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Molinaro Dedicates POW/MIA Chair of Honor at Dutchess Stadium

Published: 10/24/2015

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Colleen Pillus

Poughkeepsie… Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro was joined by Division of Veterans Affairs Director Nelson Eddy Rivera, USN (Ret.) and local veterans on Friday evening, as he unveiled and dedicated a POW/MIA Chair of Honor at Dutchess Stadium.

The POW/MIA Chair of Honor will remain perpetually empty, symbolizing those 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. The Chair of Honor will serve as a reminder of those prisoners of war and missing in action for the thousands who visit Dutchess Stadium each year for Hudson Valley Renegades baseball games, Hudson Valley Fort football games or concerts and other events throughout the year.

County Executive Molinaro with local veteransCounty Executive Molinaro said, “We must never forget our brothers and sisters who fought so bravely overseas to secure our liberty, but have not returned home. This Chair of Honor will serve as a constant reminder to all who visit this Dutchess County park that those brave men and women are not forgotten and will forever live on in our hearts and minds. Dutchess County honors all veterans who risked their lives to protect ours – whether they have returned from battle or not – and we thank them all for their sacrifice.”

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.

Director Rivera said, “This chair is emblematic of the sacrifice every veteran has made to this country overseas, though sadly, not all have come back. The courageous servicemen and servicewomen who have yet to return might not be with us now, but their spirit will always live on at Dutchess Stadium through this Chair of Honor.”

POW/MIA Chair of HonorIncorporated 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.”

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. Earlier this year, Rolling Thunder New York Chapter 3 donated a similar Chair of Honor to the Division of Veterans Services; that chair resides in the lobby of the Veterans Services office.

Al Zeoli, president of Rolling Thunder New York Chapter 3, said, “We thank County Executive Molinaro for his dedication to the cause of remembering our brothers and sisters who have not returned home but will never be forgotten. This Chair of Honor ensures they’ll be remembered here at Dutchess Stadium for generations to come, and we thank Dutchess County for its continued support.”