June 13th, 2018 by administrator
May 14th, 2018 by administrator
The United War Veterans Council is proud to announce that Medal of Honor Recipient Florent Groberg (Captain, U.S. Army, Retired) is the Grand Marshal of the 2018 New York City Veterans Day Parade.
On the occasion of the 243rd birthday of the United States Army, the United War Veterans Council (UWVC), producers of the annual New York City Veterans Day Parade, announced that the Grand Marshal of the 2018 parade is retired U.S. Army Captain Florent Groberg.
Born in France, Groberg became an American citizen in 2001 and joined the U.S. Army in 2008. He received the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest military honor, for heroic acts during his service in Afghanistan in 2012. Groberg identified a suicide bomber targeting his formation and physically tackled the individual, causing both the initial attacker and a second bomber to prematurely detonate their devices. Groberg’s quick thinking and courage saved many lives, including those of senior U.S. and Afghan commanders. He himself was severely wounded in the action. Medically retired in 2015, Groberg is an active advocate for veterans and their needs.
Groberg will lead the 2018 NYC Veterans Day Parade – the nation’s largest and most prominent Veterans Day event – on Sunday, November 11, along Fifth Avenue, in the heart of Manhattan. The featured service branch for this year’s parade is the U.S. Army, in which Groberg served. This year’s Parade also holds special significance, as it honors the centennial of World War One, which ended with the signing of an armistice on November 11, 1918. Over 4.7 million Americans served in WWI; nearly 117,000 lost their lives, most while serving in France.
“Captain Groberg’s heroism in uniform and continued commitment to our veterans embodies the very essence of what service to our nation is about,” said Mark Otto, UWVC Executive Director and U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “This year, as we honor and reflect on the service and legacy of our veterans, there is no more fitting host and ambassador for our parade, both here in the U.S. and around the world.”
“It is a great honor to serve as the Grand Marshall of the 2018 NYC Veterans Day Parade,” said Groberg. “Just 100 years ago, more than 41 million lives were lost during World War One. France, one of our greatest allies, lost well over a million citizens. As a naturalized United States citizen born in France, I truly appreciate ‘The American Dream’, and understand the importance and value of the bonds we share with our allies. As our history has shown us, alliances are forged by brave men and women willing to sacrifice their lives for the greater good of the nation and the world. God Bless America and her allies.”
Groberg joins the ranks of past distinguished Grand Marshals and Parade Honorees, including astronaut Buzz Aldrin, actor Tony Curtis, and TV legend Normal Lear, as well as local NYC heroes.
Retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent “Flo” Groberg was born in Poissy, France, May 8, 1983. Groberg became a naturalized U.S. citizen, Feb. 27, 2001, and graduated from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Md., in June of the same year.
Groberg attended the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) and competed in varsity track and cross country. In May 2006, Groberg graduated from UMD with a bachelor’s degree in criminology and criminal justice.
Groberg entered the Army in July 2008 and attended Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, Ga. He received his commission as an infantry officer, Dec. 4, 2008. After completing Infantry Officer Basic Course, Mechanized Leaders Course, U.S. Army Airborne and U.S. Army Ranger Schools, he was assigned to the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Carson, Colo., as a platoon leader.
In November 2009, he deployed to Afghanistan as part of Task Force Lethal, with responsibility for the Pech River Valley in Afghanistan’s Kunar Province. Upon returning home in June 2010, he continued serving as a platoon leader until he was reassigned as an infantry company executive officer from October 2010 to November 2011. He was then assigned as the brigade personal security detachment commander for 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division. He deployed again to Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in February of 2012, with Task Force Mountain Warrior. He was promoted to captain in July 2012.
As a result of his actions, Groberg sustained the loss of 45 to 50 percent of his left calf muscle with significant nerve damage, a blown eardrum, and a mild traumatic brain injury. Groberg spent his recovery at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from August 2012 through May 2015. He was medically retired from Company B Warriors, Warrior Transition Battalion, as a captain, July 23, 2015.
Groberg’s awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal with one Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with three Bronze Service Stars; the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the NATO Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the U.S. Army Parachutists Badge, the U.S. Army Ranger Tab, and the Meritorious Unit Commendation.
Groberg currently resides in Seattle, Washington and is an employee of the Boeing Company.
SOURCE: U.S. Army (updated)
Medal of Honor Citation
Captain Florent A. Groberg distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Personal Security Detachment Commander for Task Force Mountain Warrior, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Asadbad, Kunar Province, Afghanistan on August 8, 2012.
On that day, Captain Groberg was leading a dismounted movement consisting of several senior leaders to include two brigade commanders, two battalion commanders, two command sergeants major, and an Afghanistan National Army brigade commander. As they approached the Provincial Governor’s compound, Captain Groberg observed an individual walking close to the formation. When the individual made an abrupt turn towards the formation, he noticed an abnormal bulge underneath the individual’s clothing.
Selflessly placing himself in front of one of the brigade commanders, Captain Groberg rushed forward, using his body to push the suspect away from the formation. Simultaneously, he ordered another member of the security detail to assist with removing the suspect. At this time, Captain Groberg confirmed the bulge was a suicide vest and with complete disregard for his life, Captain Groberg again with the assistance of the other member of the security detail, physically pushed the suicide bomber away from the formation. Upon falling, the suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest outside the perimeter of the formation, killing four members of the formation and wounding numerous others. The blast from the first suicide bomber caused the suicide vest of a previously unnoticed second suicide bomber to detonate prematurely with minimal impact on the formation.
Captain Groberg’s immediate actions to push the first suicide bomber away from the formation significantly minimized the impact of the coordinated suicide bombers’ attack on the formation, saving the lives of his comrades and several senior leaders. Captain Groberg’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty at the risk of life are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect credit upon himself, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division and the United States Army.
President Barack Obama presents the Medal of Honor to retired U.S. Army Capt. Florent Groberg during a ceremony at the White House in Washington, Nov. 12, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Eboni L. Everson-Myart) – DOWNLOAD
Then-1st. Lt. Florent A. Groberg, officer in charge for personal security detail, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division travels in a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter over Kunar province, Afghanistan (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Alexis Ramos) – DOWNLOAD
Then-2nd Lt. Florent A. Groberg patrols the city streets of Asad Abad, Afghanistan, in February, 2010. (Photo by Sgt. Albert Kelly, U.S. Army) – DOWNLOAD
May 7th, 2018 by administrator
Please see below for Memorial Day events and activities in the NYC area. We will continue to update this list as we confirm details!
College Point Citizens for Memorial Day Parade
May 27, 2018 | 2pm-4pm
28th Ave between Ulmer ST and College Point Blvd, Queens
Kings County Brooklyn Memorial Day Parade
May 28, 2018 | 11am
78th Street and Third Ave to 101st and Fourth Ave, Brooklyn
Allied Veterans Memorial Day Parade
May 28, 2018 | 11am-2pm
Cypress Ave between Myrtle Ave and Cornelia St, Queens
Glendale Memorial Day Parade
May 28, 2018 | 11am-1pm
Myrtle and Cypress Ave, Glendale, Queens
7th Annual Bedford Stuyvesant Memorial Day Parade
May 28, 2018 | 11am-6pm
Fulton St between Marcy Ave and New York Ave, Brooklyn
Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade
May 28, 2018 | 2pm
Northern Blvd. between Jayson Ave and 245th St, Queens
City Island Memorial Day Parade
May 28, 2018 | 2pm – 4pm
City Island Ave between Winter St and Cross St, Bronx
February 26th, 2018 by administrator
Join us in honoring those who served and sacrificed to defeat the Nazi submarine menace, and who made possible D-Day and the liberation of Europe!
The United War Veterans Council invites you to join us for a memorial ceremony at the East Coast Memorial in Battery Park on Thursday, May 24, 2018, from 9:00 – 9:30 AM. The event has been confirmed as an official Fleet Week event, and will include attendance by uniformed U.S. sea services personnel.
Thursday, May 24
East Coast Memorial
Inside Battery Park; Downtown Manhattan
* * *
The East Coast Memorial bears the names of over 4,000 U.S. service members -predominantly members of the sea services – who died in the service of our nation in the western waters of the Atlantic Ocean during World War II. This year marks the 75th Anniversary of this battle.
The date of May 24 in particular bears special significance: it represents the turning point of the Battle of the Atlantic. That day, German submarines suspended their attacks on Allied convoys, and from that point forward, Allied ships sunk enemy submarines at a rate faster than they could be built.
We hope you will help us remember the Americans who gave their lives to defend our liberty and to bring freedom to the people of Europe.
February 17th, 2018 by administrator
We are pleased to present the United War Veterans Council’s 2017 Annual Report.
As we close out another successful year, we’d like to share this report on our progress and thank the many stakeholders who have played such a key role in helping us advance our mission and vision.
In 2017, our team and supporters continued to expand and deepen UWVC’s work in honoring and serving veterans and their families.
We once again successfully executed our flagship activity, the New York City Veterans Day Parade, and expanded our efforts to establish our organization as a leader in the observation of Veterans Day across the nation. Our successes in these areas have laid a foundation for our plans to organize two world class anniversary events over the next two years: the Centennial of the end of World War I in 2018, and the Centennial of Veterans Day in 2019. In addition to Veterans Day, we carried out a full slate of commemorative and awareness-raising activities throughout 2017.
Over the course of the year, we continued to develop and refine our services, exploring ways to serve individual veterans and veteran organizations through referrals, entrepreneurial opportunities, and best practices trainings. In particular, our new Health and Wellness initiatives have already impacted hundreds of veterans; we will continue to develop these offerings going forward.
As always, we continue to sustain ourselves through a unique combination of charitable contributions, sponsorship and our UWVC Recycling program, an innovative Social Enterprise which benefits veterans and their communities.
We look forward to refining our structure and operations in 2018 and beyond in order to enhance our impacts and expand our self-sustainability as a nonprofit organization. Clearly, this can only occur by continuing our legacy of delivering real value in our community and by honoring our relationships with diverse partners who share our commitment.
We are motivated to continue our positive trajectory. Again, thank you for your interest and support. Please let us know if you have feedback or questions about UWVC. We are honored to continue the effort with you.
» Download the 2017 UWVC Annual Report
December 13th, 2017 by administrator
The UWVC is proud to announce that at this year’s Vietnam Veterans Day commemoration, we will be presenting legendary journalist and Vietnam War hero Joe Galloway with our newly-named Patrick L. Gualtieri Service to Vietnam Veterans Award!
The award will be presented at our annual Wreath Laying Ceremony at Vietnam Veterans Plaza (55 Water Street) on Saturday, March 24, at 11:00 – 11:45am. The ceremony is part of a full day of activities honoring the legacy of those who served and sacrificed in Vietnam »Learn more!
* * * *
Joseph Galloway is best known for co-authoring (with General Hal Moore) the classic combat memoir We Were Soldiers Once… and Young, which tells the story of the Battle of Ia Drang Valley (and which was made into the Mel Gibson film, We Were Soldiers). Mr. Galloway covered the battle as a photojournalist, and in 1998 was awarded a Bronze Star (rare for a civilian) for assisting a wounded soldier during the firefight. He has devoted his life to telling the stories of our service members and veterans, and currently serves as a special consultant to the Vietnam War 50th anniversary Commemoration. Full bio.
* * * *
Patrick “Pat” Gualtieri was the longtime Executive Director of the United War Veterans Council. Under Pat’s leadership, the UWVC restored the New York City Veterans Day Parade to its rightful position of prominence, and introduced a number of events and initiatives honoring our veterans, including NYC’s first observation of Vietnam Veterans Day.
An icon in NYC’s veterans community, Pat passed away in 2015. He served as a Quad-50 machine gunner in Vietnam from 1967-1968.
* * * *
This year will mark the first presentation of this award in Pat’s name. Last year’s inaugural recipient of our Service to Vietnam Veterans Award was Michelle DellaFave, a lifelong veterans’ supporter and advocate who performed in Vietnam with Bob Hope’s USO Troupe in 1968-69.
We hope you will join us in saluting these two icons of service, and in honoring all our Vietnam Veterans!
» 2018 Vietnam Veterans Day
July 18th, 2017 by administrator
Dear Friend of the United War Veterans Council,
We have some exciting news to share.
Marine Corps veteran Mark Otto, a long-time New York Stock Exchange trader, has been named Executive Director of the United War Veterans Council (UWVC), producer of the New York City Veterans Day Parade and a nationwide initiative to honor service.
Mark will be responsible for day-to-day workings of the UWVC, such as planning and producing the New York City Veterans Day Parade, the largest commemoration of service in the nation; coordination and support for other Veterans’ Service Organizations such as the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Team Red, White and Blue and Operation Beachhead, and expanding on the UWVC Health & Wellness program which he initiated in the last year.
He also will coordinate a national network of Veterans Day commemorations by 2019, the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI in 2018 and the 100th anniversary of the first Veterans Day Parade in 2019, which honored those who served in WWI, and other commemorations, such as Vietnam Veterans Remembrance Day and Memorial Day.
Mark has served for the last year as Vice President of UWVC, reporting to President Dan McSweeney, who presided over the successful transition of UWVC leadership from Vietnam era veterans to a younger generation of veterans. McSweeney, who recently announced that he was stepping down as President, will remain on the Board and lead the transfer of VetTank, UWVC’s veteran business incubator and co-working space, to the emerging NYC Center for Cybersecurity and Resilience, which will support veterans’ success in this expanding market. As McSweeney steps down, the two positions have been combined into Mark’s full-time role as Executive Director.
Mark brings his history, his leadership experience, his family, his network, and – most importantly – his willingness and desire to step into the role of honoring and serving our veterans. Dan McSweeney played a vital role in guiding the UWVC through a critical period in our organization and in raising our mission to the next level. We are very thankful for his impacts and are glad he will remain UWVC and continue contributing to our growth and success at the strategic level while facilitating a greater role for veterans in the Cyber arena.
Mark will lead the execution of the UWVC mission to act as ambassadors, connectors and supporters to veterans and veteran supporters, remembering the pledge: Never again will one generation of veterans turn its back on another. Recognizing his efforts to increase coordination with other Veterans Service Organizations, the Veterans of Foreign Wars named Mark National Aide de Camp to Commander-in-Chief Keith E. Harman. Mark also conducted a 1,000-mile ruck march to generate support for The Headstrong Project, which addresses Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and veterans’ suicide in post-9/11 military veterans.
Mark created the UWVC Health & Wellness Program which offers a holistic, therapeutic approach to healing combat veterans dealing with the hidden wounds of war. In its first year under Mark’s direction, the UWVC Health & Wellness Program served hundreds of veterans through equine therapy with Serenity Stables, sailing outings with Sail Ahead, camping with the Sierra Club, art therapy with Ani Art Academies and ruck marches with GORUCK.
As a Marine, Mark served on five-man ground intelligence gathering teams under the 2nd Surveillance Reconnaissance and Intelligence Group during the Panama Invasion and throughout Desert Shield/Desert Storm.
Mark had a successful career on the NYSE becoming a senior trader and a leader within the trading floor community. He has managed portfolios with combined market capitals of over a half trillion dollars throughout several global financial crisis situations. Mark has served as co-chair of two NYSE committees and as a Senior Floor Official on the NYSE’s self-governing body. Mark is a public speaker and has acted as an ambassador on behalf of the NYSE hosting foreign diplomats and military VIPs.
He has received multiple military awards. Highlights include: Combat Action Ribbon with Gold Star, Distinguished Service Medal from the State of New Jersey, Airborne Jump Wings and Meritorious Promotion to Non-Commissioned Officer.
Mark is the fifth veteran in his family to serve in war, including his father who served three tours during the Vietnam War, where he met Mark’s mother. After being separated during the Tet Offensive, Otto’s mother and father were reunited and have been married for 50 years.
A native of Westfield, NJ, Mark lives in Red Bank with his wife and six-year-old son.
Please join us in wishing Mark well in this important mission.
Doug McGowan, Chairman
United War Veterans Council, Inc.
April 12th, 2017 by administrator
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, a U.S. Air Force veteran of the Korean War, will be the Grand Marshal for the 2017 New York City Veterans Day Parade, United War Veterans Council Chairman Douglas McGowan announced today.
Aldrin walked on the moon 48 years ago this week.
UWVC produces the New York City Veterans Day Parade, the largest commemoration of service in the nation, and Veterans Day USA, a nationwide initiative to honor service, coordinating Veterans Day observances in communities from coast to coast.
The U.S. Air Force, 70 years old this year, is the featured service for the 98th annual Veterans Day Parade. A Memorial Ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, November 11, with a wreath-laying, flag-raising, 21-gun salute and Taps, at the Eternal Light Flagstaff in Madison Square Park.
The parade steps off at 11 a.m. from 26th Street and Fifth Avenue and proceeds up Fifth Avenue to 52nd Street. About 40,000 veterans, Active Duty military personnel, marching bands and veterans’ supporters march past 500,000 spectators. The parade is broadcast live from noon to 3 p.m. on WPIX-TV 11, and the American Forces Network. It is streamed on the WPIX website, TaskandPurpose.com and Military.com.
“Col. Buzz Aldrin is the living embodiment of the U.S. Air Force motto – Aim High. From the skies over Korea to Tranquility Base, where Col. Aldrin made his historic moonwalk 48 years ago this week, he has inspired generations around the world to reach for the stars,” said Douglas McGowan. “On behalf of all our veterans, we are honored that this great American hero will lead us on November 11.”
“I’m proud and honored to lead the Veterans Day Parade. I took an oath at the age of 17 at West Point to serve my country and everything I do is in service to our country that to this day,” Col. Aldrin said.
“I think it’s important to remind the world of the value of service and having pride in one’s military career and the value that veterans bring to society. I’m very proud to be a veteran and proud to stand with our vets to get them the credit and support they deserve,” Buzz added.
Buzz Aldrin grew up in Montclair, NJ. His mother, Marion Moon, was the daughter of an Army Chaplain and his father, Edwin Eugene Aldrin, was an aviation pioneer. Buzz graduated one year early from Montclair High School and attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, graduating third in his class with a BS in mechanical engineering.
He then joined the Air Force where he flew F86 Sabre Jets in 66 combat missions in Korea; shot down two MIG-15′s, and was decorated with the Distinguished Flying Cross. After a tour of duty in Germany flying F100′s, he earned his Doctorate of Science in Astronautics at MIT and wrote his thesis on Manned Orbital Rendezvous.
Selected by NASA in 1963 into the third group of astronauts, Aldrin was the first with a doctorate and became known as “Dr. Rendezvous.” The docking and rendezvous techniques he devised for spacecraft in Earth and lunar orbit became critical to the success of the Gemini and Apollo programs, and are still used today. He pioneered underwater training techniques to simulate spacewalking. In 1966 on the Gemini 12 orbital mission, Buzz performed the world’s first successful spacewalk – extra-vehicular activity (EVA), and set a new EVA record of 5 1⁄2 hours. During that mission he also took the first ‘selfie’ in space.
On July 20, 1969, Buzz and Neil Armstrong made their historic Apollo 11 moonwalk, becoming the first two humans to set foot on another world. An estimated 600 million people – at that time, the world’s largest television audience in history – witnessed this unprecedented heroic endeavor.
Upon returning from the moon, Buzz was decorated with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and numerous awards all over the world. In 2011 along with his Apollo 11 crew mates Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins, he received the Congressional Gold Medal.
Buzz is the author of 9 books, most recently his children’s book, “Welcome to Mars: Making a Home on the Red Planet” and his newest NY Times and Washington Post Bestseller, “No Dream Is Too High: Life Lessons from a Man Who Walked on the Moon.” Both are published by National Geographic.
In October 2014, he revamped his ShareSpace Foundation to be focused on STEAM Education – Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math – to ignite the spark and fuel excitement for space in kids – specifically for K-8. In August 2015, he launched the Buzz Aldrin Space Institute at Florida Tech to promote and develop his vision of a permanent human settlement on Mars.
Since retiring from NASA and the U.S. Air Force, Col. Aldrin calls himself a Global Statesman for Space and has remained a tireless advocate for human space exploration.
» Buzz Aldrin Press Kit
» 2017 NYC Veterans Day Parade
Gladwyn Lopez / 212-843-9231 / email@example.com
Pat Smith / 212-843-8026 / firstname.lastname@example.org
April 12th, 2017 by administrator
Dear United War Veterans Council Supporter:
I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the season.
Attached please find UWVC’s 2016 Annual Report. This is our first year producing such a document, so thank you for accepting it in April, as we have been working to fine-tune its contents.
It has been a pleasure and honor to serve as president of this fine organization. I’m grateful to our board of directors and advisory council, our supporters, partners, and volunteers, the many government agencies we work with throughout the year, and the members of our great operations team, who consistently deliver value to the New York veterans community with passion and for the right reasons.
I’m pleased to report that Mark Otto has established himself as a very effective vice president since coming aboard earlier this year. As I join our board of directors as a full member and become a volunteer president for UWVC, I will continue to work closely with Mark in his hands-on leadership role.
I hope you will take a few minutes to review the booklet. I believe it’s an effective overview of our progress and vision for the future. The entire UWVC family is committed to achieving new milestones in 2017 and beyond.
By enhancing our coordination and collaboration as individuals and groups, we are collectively advancing New York’s role as a national magnet for veterans and their families and an effective workshop for improving the ways in which we honor and support those who have served our country in uniform.
I remain deeply grateful for your interest, input, and assistance. We’ll be making some exciting announcements in the next several weeks. Please check in with us regularly online, via e-mail, or by telephone. Again, thank you.
» Download our 2016 Annual Report
January 18th, 2017 by administrator
TOPIC: Veterans housing issues
AIR DATE: Wednesday, April 12, 2017
– Nicole Branca, NYC Veterans Alliance
– Adam Wawrynek, Services for the UnderServed (SUS)
– Jerome Lawrence, Harlem United
– David Bright, W. 95th Street Veterans Residence
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.
The UWVC is proud to present Basecamp, our new radio show on veterans issues! Our first episode, hosted by Ralph Romeo, aired on WPAT AM930 on Wednesday, January 18, 2017.
“We invite subject matter experts who have views on the veterans community in NYC. Remember this is non partisan forum- we are not talking about politics instead we are discussing issues that relate to their families and how we can improve their situation.”
For our inaugural show, UWVC President Dan McSweeney served as moderator, guiding a wide-ranging discussion amongst our special guests:
- Joe Bello
- Tony Davis
Relationship Manager (NY/NJ)
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
- Ryan Hegg
Head of Production/Advocacy
United War Veterans Council (UWVC)
- Alexis Wichowski
Press Secretary & Senior Advisor for Communications
NYC Department of Veterans Services
We also welcomed Jon Bremner of the musical “Deployed” via phone, who spoke about this unique piece of theater and veterans in the arts in general.
Stay tuned for more information on future shows; we invite you to listen in and join the conversation!