DUTCHESS COUNTY – The pandemic gripping the country altered the way Dutchess County paid tribute to veterans this year.
This year, Adam Roche, Dutchess County’s director of Veteran Services organized a caravan of veteran groups, law enforcement, and fire departments throughout the county to bring a rolling tribute to veterans throughout the county.
“Our veterans deserve every tribute available to them,” said Roche. “They made a commitment to give their life in service of the country, without asking for anything in return. That courage is unmatched.”
Led by several Dutchess County Sheriff’s deputies and New York State troopers on motorcycles, the first loop of the convoy kicked off in Arlington and traveled through Pleasant Valley, Stanfordville, Clinton Corners, Millbrook, Union Vale, and LaGrange before returning to the county’s war memorial for a brief wreath-laying ceremony conducted by Roche and County Executive Marc Molinaro.
Molinaro gave a brief address to those gathered and reminded all of the need to do more for veterans. “These men and women expect so little from us and we have so much to extend to them,” said Molinaro. The county executive noted that the county offers a substantial number of services for veterans and the collaboration with MHA Dutchess Vet2Vet including outreach for veterans with mental illness, homelessness, and workforce access.”
Before the caravan mounted up and departed on the journey to visit every remaining town in the county, State Senator Sue Serino said, “Veterans Day will always hold a very special place in my heart. While here in our community, we celebrate our veterans every day, Veterans Day is an important reminder to take the opportunity to thank the veterans in our lives and take the extra steps to remind our vets that we remain forever grateful for their service to our country and our community.”
“The convoy was exciting to see as it rolled through Pleasant Valley,” said Mark Kearney who gathered with his family to watch as it rolled through. “My dad was in the Army during Vietnam and his return to the country was not very welcoming. It’s nice to see that the country is finally starting to give our soldiers and sailors the thanks they deserve.”