Basecamp Guests: Ashley Swartz, Sandra Goldmark, Zach McClanahan & Betsy Pantazelos

May 22nd, 2017 by
Episode Excerpt: ” We are discussing two connected programs – the first is our emerging incubator / resource center / co-working space called VetTank located on 33rd and Madison Avenue and the other is Pop-up Repair Program. These two are connected because they are ways we can use veterans to propel them forward and in doing so help those veterans out. When you bring Veterans together and in turn connect veterans with experts in the civilian world there is a lot of energy and potential that happens.” – Dan McSweeney
 Air Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2017.

Basecamp Guests:

-Ashley Swartz, Co-Founder and CEO of Furious Corp, Vet Tank Steering Committee
-Sandra Goldmark, Co-Founder of Pop Up Repair
-Zach McClanahan, Founder and CEO of Zac Mac Productions, VetTank Steering Committee
– Betsy Pantazelos,  Patagonia




Check out an excerpt of the radio show on Facebook Live

Stay tuned for more information on the next show; we invite you to listen in and join the conversation either on Facebook Live or call in at (212) 219-9695.

UWVC’s Brand New Initiative : Rucking

May 18th, 2017 by

Rucking is an alternative sport that has taken the nation by storm. Based on military style infantry marches, carrying weight in a backpack/ruck over distance results in a combination of resistance and cardio training. Done as group rucking is considered a form of social fitness. The benefits of rucking are both physical and mental as participants strengthen their bodies and enjoy the therapeutic aspects which are similar to running or rock climbing.

For the first UWVC ruck march taking place on May 21st, 2017 participants are asked to carry clothing instead of the traditional steel plates or bricks inside their rucks. The donated clothing will be distributed to veterans in need going through a four step program at Samaritan Daytop Village. These veterans are working through a myriad of issues ranging from homelessness, substance addiction, PTSD and legal troubles. Upon graduation the veterans will be seeking employment. The requested business clothing will help to prepare them for this transition.

2017 Memorial Day Ceremonies, Parades and Events

May 17th, 2017 by

Thursday, May 25


11:00am | Eternal Light Monument (Madison Square Park)
Please join us for a press event to announce the relighting of the Eternal Light, and to launch a major effort to open up a memorial plaza around the base of the monument, restoring it to its former position of prominence.   RSVP:


8:30-8:45pm | Eternal Light Monument (Madison Square Park)
Join us to restore the Eternal Light!  Learn more.

Sunday, May 28


1:00pm | Parade Kick Off:  Grand Ave & 72nd street
2:00pm | Closing Ceremony which begins on Grand Ave and 69th Street
Organized by the United Veterans & Fraternal Organizations of Maspeth.  Parade starts at Walter A. Garlinge Memorial Park – 72nd St & Grand Ave.  Wreath Laying – immediately following parade at Maspeth Memorial Park: 69th St. /Grand Ave.


9:00am | Parade steps off at St. Stanislaus Memorial American Legion Post #1771 and proceed up Manhattan Avenue to St. Anthony’s Church
9:30am | Mass will be offered for ALL Veterans, living and deceased
10:30am | The parade will then re-form outside the Church and march down Manhattan Avenue and return to the Post
11:00am | Brief memorial service, with a flag-raising and the playing of Taps.


2:00pm | Parade starts at 26th Avenue and College Point Boulevard, moves north along College Point Boulevard and closes out with a ceremony held at MacNeil Park.

Monday, May 29


9:00am | Parade begins @ Francis Lewis & Merrick Blvd and ends at The Veterans Memorial Triangle (225th street & North Conduit Avenue)


10:00am | Interfaith Service @ St. Anastasia Church (45-14 245th Street; Douglaston NY)
11:00am (approx) | Wreath Laying; Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy schoolyard
11:30am | Veterans Breakfast @ Father Smith Hall (Divine Wisdom Catholic Academy)
2:00pm | Parade steps off at Jayson Ave/Northern Blvd, Queens, NY
3:30pm (approx) | Closing Ceremony at end of Parade (St. Anastasia’s Church parking lot)


11:00am | Parade begins @ 78th St./3rd Ave. End of Parade: Memorial service at John Paul Jones Park.  150th Annual Parade!


10:00am | Participants muster; opening ceremony at Restoration Plaza
12:00 noon | Parade steps off; proceeds up Marcy Ave, turns on Willoughby Ave. to BVSJ HQ 2pm | Closing Ceremony @ BVSJ Headquarters – 665 Willoughby Avenue (btw Throop Av/Marcus Garvey Blvd).  Organized by Black Veterans for Social Justice.


10:00am | Riverside Park & West 82nd St


11:30am | Hart Blvd. & Forest Ave Staten Island NY


10:30am | Wreath Laying Ceremonies– Bronx Veteran Memorial Park, Throgs Neck
11:15am | 
Joint Wreath Laying Ceremony – Throgs Neck Memorial Post 1456
12:30pm |Joint Wreath Laying Ceremony 
AmVets Post Shore Drive
1:45pm | 
Parade: Leonard Hawkins Post 156, 550 City Island Ave., 1 ½ mile Parade

Saturday June 3


12:00 noon | Veteran’s Memorial, Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, Long Island

Meet DJ & Vietnam Veteran Walter Cooper

May 15th, 2017 by

On May 25th 2017 Vietnam Veteran &  DJ Walter Cooper will spin some of his best tunes in front of the Eternal Light Monument. We asked Walter to tell us about himself and how he got into music. Here is some information on the man who will be creating the music and festivities during Fleet Week!

“I was drafted and served with the 25th Infantry in Vietnam in 1969-1970 and am a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient. When I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show in February 1964, I knew I would be involved in music the rest of my life. I was a drummer for a couple of bands in Brooklyn and was put on hold due to the birth of our daughter in March 1972. I started DJing in 1979 when we moved to Toms River and a couple of years later started an entertainment company. I have Superior Soundz Entertainment today and 90% of our work is for charities and fundraising. I volunteer at three horse farms that have therapy horses for disabled veterans and love every minute of it. I also do music for the VFW, American Legion, Jackson Township commission for the disabled and Handicap and a few others.”

Thanks for sharing your talents with us and see you May 25th!

Basecamp Guests: Governor Paterson, Leslie Robinson, Diane Hawkins & Brenton Briggs

May 10th, 2017 by

Episode Excerpt: You don’t measure veterans by whether they got injured or who got killed or who survived.  Many missions it’s known not everyone is coming back. It’s people who not only risk their lives as our police officers and firefighters do every day. But get into situations where they know before they go on a mission that a certain number of them might not come back. That is the highest sacrifice human beings make.

-Governor Paterson


Listen to the most recent episode of Basecamp, the UWVC radio show where we take an in-depth look at veterans issues. It airs live on WPAT AM930 every other Wednesday at 6:00pm. The show is hosted by Ralph Romeo with UWVC President Dan McSweeney as moderator.

Air Date: Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

Basecamp Guests:

Governor Patterson

Leslie Robinson, President, Trans4mation Nation

Diane Hawkins President, Sgt. John Basilone Foundation

Brenton Briggs President of the Eden Project – a Veteran Reintegration organization



Check out an excerpt of the radio show on Facebook Live

Stay tuned for more information on the next show on May 24, 2017; we invite you to listen in and join the conversation either on Facebook Live or call in at (212) 219-9695.

The UWVC’s Coro Fellow – Javi Castro

May 9th, 2017 by

Javi is an energetic young man from The Dominican Republic who has called The Bronx his home for the last 14 years. As an immigrant, he has a keen eye for how systems operate and can often provide a fisheye lens view in comparative politics. The attacks on 9/11 prompted Javi to attend John Jay College of Criminal Justice where he studied international crime and was inducted to the National Political Science Honor Society.  In College, he not only worked for the Veteran’s office but he also advocated and created programs surrounding Veteran homelessness and societal stigmas. He quickly developed an immense sense of patriotism and as a way to give back, he joined the New York Guard, a state military organization committed to serving and protecting the community as its most local level. Javi is currently a Coro Fellow placed at United War Veteran Council. He hopes to galvanize veterans and civilians to create more space for veterans to come to the table and ‘write’ their own lives.

A Visit To Pearl Harbor

May 3rd, 2017 by


I went to Hawaii for my honeymoon and knew I wanted to visit Pearl Harbor as it’s such an important part of our history.

When I got off the plane of Honolulu my husband saw a few people carrying American flags and immediately brought them to my attention since as a true UWVC’er I am interested in all things patriotic. I was not expecting to see members of a Color Guard! I spoke with them and they explained that a survivor of USS Arizona recently died and his family had flown to Hawaii to bury him. It was a powerful way to start the trip.

A few days later we decided to go to Pearl Harbor to pay our respects and to learn the history. Pearl Harbor today is both an active military base, memorial and national historic landmark. We arrived and got an audio tour of the grounds narrated by Jamie Lee Curtis whose father was a World War 2 Veteran. From there we took a boat ride to visit the memorial of the USS Arizona, a representation of the greatest loss of life of any ship in US Naval history. I noticed a few scuba divers taking practice dives on the memorial. Thinking it was a little out of place, I went over to one of the park rangers who explained a USS Arizona survivor’s family would be coming later today and they will be conducting a ceremony where the National Park Service diver will place an urn carrying the ashes of an Arizona crewman so he can lay with his fellow shipmates. This must have been the same survivor whose family was greeted by the Color Guard in the airport.

I have no personal connection to this sailor or his family, but somehow I feel I am honoring his memory. I don’t know his story or how his life was affected by Pearl Harbor I know that after 85+ years of life this is where he wanted to be buried and that says enough.

In learning about the history from the national park one sentence struck me that I will share: “The USS Arizona Memorial is a mortally wounded sentinel symbolizing valor and sacrifice to all the ships that sail past her ghostly remains.“ It is so important to have memorials because that is how we keep the memories of those we lost alive; if we don’t honor each other who will?

When I returned to the office and shared my story apparently it was all over the news and my co-workers heard about it. Upon researching here is the new story about the veteran named Raymond Haerry and the ceremony made in his honor.

-Michelle Rosenfeld UWVC