force veteran
  • Corporal John Woods, Army Air Corps., WWII veteran
  • Private First Class George Haines, Army scout in the Pacific, WWII veteran
  • First Class Petty Officer Bill Diesel, U.S. Navy, Korean War veteran

www.nationalwarplane.org

GENESEO, N.Y. (AP)  A western New York warplane museum has added an interactive World War II-style briefing room to give visitors a sense of the on-the-ground preparations that went on before combat missions. 

The National Warplane Museum in Geneseo in Livingston County opened the exhibit on Friday. Museum officials say re-enactors from Rochester and Buffalo will run visitors through a historically accurate briefing before marching them out to the World War II military transport plane known as the ``Whiskey 7'' for a flight. 

Memorial Day Around Rochester

May 30, 2016
Alex Crichton

Thousands of people lined the streets of downtown Rochester as the city held its annual Memorial Day Parade.

For Chuck Least of Webster, it was a very solemn day.

"I'm a Navy vet and it seems the older I get, the more closely associated I get with my military service, and just to honor people that gave their lives," he said.  "It's not about the barbecue it's about the memories of people who gave their lives. That's a very true statement, and I eternalize that."

Veronica Volk / WXXI News

In honor of Memorial Day, veterans and their families gathered for a service at Ontario Beach Park to celebrate and honor their fellow soldiers who have passed on.

By now, the surviving veterans of world war two are in their 90s, and it can be hard to imagine some of these men as teenagers at war so far from home.

But at the Battle of the Bulge Memorial, some of few remaining veterans of the bloodiest battle in World War II recall their experiences in vivid detail, including Charlotte's own Jack Foy.

Memorial Hall Dedication in Greece

May 25, 2016
Alex Crichton

The town of Greece has unveiled a new Memorial Hall to honor those who have fought for our country.

Memorial Hall is located in Greece Town Hall, and contains some of the history of the town in the military, along with a new plaque from Greece Post 468 and a portrait of Gary Beikirch, a resident of Greece and this area's only recipient of the Medal of Honor.

He says honoring our vets is one way to help them heal.

The City of Rochester has completed Michelle Obama’s “Mayors Challenge to End Veteran Homelessness.” To meet the challenge, communities had to achieve a status of “functional zero,” meaning that housing is available for all homeless veterans who seek it.

A 2015 study found 55 homeless veterans in the Rochester area, Now, all of those veterans who requested assistance have housing.

We talk about how area agencies worked together to complete the challenge and what’s next on the city’s agenda to help veterans in need. Our guests:  

  • Todd Baxter, executive director, Veterans Outreach Center
  • Erin Militello, program manager for the Healthcare for Homeless Veterans program at the Canandaigua VA
  • Carol Wheeler, manager for housing for the City of Rochester
  • Emil Anderson, Marine Corps veteran

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Rochester is making progress when it comes to providing help for homeless veterans. That is one of the main messages delivered at an annual  summit on veterans mental health and homelessness held at Nazareth College on Wednesday.

The progress, according to Mayor Lovely Warren, is evident by a designation the city just received. It has met a challenge issued by First Lady Michelle Obama to end veteran homelessness. Warren says cities had to achieve a status of "functional zero," which means that housing is available for all homeless veterans that seek it.

freeimages.com/Leonardo Falaschini

The $10 billion federal program that was designed to address long waiting time for care and Veterans Affairs clinics across the country has not lived up to its promise.

That's the finding of an NPR report this week, which found that nationally, veterans are waiting even longer to see doctors -- more than a month in many cases.

Many veterans are still waiting to see a doctor.

Oak Hill is hosting the 2016 Simpson Cup, which is basically the Ryder Cup for disabled and injured veterans. Teams of 13 injured servicemen and veterans from the USA and the UK compete in this golf event every year. The event rotates host nations, raising funds for the On Course Foundation, an organization that supports the recovery of wounded, injured, and sick service personnel.

We meet the 2016 American and British captains (each wounded veterans), and we discuss broader issues related to supporting injured service members. Our guests:

  • John Simpson, founder of the Simpson Cup
  • Steve Ogletree, American captain living with depression and PTSD
  • Paul Swain, UK captain who lost an arm in a bomb blast in Afghanistan
  • Jeremy Bagley, executive director of JDRF Rochester and a 10-year veteran of the United States Army

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