Veterans

At the site of the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Memorial in Rocky Point Aug. 5, veterans, public officials and community members joined U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY1), the Republican nominee in this year’s New York gubernatorial contest, to champion legislation that would expand peer-to-peer veteran support services nationwide.

The PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Memorial in Rocky Point, the site of this press event.

The Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project, initiated in 2012 by Zeldin when he was a state senator, is a peer-to-peer program that assists veterans through support groups and other resources. The program is designed to promote mental health and alleviate the challenges of those affected by post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.

“As I travel around Suffolk County for years, I have had countless veterans tell me that because of the Dwyer program, they are alive, they have a job and they have a family,” Zeldin said. “They credit the support that they have gotten from the Dwyer program for their ability to be able to cope with the mental wounds of war.”

Zeldin credited the success of the Dwyer project to its design, which was tailored to meet the needs of veterans. The peer-to-peer setting, moderated by veterans trained to lead discussions around personal and highly sensitive matters, offers a unique venue for vets to open up to those who are best equipped to understand them.

Zeldin is sponsoring legislation — H.R.1476 PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program Act — that would make these services accessible for veterans nationwide.

“The Dwyer program needs to be expanded nationally,” the congressman said. “To the [other 534] members of Congress … please do everything you can to co-sponsor this bill.” He added, “Get educated on what peer support should be all about and let’s get this over the finish line and passed into law.”

Zeldin was joined by a host of veterans leaders and public officials representing various levels of government. His efforts to expand the Dwyer program were backed by Joe Cognitore, commander of the VFW Post 6249, based in Rocky Point. Cognitore discussed the lasting effects of combat and the difficulties that veterans encounter when they return from active duty.

Joe Cognitore, commander of VFW Post 6249, discusses the challenges of post-traumatic stress disorder

“Post-traumatic stress affects all of us,” the post commander said. “The statue you see behind us was put up this past year and it represents the post-traumatic stress that we all go through — not just veterans but all walks of life.”

State Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead) expressed support for the bill as well. She emphasized the uniqueness of the peer support offerings through the Dwyer program.

“Nobody knows the devil and the demons more than veterans,” she said. “Today, New York State has $7.7 million in its budget this year for this program, but it’s not enough,” adding, “I am here at Congressman Zeldin’s plea … to acknowledge our veterans and realize what they need in order to be successful and reintegrate into life after coming home.”

State Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead), at podium, on why the Dwyer program should be expanded nationally

State Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-New Suffolk) spoke of the success of the Dwyer program locally and the need to bring the program onto the national stage.

“It makes so much sense now to see the success of the program,” he said. “It’s something that should have existed for many, many years, but this is the sort of effort that you need to get those ideas … to ultimately come to fruition and then to show the success that we have seen.”

Suffolk County Legislator Nick Caracappa (C-Selden), the majority leader in the Legislature, shared how the Dwyer program supports those in the community. Caracappa, who also chairs the county veterans committee, stressed that veterans issues are human issues that need to be met with human solutions.

“These are our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters … these are our family members,” Caracappa said. “I’m proud to say that this project is a product of Suffolk County.” Due to its success locally, Caracappa advocated “bringing this forward on a national level.”

Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point) offered her support for the proposed legislation 

Also on hand was Town of Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point), who was instrumental in helping the town secure the land where the Dwyer memorial now resides. [See TBR News Media story, “Students, elected officials reflect on new Dwyer statue” (Jan. 21, 2021)].

Bonner spoke of the hidden wounds of war. “Not all war injuries are visible,” she said. “So it’s incumbent upon us to do everything that we can do as citizens and residents to make sure that this legislation is passed federally.”

Following the press conference, Zeldin was asked what he would do to relieve the plight of veteran homelessness if elected as governor. He highlighted the need to improve outreach initiatives and bring down any barriers that may impede those efforts.

“Outreach to the homeless, outreach to people who are struggling with mental health issues, is not just about what you say to them, but also about being able to listen to people in need and hear those stories,” the Republican gubernatorial nominee said. “If there’s any type of red tape that’s preventing those conversations, then that red tape needs to get torn down.”

French patriots line Avenue des Champs-Élysées as Free French forces reenter Paris in August 1944. Photo from the Library of Congress

By Rich Acritelli

“Make peace, you fools!” — Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt

These were the words of one of Hitler’s most capable field marshals once he determined the Allies would win World War II. 

The summer of 1944 was an extremely difficult phase of the war for Nazi Germany, marking the beginning of the end of the Third Reich. On June 6, 1944, D-Day, over 156,000 Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy, beginning their eastward assault through the European continent. 

Some 78 years ago, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was on the cusp of major victories against the once-vaunted German army. The German generals who in 1940 had conquered France watched their armies retreat from the Allied forces. Their only chance for victory required pushing the massive and growing Allied invasion force back into the English Channel, but overwhelming reinforcements continued to land ashore, and the Wehrmacht armed forces began their eastward retreat.

Despite the German army reeling from the establishment of an Allied bridgehead at Normandy, the loss of Carentan and the taking of the port of Cherbourg, the Nazis were still determined to fight. To slow down the Allied advance, the Germans used the brutal hedgerow terrain to limit the Allied movement and this strategy increased Allied casualties. Whereas the Germans halted Allied gains at this stage of the fighting in France, Eisenhower was determined that his forces’ gains should be swifter against the enemy.

Eisenhower decided that he must achieve a quick, dramatic conquest over Nazi-occupied territories. While toppling German strongholds was essential to the war effort, the Allies required a symbolic victory on French soil. For these military and political reasons, Eisenhower set his sights on the “City of Light.” By July of ‘44, American, British, Canadian and Free French forces were determined to liberate Paris.

En route to Paris

There was immense pressure on Eisenhower to take firm control of the ground war. Because of this, he opted to deploy the powerful but controversial Gen. George S. Patton and his Third Army. Patton was expected to push his army through the opening of the German lines, softening these defenses and exploiting any weaknesses. Beginning July 25, 1944, and over the course of two days, American bombers blew a massive hole within the lines of the German military. 

As the resistance weakened, German forces were gradually pushed back toward Paris. Then Patton, who waited several months to gain another command after the “slapping incidents” in Sicily, fought the enemy with an immense fury. Patton never seemed to be concerned about his own flanks, and it appeared that he constantly ordered his officers to stay on the offensive. The Third Army’s unstoppable forward movement helped to rapidly destroy any remaining German presence in Western France. 

By the first week of August, the Allies had emerged as the dominant force in Western Europe, which would hold true until the end of the war. As Patton pushed onward, the German high command realized that Paris would be the next target of the Allied invasion. Paris had always been the heart of France — culturally, politically and militarily. Four years earlier, French citizens openly wept at the sight of the German occupation of their beloved capital. Now they wept tears of joy at the sight of its liberation. 

On Aug. 25, the historic city of Paris was liberated from Nazi occupation. The freeing of the Parisians marked a sense of relief and optimism, pointing to a favorable outcome of the war. For once, the world began to see Nazi tyranny for what it was: temporary.

Hitler ordered the commander of his forces, Gen. Dietrich von Choltitz, to destroy this city and its historic landmarks. However, the German officer refused the orders and surrendered the city on Aug. 26. 

In one of the most moving scenes throughout the war, Gen. Charles de Gaulle led his French troops through the streets of Paris and down Avenue des Champs-Élysées. As American soldiers looked east, they were greeted with kisses from young ladies and grateful handshakes from Parisians who hoped for the day when German forces would be decisively driven from their city. 

The fall of Paris marked the start of a progression of major military setbacks that expedited the end of Hitler’s rule. In eight months’ time, he would be destroyed for good. This summer, we can reflect upon the sacrifices of American soldiers. During this time period in 1944, they freed the French people from Hitler’s tyrannical rule. 

Rich Acritelli is a history teacher at Rocky Point High School and adjunct professor at Suffolk County Community College.

The Sound Beach Civic Association hosted its annual Memorial Day service at Veterans Memorial Park May 31.

Attendees of the event included New York State Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead), Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point), musicians from Rocky Point High School and veterans representing each branch of the armed services. 

Deacon Bob Mullane, of St. Louis de Montfort R.C. Church, delivered the invocation for the event. “We have gathered here today to remember those who have died in service to this country,” he said. “We commend them for their courage in the face of great odds. As citizens of this great nation, we remember the sacrifices, and those of their families and friends, with deep gratitude.”

Jimmy Henke, a longtime resident of Sound Beach and war hero, raised the American flag during the ceremony. While serving in Vietnam on a reconnaissance mission, his company came under intense enemy fire. After exposing himself to the gunfire, Henke carried a wounded comrade to a medical site. For his valiance in the face of tremendous danger, Henke was awarded the Bronze Star Medal. 

Following him, veterans from each of the armed services raised the flags representing their respective branch of services. Girl Scouts Julianna Gabrielsen and Anna Polyanksi laid the memorial wreaths.

Performances were delivered by students from the music department of Rocky Point school district under the direction of Amy Schecher. Tessa Cunningham, Alexandra Kelly and Brenna Kiernan sang both the national anthem and “God Bless America.” Daniel Curley and Shaun Sander performed “Taps.” 

The event was concluded by a wind rendition of “America the Beautiful,” performed by Shane McDonald, Ryan McDonald, Jasmine Pickenburg, Matthew Liselli, Hannah Gundel, Brayden D’Ambrosio, Piper Rinn, Aneesh Deshpande, Vivian Dorr and Justin Pititto with Curley and Sander.

To learn more about the Sound Beach Civic Association, visit www.soundbeachcivic.org.

— Photos by Raymond Janis

Veterans, community members and public officials gathered at the Rocky Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6249 for a Memorial Day service to honor the fallen. 

New York State Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead) attended the event. She spoke of how the sacrifices of American veterans have preserved the constitutional rights of citizens throughout history.

“We are very grateful for all of our veterans and their families who have fought for our freedoms, for our right to be here in America and for our constitutional rights,” the assemblywoman said.

Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point) was also in attendance. She reflected upon the contributions veterans make to the community and on the deeply rooted legacy of service in Rocky Point. 

Joe Cognitore, commander of VFW 4269, delivers the keynote Memorial Day address

“Rocky Point is a very proud veteran community,” she said. “There is not a person alive that hasn’t been touched by a veteran who has been lost during war.” Commenting on the right of American citizens to free expression, she added, “Whether or not we agree on how people are expressing themselves, the United States is the best nation on Earth because we can express ourselves, and that’s because of those who have fought for our freedoms.”

Joe Cognitore, commander of VFW Post 6249, delivered an address to the audience assembled at the post. He used his platform to celebrate the many freedoms afforded to Americans through the sacrifices made by servicemen abroad.

“The courage possessed by the men and women we honor today is something that cannot be learned,” Cognitore said. “It is something that is felt deep within. The willingness to die for our country is truly what makes America the home of the brave.”

Following this speech, an extensive list was read aloud of the names of the post members who are no longer alive. A bell was rung after every 10 names to honor their memory. 

To learn more about the various offerings of Post 6249, visit rockypointvfw6249.org.

— Photos by Raymond Janis

American Legion Post 432 hosts Memorial Day service to honor the fallen. Photo by Raymond Janis

Members of the American Legion Post 432, based out of Port Jefferson Station, held a series of services throughout the community to honor the sacrifices made by American servicemen.

The day began at Steven J. Crowley Memorial Park in Terryville. Cpl. Crowley was a security guard for the United States Marines. In 1979 Crowley made the ultimate sacrifice when he died in the line of duty when the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, was besieged by a student riot. 

Kevin Powers, sergeant at arms at Post 432, grew up with Crowley. The two later served together in the Marine Corps.

 “He was a good man,” Powers said. “I knew Steven since elementary school and we graduated together. I miss him dearly.”

The memorial service at Crowley Park is an annual tradition at the post. Powers suggested that this event is a yearly reminder of Crowley’s legacy of service and helps to keep a fallen comrade’s memory alive.

“We do this every year,” he said. “It’s an honor to do that for him and for all of the men and women in the service who gave their lives to protect our freedom.”

Ron Romaszka, commander of Post 432, reflected upon his own experiences during the Vietnam War and his brothers in arms who died in combat.

“I lost a lot of guys over in ‘Nam,” he said. “I don’t talk about it all the time. That’s mine and I keep that inside.” On the importance of the day in hand, he added, “Memorial Day has always been a very important day for me. For all of the veterans here, they all have a special feeling inside, and that’s why it’s an important day for all of us.”

Romaszka also touched upon the role of the American Legion in serving veterans throughout the community. “We stand behind every veteran that’s out there,” the post commander said. “For any veteran that needs assistance of any kind, we’re there to assist them. Whether it’s financial, whether it’s medical — whatever it is, we’re there for them.”

The post held a similar ceremony at the Port Jefferson Memorial Park in the village. Trustee Bruce Miller, who also serves as 2nd vice commander of Post 432, shared that freedom is inextricably linked to the sacrifices of American veterans.

“We come to honor the fallen on Memorial Day,” he said. “It is important to look back and remember that our freedom is not free, that we have our freedom because people have fought and died for it.” He added, “It is important to recognize their sacrifice and the sacrifices of those serving today.”

While it may be a solemn occasion, Miller said veterans can find solace this Memorial Day in knowing that American forces are not currently in the line of fire.

“This is the first year in the last 20 that we are not at war,” the village trustee said. “Veterans can rejoice that none of our soldiers, sailors or marines are coming under fire. But as the Ukrainians have shown us, we must always be ready.”

Port Jefferson is a great place to live and people have worked hard to create that freedom. I’m very thankful for their service, for those who have lost their lives, and we honor them.’

— Margot Garant

Mayor Margot Garant offered her own take on Memorial Day. She said she witnessed firsthand the sacrifices of American veterans as several of her family members, including her brother and father, have served.

“I feel that every day in our community is Memorial Day,” she said. “It gives us a time to pause and remember and be thankful for all of the great things that we have.” The village mayor added, “Port Jefferson is a great place to live and people have worked hard to create that freedom. I’m very thankful for their service, for those who have lost their lives, and we honor them.”

The day concluded with one last service at the post, followed by refreshments. To learn more about Post 432 and its various offerings, visit www.americanlegionwilsonritchpost432.org.

— Photos by Raymond Janis

Photo from Suffolk County

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone has announced that the Suffolk County Veterans Service Agency will host its third annual Drive-thru Resource and Stand Down Event on Saturday, April 30 in the north parking lot of the H. Lee Dennison Building located at 100 Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.

This year, 22 organizations and county agencies will participate, offering a variety of resources free-of-charge.

“Suffolk County is home to the largest veterans’ population in New York State and we must do all that we can to support our nations heroes,” said County Executive Bellone. As part of the event, our local veterans will have access to critical information about services currently available to them, along with a host of supplies, including COVID-19 test kits.”

Attending veterans and their families will have an opportunity to receive clothing, fresh produce, personal hygiene items, cleaning supplies, gift cards, blankets, and much more. Information on various nonprofit veteran services, including for physical and mental health, will also be available. Registration is encouraged, but not required. To register, click here.

Over the last two years, more than 200 veteran attendees have received resources from the various organizations and county agencies at the Drive-thru Resource and Stand Down Event. The County anticipates 200 to 300 veterans will attend this year.

Organizations participating in this year’s event include:

o   Suffolk County Veteran’s Services Agency

o   Suffolk County Traffic & Parking Violations Agency

o   Suffolk County Department of Labor

o   Suffolk County Community College

o   American Legion Greenlawn Post 1244

o   Catholic Health Services

o   Covanta

o   Dominican Village

o   Economic Opportunity Council of Suffolk, Inc.

o   General Needs

o   Here to Help Veterans and Families

o   Home Depot

o   Joseph P. Dwyer Veterans Peer Support Project

o   Long Island Cares, Inc.

o   New Ground

o   Phoenix House LI/NY

o   Project9line

o   St. Joseph’s College NY

o   Treehouse Group

o   United Veterans Beacon House

o   United Way of Long Island

o   US Dept. of Veterans Affairs

For more information, call 631-853-4000.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer is leading the charge to prevent changes at Northport VA that could slash services. Photo from Schumer’s office

After the release of a recent report from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs recommending the slashing of services at veterans hospitals, including Northport VA Medical Center, local elected officials have demonstrated exemplary behavior to ensure our veterans are properly cared for.

Among the recommendations in the report are the downsizing and reorganizing of the Northport location, which will transition into a subacute care facility. Inpatient medical and surgical procedures will be moved from Northport to Stony Brook University Hospital and NYU Langone Hospital in Mineola. Services that are offered now in Northport will be provided by St. Albans VA Medical Center in Queens and its community partners.

The VA has cited the changing needs of local veterans and millions of dollars of repairs needed for the Northport VA as their reasons.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is taking action, unveiling an advocacy plan with the hopes of defeating these recommendations. His first call of action is to circulate a petition across the Island. In a press release, the senator said he would present the signatures in a personal meeting to those who proposed the Northport reductions, also including closing two New York City VA hospitals. He will ask local hospital officials to express concerns about treating veteran-specific conditions and will then take the matter to the VA.

Schumer said he will bring the matter to President Joe Biden (D) if necessary.

In a press release, U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY1) said that he will work with the Long Island veterans community to figure out the “best path forward.” U. S. Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-NY3) also criticized the report, saying that elected officials were not consulted on the recommendations.

The report has evoked bipartisan support for the VA hospital and rightfully so. Our veterans have given up so much to protect their fellow citizens. When they enlisted, they risked their safety and sometimes their lives to guarantee the rights of all Americans. Thanks to our vets, we can criticize the government, assemble freely, and enjoy the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution.

Through their words, Americans often thank our veterans for their service. Now is the time to thank them through action. Residents should call the offices of their U.S. senators and representatives and demand that they join the fight to keep veterans health services as local and accessible as possible.

Veterans-specific care needs to be expanded, not slashed. Thank a veteran today by taking action.

On Nov. 21 the Town of Smithtown premiered War Stories, a documentary film devoted to the local heroes who served in combat throughout the various conflicts, at the Smithtown Center for Performing Arts. The production documenting the stories of local residents who enlisted to serve in the US Armed Forces during war time; from World War II to present day, will be available via Smithtown GTV and YouTube.

“This documentary is our way of saying ‘Thank You for Your Service.’ We hope that over time, we can build on this documentary, as a catalogue of stories from the story tellers themselves,” said Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.   “There’s an old saying that a soldier dies twice: once when he takes his last breath and again when he or she has been forgotten. Well this documentary is our oath to our veterans, our debt of honor, that you will never be forgotten.” 

The theatre was filled with family members of the 22 veterans, as well as members of the community, who wanted to show their support and gratitude for the men and women within our community who served to protect our nation’s freedoms. Residents filled two large boxes with non-perishable items for donation, which were delivered to the United Veterans Beacon House Food Pantry.

War Stories Cast (In order of appearance)

  • Bernard Nagel [ aviation machinist mate ] WWII

  • Jim “Red” Dowling [ 2nd lieutenant, 8th Army Air Corps ] WWII

  • Eddy Reddy [ 2nd lieutenant, 8th Army Air Corps ] WWII

  • Howard Laderwager [ US Navy hospital corpsman ] WWII

  • Anthony Romano [ US Army PFC ] Korean War | WWII Occupation

  • John R Steele [ US Navy Seaman ] Korean War

  • Robert Creighton [ US Navy Aerographer’s mate 3rd class ] Korean War

  • Nick Balducci [ United States Army 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team ] [ 82nd Airborne Regimental Combat Team ] Korean War

  • Salvatore Scarlato [ B Company, 1st Shore Party Battalion, 1st Marine Division – private ] Korean War

  • William Harnaiz US Army [ Fifth Regimental Combat Team ] Korean War

  • Frank D’Aversa [ United States Navy Lieutenant ] Vietnam War

  • Jack Toomey [ United States Army |  Specialist 4 ] Vietnam War

  • Ed Wehrheim [ US Navy Aviation Director 3 ] Vietnam War

  • Walter Zawol [ United States Marines Corporal ] Vietnam War

  • Kevin O’Hare [ United States Army 25th Infantry ] Vietnam War

  • Victor Noce  [ US Marine Corps Private First Class ] Vietnam War

  • Jack Stevens [ US Navy Electronic Technician 2nd Class ] Vietnam War

  • Bill Ponce [ US Army Full Bird Colonel ] Kosovo, Iraq War

  • Grace Mehl [ Commander United States Navy ] Kosovo

  • Joseph Zawol [ United States Marines | Sergeant ] Iraq War | Afghanistan War

  • Megan Shutka [United States Navy | Lieutenant commander ] Iraq War | Afghanistan War

  • Eric Ryan [ United States Marines | Sergeant ] Iraq War | Afghanistan War

The Town began production of the veterans documentary, interviewing service members from World War II, through to modern day conflicts in 2019. The film was directed, edited and produced by Smithtown Public Information Officer Nicole Garguilo, and co-produced by Brian Farrell and Margo Gordon. Smithtown Public Safety Park Ranger Charles Kang was instrumental in orchestrating the interview process of Korean War Veterans. 

Additionally, Kings Park resident and Gulf War Veteran Eric Burnett assisted with arranging a number of interviews for the documentary. War Stories has been dedicated in memory of two World War II Veterans; Eddy Reddy and Howard Laderwager, who starred in the documentary, but have since passed away. 

The Smithtown Performing Arts Council graciously volunteered their time, space and efforts to premiere the documentary. If you would like to make a donation to help Save the Smithtown Theatre, visit www.gofundme.com/f/save-smithtown-theatre.  

All photos courtesy of Town of Smithtown

Local Soccer youth pose with Town Clerk Vincent Puloe, Town Councilman Tom Lohmann, Town Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo, Coach James Malone, League Sponsor Robert Draper, Supervisor Ed Wehrheim, Coach Dave Phaff and Executive Board-Registrar Tracy Bordanaro.

On Nov. 20, Town officials hand delivered two proclamations to SB Athletico and Middle Country Soccer Club for their efforts in fundraising and donating approximately 350 Thanksgiving meals to Veterans at the Northport VA. The soccer leagues raised funds to purchase and deliver 350 cornish hens and holiday staples, which they delivered to the Northport VA on Nov. 23. Each dinner included a family photo and a letter, written by the soccer players to a veteran thanking them for their service to the county.

Town Clerk Vincent Puloe, Town Councilman Tom Lohmann, Town Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo, Coach James Malone, League Sponsor Robert Draper, Supervisor Ed Wehrheim, Coach Dave Phaff and Executive Board-Registrar Tracy Bordanaro.

“I was humbled to learn that our local youth devoted their downtime to proactively fundraise and deliver Thanksgiving feasts to the brave men and women who swore to protect our great Nation. I want to commend the coaches, league leadership and parents as well. Teaching our youth to honor, respect and care for our Veterans is more than philanthropic. It is character building, and speaks volumes about the integrity and commitment which these young people exhibit in leading by example,” said Supervisor Ed Wehrheim.

Supervisor Wehrheim along with Town Councilwoman Lisa Inzerillo, Town Councilman Tom Lohmann and Town Clerk Vincent Puleo, surprised soccer players, parents and coaches during a Saturday morning practice, presenting the two leagues with the proclamations. The Thanksgiving fundraiser was orchestrated and managed by the league sponsor; Robert Draper of Draper Asset Management, Coach James Malone, Coach Dave Phaff and Executive Board-Registrar Tracy Bordanaro. Peter Kinzie of Mercep Brothers in St James volunteered to both contribute and assist the leagues with purchasing the goods at cost, to help maximize the number of meals delivered.

During the peak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the soccer players at SB Athletico were deeply involved in giving back to hospitals, nursing homes and healthcare facilities in the area. In between online soccer training, the families of SB Athletico actively fundraised and collected monetary donations. They then purchased supplies from struggling small businesses, cooked and delivered family style meals to hospitals, and nursing homes. The leagues have recently created a new program; TOPSoccer within Middle Country Children’s Soccer club. This program is devoted solely to children with physical, mental or behavioral disabilities, providing them with an environment that is fun and pressure-free to enjoy the game of soccer

Photos from Town of Smithtown

Honoring those who served

St. Johnland Nursing Center of Kings Park hosted a special Veterans Day ceremony for residents, staff and guests to honor those who served our country on Nov. 11. A patriotic performance of war-time tunes and a speech from a representative from the VFW led up to the presentation of certificates to 23 residents and one staff member to commemorate their service.