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Soldiers

September 28, 2019 - 10:18am

Press release:

The public is invited to "Duty 1st with David Bellavia: Serving Country and Community," a talk by the Medal of Honor recipient at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. The event will kick off with a ceremony as Staff Sgt. Bellavia is honored by the Niagara Falls community with a key to the city.

Following the talk, he will sign copies of his book "House to House: A Soldier's Memoir," which will be for sale onsite during this event at The Rapids Theatre, 1711 Main St., Niagara Falls.

The will serve as a fundraiser for a new nonprofit organization created by Bellavia, called Deuce Deuce Relief Fund Inc. The fund benefits soldiers from Bellavia's prior Task Force in Iraq (Task Force 2-2), supporting soldiers and their families who are experiencing hardship or require other assistance.

"Duty 1st with David Bellavia” is Deuce Deuce's inaugural fundraiser and is generously hosted by The Rapids Theatre. General admission tickets are $22 (Deuce-Deuce). Doors will open at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available online through EventBrite, with a link at DavidBellavia.com.

Highly in demand, Bellavia has been speaking around the country throughout the summer, and now his community has an opportunity to hear him speak at the Oct. 12 event.

About David Bellavia

David Bellavia is the only living Iraq veteran to receive the Medal of Honor, which is our country’s highest military honor.

For the June 25 Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House, the Western New York community supported Bellavia’s dream of being surrounded by every living member of his Task Force when he received the honor.

More than 750 of his neighbors donated funds to make that dream a reality. Bellavia has said, “The Medal of Honor is for all who served with me in Iraq.”

He served three military campaigns: Kosovo 2003; and Operation Iraqi Freedom I; and Operation Iraqi Freedom II.

Bellavia is a graduate of Lyndonville High School in Orleans County and the University of Buffalo. He resides with his family in Western New York.

July 19, 2019 - 5:01pm

Submitted photo of national country music recording artist JB Aaron will perform a fundraising concert Saturday at the Batavia VFW to help reduce the suicide rate among vets and solidiers.

Information from Western New York Chapter 19-6 of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association:

Did you know that every day in the United States, on average, 22 of our nation's veterans/soldiers take their own life? That number is more than 128,000.

That means that there have been more suicides since the 9/11 attacks, than there have been combined deaths in combat from the Korean War all the way through Operation Iraqi Freedom. This trend has to stop.

To help get these suicides down to zero, "Operation 22-0" -- 0 > 22 -- of the Western New York Chapter 19-6 of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association is again hosting a memorial ride and fundraiser tomorrow (July 20) at the VFW Veness Strollo Post 1602 in Batavia.

It will assist our veterans with the help they need to try to get that number down to nothing.

Operation 22-0 is an amazing group of people help vets and their families in any way they can.

You are invited to join them for a day of motorcycling riding, good food, fun and live country music for a good cause.

The day starts out with a motorcycle run. Registration starts at 11 a.m. Kickstands up at noon; ride until 3 p.m. The ride donation is $10 per motorcycle.

Cash bar afterward, and $20 for dinner starting at 4, plus a chance to win a door prize. Food by Babz BBQ includes pulled pork, chicken and side dishes.

The post's banquet and bar area is huge and air-conditioned; a great place to cool off on what is expected to be a scorcher!

Hear live music until 8 p.m.

Rochester's own Worthy Duncan and Josh Shaff will perform, followed by national recording artist JB Aaron, who along with his band the Brethren, donates much of his free time to organizations such as this. Aaron supports and gives back every chance he can.

Please come out and join us as we help those who have helped our country for so many years. They have helped us, now its our turn.

The VFW Veness Strollo Post 1602 is located at 25 Edwards St.

To learn about the history of the motorcycle group, click here.

To visit their Facebook page, click here.

Below is a video produced by Cosmic Video of JB Aaron and the Brethren performing "Cadillac Bound" in June 2018 at the American Warrior Festival at The Ridge in Le Roy.

December 8, 2014 - 10:36am
posted by Daniel Crofts in Gilmartin Funeral Home, Soldiers.

The holidays have just gotten started, and Timothy J. Woodward is already overwhelmed.

Overwhelmed by generosity, that is.

Woodward is the owner and director of Gilmartin Funeral Home & Cremation Company in Batavia.  He is pictured (left) along with funeral assistant Matt Meyer.

The funeral home is wrapping up its first "Stockings for Soldiers" campaign, an idea that Woodward said came from Veterans & Family Memorial Care, of which Gilmartin is the sole provider for Genesee and Wyoming counties.

Genesee and Wyoming county residents picked up stockings provided by Gilmartin at its three locations (Batavia, Attica and Perry), stuffed them with "goodies," and brought them back to be shipped out to men and women in uniform serving in all military branches and at all ranks. 

Woodward had hoped to have the stockings shipped out by the weekend, but said that may not happen until Monday because of the large number of drop-offs that have occurred since the Dec. 1 deadline.

"That's great, and we don't want to discourage it," Woodward said. "But we do want to make sure that we have all of the drop-offs in so that we can ship them together."

The contents of the stockings range widely and include powdered Gatorade, non-perishable food items, toiletries, batteries, books, magazines and hard candy.

While the sum total of returned stockings have not yet been counted, Woodward said they have somewhere between 500 and 600.

"We want to say thank you very much to everyone who helped us with this enormous project," he added.

He wanted to offer a special thank-you to Tim and Linda Landers, of Byron, who donated $300 to help with the shipping cost.

"The response has been pretty overwhelming," Meyer said. "We look forward to doing it again next year."

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