State Senator Jeff Klein, in partnership with Congressman Joseph Crowley, Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, and Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, hosted the 9th Annual Veterans’ Breakfast at Villa Barone Manor.
Lieutenant Colonel Ron Watson, the Grand Marshall of the Throggs Neck Veterans’ Parade, was recognized along with 99-year-old Nicholas Calabrese, who received the Lifetime Service Award. Joseph Byrne, US Marine Corps; Irma Gallagher, US Army; William Hyland, US Army; Frank Morales, US Army; and Marshall Siciliano, US Army received posthumous awards for their service to our country.
The day begin with a complimentary breakfast followed by the patriotic program. After the presentation of colors by SUNY Maritime College’s Color Guard, the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem, Senator Klein presented the family of the late Paul Rosario Nelson with re-issued military medals that he earned during his service in the Vietnam War.
Senator Klein also announced $15,000 in funding that he secured for Bronx Veteran Mentors, which helps veterans who seek treatment for mental health and/or drug related issues as an alternative to incarceration. The veteran mentors, who understand first-hand military experience, help provide veteran participants with a true support system.
After the breakfast, Senator Klein and the veterans gathered and marched in The 32nd Annual Bronx Veterans’ Day Parade in Throggs Neck. Photos of the breakfast are below.
Above and Below - Senator Klein went around the busy room to talk to many of those on hand for his 9th Annual Veteran's Breakfast.
Above - The program began with the SUNY MARITIME COLLEGE COLOR GUARD presentation of the Colors.
Below - The National Anthem being sung by Ms. Theresa Cassen.
Above and Below - You can see the packed room as the Pledge of Allegiance is being recited.
Above - Senator Klein gives a moving speech of what Veteran's Day means to him, and how he is helping to try to bring funding for veterans.
Below - Senator Klein presents a check for $15,000.00 to the Bronx Veteran Mentors. Mr. Pat Devine is on the left, while Mr. Dwayne Gathers the President and CEO of the Bronx Veterans Mentors is on the right of Senator klein in the photo.
Above - Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj gets a few words in about what Veterans day means to him.
Below - Lieutenant Colonel Ron Watson the 'Throggs Neck Veterans Parade Grand Marshall' is center of Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Senator Jeff Klein, and Mr. Tom Messina of Congressman Joe Crowley's office.
Above - Bugler Albert Nicotina plays TAPS for the fallen soldiers as Michelle Dolgow (of Senator Klein's office), Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, Tom Messina, and Ms. Nathalia Fernandez (Chief of Staff to Assemblyman Gjonaj).
Below - Senator Klein, Pat Devine, and DA Clark stand at attention for the playing of TAPS.
The Honorees, Senator Klein, Assemblyman Gjonaj, and Mr. Messina.