I would like to open the first Long Island Veterans Bulletin column with a nod to the local veterans who have carried the torch for community newspaper editorials in the past, particularly by way of the editorial pages of Anton Media Group. I have always admired the message and the dedication to getting the message out on behalf of all fellow veterans.
Support and services specifically for veterans continue to get better, in my opinion, a vast difference from when I moved here to Long Island more than 20 years ago. While the needs of older veterans differ from younger veterans and men and women veterans are largely different, I can say, I feel that veterans on Long Island are being heard. We are making differences in our communities and are being acknowledged with credit to our disciplined and take-charge foundations that help us, especially modern war-era women veterans, move the needle forward on nearly everything that we set our sights on.
If I had to put a team together of people who could get the job, any job, done, the first dozen would be veterans right here in Nassau County, and the majority of them would be a band of women veterans that I have had the privilege of working with on various projects in the past couple of decades.
A couple of years ago, I started a Facebook page, Long Island Veterans Bulletin, to aggregate veteran events, services and information that are hyperlocal to the island. These things range from support groups, parades, fundraisers, available or changing services and offers which are specific and directly related to veterans. The virtual bulletin board is gaining momentum and is used to disseminate information, reaching more veterans and veteran supporters than ever before.
Long Island is home to one of the highest populations of veterans in the entire country, mostly thanks to the returning-from-war veterans of the older war eras. Sadly, this number will sharply decrease as our fellow veterans age, retire, relocate and ultimately pass away. That is why it is critical for veterans on Long Island to form stronger bonds, network and share their experiences.
Check out Anton Media Group’s version of Long Island Veterans Bulletin in the upcoming months for a spotlight on local veterans, supportive organizations, issues and events. In upcoming columns, you can read about the amazing outreach being done by local organizations such as Rolling Thunder Chapter 6 of Long Island and its affiliates like Patriot Guard and Heroes Among Us, or the efforts of service organizations like Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and American Legion chapters faced with dwindling membership and financial struggles, or the incredible and quite literally, boots-on-the-ground initiatives that organizations like Bravo Foxtrot United Veterans are establishing to combat homelessness among veterans right here in your own neighborhoods.
Follow Long Island Veterans Bulletin on Facebook (www.facebook.com/livetsbulletin) for regularly posted information from across both counties and occasionally from regional organizations which benefit Long Island veterans.
–Christy Hinko is a managing editor at Anton Media Group and U.S. Navy veteran