Veronica Volk / WXXI

A statue was unveiled outside St. John Fisher College in remembrance of the only alumnus known to have died in Vietnam.

Thomas Urban Way, or Tommy, graduated from Fisher in 1966. He had a mop of curly red hair, he loved to play soccer, and by all accounts, he was one of the good ones.

His sister, Betty Bufano, remembers him fondly.

Photographer's Mate 2nd Class Dennis Cantrell/ Creative Commons License / U.S. Navy

Earlier this month, several veterans told their stories at the annual Stars and Stripes Celebration, in Rochester, an event that pays tribute to the local heroes of our Armed Forces. 

As part of WXXI's Veterans Day coverage, below are interviews with three area veterans:

--Jenkins, who served in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War

--RJ, a Marine who served in Iraq in 2005

--Jerry, who served in the Navy in Vietnam.

RIT Veterans Day Breakfast

Nov 11, 2015

Hundreds of people attended Rochester Institute of Technology's fifth annual Veterans Day Breakfast.

The event was held at the Gordon Field House.

On Veterans Day, the organizer of the breakfast, Barry Culhane, said the school has a message.

"I think Pres. Destler said it very well, we thank you for protecting our freedoms, freedoms that we enjoy every day, and freedoms for which you've made the sacrifices."

Among the veterans in attendance, Gary Beikirch of Greece, one of only 79 living recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor.

WXXI Photo

First hour: Local efforts to help veterans

Second hour: New restaurant projects in Rochester and the Finger Lakes

On Veterans Day, Americans are asked to take time to honor those, living and deceased, who answered the nation's call to arms when needed. Living in the Town of Tonawanda is a veteran who was among those involved in one of World War II's most famous battles.

Local Colleges Help Veterans Receive Education

Nov 11, 2015
Emily Mein / WXXI - St. John Fisher College

Veterans returning to civilian life can face many challenges, but local colleges and universities are doing their part to make sure receiving an education isn’t one of them.


New Supportive Housing for Veterans

Nov 10, 2015

On the eve of Veterans Day, ground was broken on new supportive housing for veterans.

Veterans Housing for Canandaigua will feature 48 units for low income households, including 25 set aside for homeless vets or those at risk of becoming homeless.

Several partners helped fund the project, including New York State Homes and Community Renewal.

It's CEO and Commissioner is Jamie Rubin, who says we owe veterans gratitude for their service.

"We owe them the ability to provide them with support as they get their legs back under them after their service."

This evening WXXI, through our Veteran's Connections initiative, is hosting a free screening of the film American St. Nick at the Little Theater.

It tells the story of a Rochester-area U.S. Army colonel and his fellow soldiers, who brought Christmas back to the children of the small Luxembourg town of Wiltz during World War II.

Click on the LISTEN link above to hear that local veteran, Richard Brookins, who now lives in Pittsford, talk about a tradition that began on December 5, 1944 and continues to this day.

WXXI Photo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP & WXXI News)  A new report shows almost a third of the veterans living in New York state served during the Vietnam War era. 

State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released a snapshot of the 890,000 veterans living in the state as Veterans' Day approaches on Wednesday. Nearly three-quarters of the state's veterans served during wartime. The largest number of veterans was in the 65-to-69 age group. 

Suffolk County on Long Island is home to the largest population of veterans in the state, with just over 76,000.

Alex Crichton

Senator Charles Schumer says many of the 69-thousand veterans in  the Rochester/Finger Lakes region have to travel 70 miles or more to get medical services they need and deserve.

That's because unlike in Albany, Syracuse and Buffalo, there is no VA ambulatory outpatient surgery services in the Rochester area.

"We are asking the VA now to start phase 2 of this expansion of outpatient services in Rochester to make sure it includes outpatient surgery."