Where did you serve and what did you do?
I served 36 years in the US Army, both active and reserve, with deployment to Afghanistan in 2006-2007 as the Deputy Director, Police Reform Directorate, with the mission to establish the countrywide Regional Police System for the Afghan National Police with the responsibility to man, train, equip and operationalize the Afghan National Police. I started as a private in 1972 and retired as a Colonel in 2008.
How are you #StillServing?
I am the VFW Department of Rhode Island Service Officer. Last Tuesday, 3-24-2020, I received a call from Donna Russillo, the Providence VA Medical Center Chief of Voluntary Service, requesting emergency support for their new COVID-19 Ward. She requested 200 frozen meals and snacks to support the Ward. I quickly raised donations of money from local Veteran’s organizations and personally donated $500.00 to purchase the requested food and food gift cards local food markets. On Thursday, I delivered $1,100 in frozen meals along with snacks to the Providence VA Medical Center and with the assistance of Debra Veasie, Voluntary Service Specialist and Henry Rea, Assistant Recreational Specialist moved the food into the medical center freezer and cooler. Donna Russillo thanked the VFW for our rapid response to her request for assistance and stated, “We are grateful that we can always rely on the VFW when we have an emergency need.” The purchased gift cards are being distributed to homeless Veterans and Veterans in distress.
Why do you do it?
I have been a full-time volunteer for the VFW Department of Rhode Island Service Office since 2016 and volunteer at the Providence, VA Regional Office. I am giving back to our Veterans and their families and as a VFW highly trained professional advocate, I am making a difference for all the Veterans we assist and we are setting the standard for professional advocacy for all to follow.