Our Latest

Update from the Field: Thank You T-Mobile & Volunteers!

 

101st_1_small.jpgIt took some time for us to receive proper clearance from military authorities, but we're proud to share the results of our July partnership with T-Mobile:

Thanks to T-Mobile and the dozens of volunteers who assembled care packages with us last July, soldiers deployed across seven different countries from the 101st Signal Brigade, New York National Guard, received 300+ care packages to let them know those of us back home are thinking of them as they serve our nation abroad.

Right: U.S. Army National Guard Spc. Yaileny Gonzalez of Alpha Company, 101st Signal Battalion, New York National Guard, 160th Signal Brigade, receives goodies and personal-care items, Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

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Ensuring the Right Support for Veterans with 'Bad Paper'

On November 26th, 2018, our Director of Policy & Legislative Advocacy, Sam Molik, testified before the NYC Council Committees on Veterans in a hearing on Introductions 1218 and 479, which propose to create a discharge upgrade assistance unit at the Department of Veterans’ Services and offer discharge upgrade assistance and extending city veteran benefits to service members who were discharged because of their LGBTQ status.

Below is his testimony:

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Buy a Shirt, Support NYC Veterans Alliance!

 

300_genequality_group.jpgWe're proud to announce a new partnership with GenEquality in support of our initiatives to improve access and recognition of women veterans in VA healthcare by changing its motto and naming the Manhattan VA in honor of Margaret Corbin, the first woman combat veteran to be paid and pensioned by the U.S. Armed Forces. 

Proceeds from the sale of each special-edition "Seeing Is Believing" t-shirt will go toward these initiatives to change the way women veterans are seen within the VA healthcare system--as well as by our fellow veterans. 

GET YOUR T-SHIRT!

 

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Inclusion of Aging Veterans in City Mental Health Services

 

181119_testimony_2.jpgOn November 19th, 2018, our Director of Policy & Legislative Advocacy, Sam Molik, testified before the NYC Council Committees on Aging and Mental Health, Disabilities and Addiction in an oversight hearing on mental wellness in older adults.

The hearing also considered Introduction 1180, which would require caseworkers providing services at senior centers to complete the mental health first aid training course for older adults offered by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and to complete a refresher training course at least once every three years.

Below is his testimony:

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NYC Veterans Alliance Advances Naming of 'Margaret Corbin VA Medical Center'

 

300_presser.jpgThe NYC Veterans Alliance has announced that U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (NY-12) are introducing legislation to name the Manhattan VA as the 'Margaret Corbin VA Medical Center' in honor of the first woman veteran who fought and was wounded in combat in the U.S. Armed Forces.

On November 16th, 2018, members of the NYC Veterans Alliance "ruck" marched more than 12 miles from the historic Fraunces Tavern in lower Manhattan to Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights to commemorate Margaret Corbin's bravery in the Battle of Fort Washington, which took place on November 16th, 1776. At the conclusion of their march, the NYC Veterans Alliance held a press conference announcing that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney are introducing legislation to name the Manhattan VA in honor of Margaret Corbin.

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Standing Against Discrimination in the Military

 

lgbtq_equality.jpgEvery move toward inclusion in the U.S. military has met with political and social resistance, even from veterans' organizations. Whether it was racial desegregation, integration of women, or repealing "don't ask, don't tell"--controversial moves toward inclusion of qualified servicemembers have nevertheless made our nation's military stronger and more inclusive of our nation's richly diverse talent, perspectives, and skillsets. Ensuring that qualified transgender troops can continue to serve in the military is no less controversial--and no less critical. 

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Ensuring the Right Oversight of City Services for Veterans

 

300_testimony_181029.jpgOn October 29, 2018, NYC Veterans Alliance presented testimony before the NYC Council Committee on Veterans in a hearing on oversight of ensuring veteran access to City-administered services. The hearing also considered Introduction 1118, which would require the Department of Veterans’ Services (DVS) to submit an annual report to the council including specific personnel and performance indicators. Specifically, DVS would be required to report on the number of employees serving in each title within the agency as well as the services provided by each title. In addition, this report would include an accounting of the number of veterans who received services from DVS as well as how veterans and their families learned about the services provided by the agency.

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Survey on VA Hospitals in NYC

 

Manhattan_VA.jpgWe deserve VA hospitals that ALL New Yorkers can be proud of. In a city renowned for some of the best medical facilities in America--our VA hospitals should likewise be among the best in the nation. Thanks to the many dedicated professionals who work at VA medical centers in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn, we consistently hear many positives about the care veterans are receiving.

According to the VA's own latest hospital ratings, Bronx and Manhattan hospitals both rate 4 out of 5 stars. Brooklyn rates 3 out of 5. That's pretty good. But we also look to other hospitals--like upstate in Bath, NY--that rate 5 out of 5 stars. We believe our VA hospitals in NYC can be 5 stars, too--and that all of our city's veterans should be able to look to NYC facilities for top-quality care. 

See below for our new survey!

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Latest on Brooklyn & Manhattan VA Hospitals

 

parauda.jpgThis week, we're able to bring our community updates on the VA NY Harbor Healthcare System (VANYHHS), which includes the Manhattan and Brooklyn VA Medical Centers. We are grateful to Congressman Dan Donovan for his leadership in bringing the concerns of Brooklyn and Staten Island veterans directly to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and VANYHHS Director Martina Parauda. With his office's permission, we are including the notes from his recent meetings here. Also included below are notes on this week's Town Hall with Director Parauda at the Manhattan VA. 

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VA Must Welcome ALL Veterans

 

300_manhattanva_motto.jpgAt a time when the VA itself is reporting that 70% of veterans who have died by suicide have not been in recent VA care, and that women veterans in particular are nearly twice as likely as other veterans to die by suicide--it is essential that the VA do all that it can to mitigate the crisis of veteran suicide by ensuring that ALL veterans are welcomed in to receive quality care. 

While the VA has made great strides in making programs and care more accessible, the VA has nevertheless firmly resisted the most basic way of welcoming in all veterans--to simply acknowledge them in the VA motto.

 

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