Storm's effect felt at US largest veterans parade - New York News

Storm's effect felt at US largest veterans parade

Posted: Updated:

CARA ANNA, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Instead of taking part in the country's largest Veterans Day parade Sunday, some New York City vets were still coming to terms with Superstorm Sandy. Already homeless before the storm, they faced a third week of being uprooted from their usual shelter with little more than the clothes on their backs.

"I have not had a change of clothing since we were displaced," said Matthew Galarza, a 23-year-old Army veteran who was evacuated from his transitional housing with more than 100 other veterans for the Oct. 29 storm. Thinking it would be temporary, he left with nothing but his video games.

At first, the veterans stayed in a Brooklyn shelter that usually caters to the homeless at large. They saw feces stains on the floor and struggled to sleep under bright lights. More recently, they were transferred to a space in Brooklyn that is being considered as a traditional homeless shelter, though the idea has drawn protests from the nearby upscale community of Carroll Gardens.

"We have 11 men in our living unit right now," said John Cody, a 32-year-old Navy veteran. "Six in the living room, two in the dining room and three in the master bedroom." There is no privacy, he said, and no hot water.

With little to do in their cramped new space, a few took the chance on Veterans Day weekend to join relief efforts for storm victims in the hard-hit Red Hood neighborhood a short walk away.

"It felt right," Cody said. "People have done things for us, and we wanted to do something back."

Asked if he would march in the Veterans Day parade, Cody said no. "That's not my scene."

The city has 535 homeless veterans and another roughly 820 in transitional housing, according to the Veterans Administration. More than 2,100 are in housing with the help of supportive housing vouchers.

At Sunday's parade, officials stood in the warm sunshine and said veterans should be honored and remembered more than just one day a year. The greatest casualty, one speaker said, is being forgotten.

"This nation has a sacred obligation to take care of you," U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told the crowd.

Several officials also made a special note of mentioning Vietnam veterans. This marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.

One Vietnam veteran, 66-year-old Laurence Lynch of New York, said simply, "It's about time. It's about time."

Along a number of blocks of the parade route on Fifth Avenue, just a few dozen spectators were lined along the barricades.

Candice and Jeffrey Stark stood nearly alone on one stretch, waving tiny American flags. When asked, "Where is everybody?" they said they were wondering the same thing.

"We are shocked," Candice Stark said. "Very disappointed and terribly appalled. Don't get me started!"

The Long Island couple are among the many Sandy victims displaced from the storm. They had noticed the parade barricades being set up while staying in Manhattan and told themselves, "We've gotta be there."

The military has been very visible in the Sandy cleanup, the couple said. They wanted to say thank you.

On Sunday alone, hundreds of veterans were working on storm relief in the beachside Rockaways section of the city, according to Team Rubicon, a veterans emergency response group.

  • MilitaryMore>>

  • 69 years later, World War II vet gets his medals

    69 years later, World War II vet gets his medals

    Saturday, August 23 2014 12:23 PM EDT2014-08-23 16:23:01 GMT
    World War 2 memorial in Washington DCWorld War 2 memorial in Washington DC
    A 97-year-old World War II veteran has finally received his service medals earned from his time in the Army.
    A 97-year-old World War II veteran has finally received his service medals earned from his time in the Army.
  • Navy submarine group disbands in Groton ceremony

    Navy submarine group disbands in Groton ceremony

    Friday, August 22 2014 8:36 PM EDT2014-08-23 00:36:24 GMT
    A Navy submarine group based in Groton has been formally disbanded after 49 years. A ceremony Friday aboard the attack submarine USS Missouri marked the end of Submarine Group 2.
    A Navy submarine group based in Groton has been formally disbanded after 49 years. A ceremony Friday aboard the attack submarine USS Missouri marked the end of Submarine Group 2.
  • USS Saratoga heads to be scrapped

    USS Saratoga heads to be scrapped

    Thursday, August 21 2014 3:47 PM EDT2014-08-21 19:47:03 GMT
    The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Saratoga left its port in Rhode Island on Thursday for its final journey to Texas, where it will be scrapped. The ship departed Naval Station Newport and made its way down Narragansett Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. It is heading to the Esco Marine ship recycling plant in Brownsville, Texas.
    The decommissioned aircraft carrier USS Saratoga left its port in Rhode Island on Thursday for its final journey to Texas, where it will be scrapped. The ship departed Naval Station Newport and made its way down Narragansett Bay to the Atlantic Ocean. It is heading to the Esco Marine ship recycling plant in Brownsville, Texas.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Superstorm Sandy

    Grimm criticizes storm recovery program

    Grimm criticizes storm recovery program

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:12 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:12:14 GMT
    When Superstorm Sandy destroyed Maureen Childs' Staten Island home, she turned to New York City's Build it Back program for help. She says what she got back was heartache. At a news conference Wednesday, Rep. Michael Grimm, who represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, highlighted what he called failures in a program designed to help victims of Sandy get back on their feet.
    When Superstorm Sandy destroyed Maureen Childs' Staten Island home, she turned to New York City's Build it Back program for help. She says what she got back was heartache. At a news conference Wednesday, Rep. Michael Grimm, who represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, highlighted what he called failures in a program designed to help victims of Sandy get back on their feet.
  • Pranna to end 'boozy brunch' after viral video

    Pranna to end 'boozy brunch' after viral video

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:10 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:10:44 GMT
    Video posted on YouTube showing young women and men who appear to be stumbling and drunk coming out of the restaurant Pranna in the flatiron district is why angry residents packed into a community meeting to complain Wednesday night. Neighbors say problems have been happening on Saturdays and Sundays during a so-called bottomless brunch, where patrons can drink as many drinks as they want in a two-hour period.
    Video posted on YouTube showing young women and men who appear to be stumbling and drunk coming out of the restaurant Pranna in the flatiron district is why angry residents packed into a community meeting to complain Wednesday night. Neighbors say problems have been happening on Saturdays and Sundays during a so-called bottomless brunch, where patrons can drink as many drinks as they want in a two-hour period.
  • NYC's secret access for celebrities

    NYC's secret access for celebrities

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 11:07 PM EDT2014-08-28 03:07:59 GMT
    A little bit of money, power and fame can unlock a whole world of hidden passageways and detours allowing stars to come and go discreetly. Seth Weisser has perfected private shopping inside his Soho vintage boutique What Goes Around Comes Around. Celebs slip in through the side door and descend into the vault. But the upper floor isn't too shabby either, featuring hundreds of rare Chanel and Hermes handbags.
    A little bit of money, power and fame can unlock a whole world of hidden passageways and detours allowing stars to come and go discreetly. Seth Weisser has perfected private shopping inside his Soho vintage boutique What Goes Around Comes Around. Celebs slip in through the side door and descend into the vault. But the upper floor isn't too shabby either, featuring hundreds of rare Chanel and Hermes handbags.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices