Saluting two Vietnam icons: Joe Galloway and Pat Gualtieri

February 17th, 2018 by

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!

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GallowayPortrait_500x500Joseph 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.

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GualtieriPortrait_500x500Patrick “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.

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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

Meet our new Executive Director

December 13th, 2017 by

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.

Our 2017 Grand Marshal: Buzz Aldrin

July 18th, 2017 by

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, and

NASA JSC Electronic Imagery

“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

Press contacts:  

Gladwyn Lopez / 212-843-9231 /

Pat Smith / 212-843-8026 /


2016 Annual Report

April 12th, 2017 by

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.


Dan McSweeney

» Download our 2016 Annual Report

BASECAMP: Housing for Veterans

April 12th, 2017 by

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.




Basecamp – Guests: Alexis Wichowski, Joe Bello, Ryan Hegg & Tony Davis

January 18th, 2017 by


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.

Episode Excerpt:

“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.”

-Dan McSweeney

For our inaugural show, UWVC President Dan McSweeney served as moderator, guiding a wide-ranging discussion amongst our special guests:

  • Joe Bello
    NY MetroVets
  • 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!



Operation Restore Humor – April 27

April 15th, 2016 by

In the spirit of Bob Hope entertaining the troops, the UWVC is producing an evening of comedy to honor our veterans and use comedy as a way of healing, while bringing public awareness to the issues of Post-Traumatic Stress.

This pilot program will lay the groundwork for additional offerings in this area, including training in comedy for veterans.

Time: 6:30pm doors open 7:00pmshow. Location: Gateway Art Center 4 West 43rd Street b/w 5th and 6th Avenue  |  RSVP  | #OperationLaugh

Hello world!

March 20th, 2016 by

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