NYSID Dedicates Battle Buddy Center at The College of Saint Rose
NYSID dedicated its newest Battle Buddy Center at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, in collaboration with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany, during an early Veterans’ Day celebration on the College campus.
Battle Buddy Centers are safe havens for veterans to socialize with their fellow veterans and receive services they need.
Based on the military concept of a “Battle Buddy,” which partners soldiers to assist each other both in and out of combat, Battle Buddy Centers offer activities to encourage camaraderie and foster veterans to give and receive mutual support.
Among those participating in the Battle Buddy Center dedication ceremony:
Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO
Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco, The College of Saint Rose president
Vincent Colonno, Catholic Charities CEO
Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger, Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany
Congressman Paul Tonko (NY-20)
NYS Senator Betty Little (R-45)
NYS Assemblymember John McDonald (D-108)
Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan
Colonel Eric Hesse, U.S. Army (Retired), New York State Division of Veterans’ Affairs director
Student veterans from The College of Saint Rose
Corporal Shawn Sutton ’17, United States Marine Corps, and president of The College of Saint Rose Student Veteran Association, gave a student veteran reflection; he has played an integral role in NYSID Battle Buddy Centers at The College of Saint Rose and Hudson Valley Community College. Colonel Michael Marcomb ’87, United States Army, delivered the keynote address.
Ron Romano, NYSID president & CEO, said: “NYSID supports job creation efforts for a diverse group of New Yorkers with disabilities through our member agencies and assists with veterans’ support programs, promoting quality of life for veterans as they reconnect to the New York State workforce. We recognize that creating educational and employment opportunities for service-disabled veterans and other New Yorkers who face barriers to employment is not only the right thing to do, it also improves our state’s economy and strengthens our communities. NYSID supports The College of Saint Rose and its Veterans’ Student Group in assisting veterans achieve success personally, academically and professionally. Based upon the current veteran population and the anticipated growth of veterans’ programs and services, NYSID is pleased to partner with The College of Saint Rose and Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany in this Battle Buddy Center.”
Dr. Carolyn J. Stefanco, The College of Saint Rose president, said: “Since the days after World War II, when they were among the first males to attend Saint Rose, veterans have constituted an integral part of our total student body, bringing a diversity of life experiences and educational backgrounds that enrich and strengthen the overall academic experience for all students. We want veterans to know that if they come to Saint Rose, we will see them through a successful military-to-civilian transition. They have served their country, and it is part of our mission to support them and their families.”
The new Battle Buddy Center offers veterans and military families a quiet space where they can work at computers and work stations, access the Internet, relax in comfortable seating and network with people with a shared experience. On-site staff will provide references for veterans with questions about health services, disabilities and benefits. The center also offers meeting space for the College’s chapter of the Student Veterans of America and for veterans to meet with Veterans Administration representatives.
NYSID’s Battle Buddy Centers have collectively hosted more than 30,000 visits by veterans since September 2011. Battle Buddy Centers are made possible through grant funding from NYSID and support from NYSID member agencies. In addition to The College of Saint Rose, NYSID has participated in the opening of Battle Buddy Centers at the following eight locations: Hudson Valley Community College (Troy); Columbia-Greene Community College (Hudson); SUNY Adirondack (Queensbury); Westchester Community College (Valhalla); Rockland Community College (Suffern); John Jay College of Criminal Justice (New York City); SUNY Ulster (Stone Ridge); and Clear Path for Veterans (Chittenango).
Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Albany is one of the largest, private, social service agencies in the region, helping more than 81,000 people each year in the 14 counties of the Albany Diocese. Catholic Charities focuses on helping the most vulnerable in our communities, including people with developmental disabilities, pregnant and parenting teens, immigrants and refugees, the unemployed, victims of domestic violence, and the homeless. For more information, visit: http://www.ccrcda.org
The College of Saint Rose is home to student veterans hailing from all branches of the military. It has been named to the Military Friendly School List for five consecutive years and is committed to recognizing and building upon the diverse skills, experiences and perspectives of its veteran students. The College values the unique contribution that veterans bring to campus and works to ensure their transition meets its full potential. For more information, visit: http://www.strose.edu/admissions/first-year-students/veterans