2012 Join Hands For Veterans

On May 5 th, 2012 Oswego County Council President, Darlene Baker put together a Join Hands Day for our veterans. A day where they could come with their families and enjoy the picnic pavilion, play area, hotdogs, chips, refreshments, games and resources if interested.

All VFW’s in the County of Oswego were invited to participate and set up tables with information. The Vet Center out of Watertown came with a lot of informational pamphlets and goodies for the children.

Also a representative from SUNY Oswego set up a table with information on furthering education for veterans.

Our Auxiliary Veteran and Family Support Chairman, Mary Reeser and Sister Ronnie Peterson, set up a table with a membership drive for both auxiliaries and the veterans. We also had literature on all of our programs and the Syracuse VA Hospital.

The highlight of the day was meeting disabled veteran, Felica Plunkett, who served eight years in the U.S. Navy during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Felica, a single mother of three went through a bad time in her life in 2008 that resulted in her and her children becoming homeless. Through the VA Hospital in Syracuse Felica met with Combat Veteran Counselor, Peggy Dagat, NP who introduced her to Adam Ormsby, (Homeless Veteran Program Coordinator at the Behavioral Center) and he got her involved with an exciting new program called “The Homeless Veteran Program” This is a program that gives veterans an opportunity to obtain housing with a HUD VASH Voucher through Section Eight. In Felica’s own words, “I was the FIRST veteran to go through this program and I have to say that it was a blessing to have been able to get out of a shelter with a newborn and my twin sons. I felt grateful and humbled to have been in the right place at the right time. I do firmly believe that GOD provides us with everything we need and puts people in our lives to help us along the way”.

Felica is in school full time and will soon be obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and said she is trying to show her children that it is never too late to finish your education and that education is the key to success.

Well, I certainly wish her the very best of luck in the future in her career and her family and I thank God that she found the resources to pull herself up and out of where she was. Our VA Hospital and the work it does for our veterans truly ROCKS in my book.

WOW, what an exciting, rewarding day after hearing that story and meeting Felica and her children and I felt grateful and humbled that I met her, one of our true American Heroes . Thank You Felica for your service and sacrifices for our country and the freedoms we enjoy! You made our day worthwhile!!!