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Poughkeepsie…Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro and Nelson Eddy Rivera, USN (Ret), Director of the Dutchess County’s Division of Veterans Services, today accepted a Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Chair of Honor from the POW/MIA advocates group Rolling Thunder Chapter 3 New York, which will reside in the Division of Veterans Services office.
Members of Rolling Thunder New York Chapter 3 join Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Department of Health Commissioner Kari Reiber, MD, Nelson Eddy Rivera, USN (Ret), Director of Veterans Services and Lydia Biskup, Director of District Operations for State Sen. Sue Serino at Thursday’s dedication at the Division of Veterans Services office in the City of Poughkeepsie.
The POW/MIA Chair of Honor will remain perpetually empty, symbolizing though American prisoners of war and those missing in action may never return, Dutchess County will forever remember those veterans and leave a space open for them. Rolling Thunder, Inc., donated the Chair of Honor to Dutchess County in recognition of the Division of Veterans Services’ tireless efforts to support the County’s veterans.
County Executive Molinaro said, “More than names on a monument or reasons for a holiday, our veterans are heroes who selflessly jeopardized their security to ensure ours. Sadly, not every service member who makes that sacrifice returns home. May this Chair of Honor remind Dutchess County residents daily of those neighbors who protected the United States but did not make it back here. Dutchess County will long remember our sons and daughters who gave so much, and this Chair of Honor will be an everlasting tribute to them.”
This POW/MIA Chair of Honor, dedicated Thursday, will remain perpetually empty, symbolizing the American prisoners of war and those missing in action may never return, Dutchess County will forever remember those veterans and leave a space open for them.
Throughout the United States, Rolling Thunder, Inc., has dedicated such chairs to bring awareness to prisoners of war and service members missing in action. The chairs reside in venues such as large sporting arenas, rural town halls and gathering spaces in between.
Director Rivera said, “When county residents come to this office to obtain benefits for themselves or a loved one, they will see this Chair of Honor and think of the brave men and women who gave their liberty so we could enjoy ours. We thank the members Rolling Thunder, Inc., for their generosity in providing us this permanent reminder.”
Incorporated in 1995, Rolling Thunder, Inc., is a class 501(c) (4) non-profit organization with more than 90 chartered chapters throughout the United States, in addition to members abroad. While many members of Rolling Thunder, Inc., are veterans and many ride motorcycles, neither qualification is a prerequisite. Rolling Thunder, Inc., members are old and young, men and women, veterans and non-veterans. All are united in the cause to bring full accountability for the POWs and MIAs of all wars, reminding the government, the media and the public by their watchwords: “We Will Not Forget.”
“As a local chapter, we are proud to donate and dedicate this POW/MIA Chair of Honor in Dutchess County,” said Al Zeoli, president of Rolling Thunder New York Chapter 3. “Our brothers and sisters who have not returned home will not be forgotten, and this chair ensures they’ll be remembered here in Dutchess County for generations to come.”
The primary objective of the Division of Veterans Services is to ensure Dutchess County veterans and their families receive the maximum benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs and other agencies at all levels of government. More information about the Division of Veterans Services is available by calling (845) 486-2060.