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Veterans and Senior Citizens

Release Date: June 03, 2021

Veterans and Senior Citizens

Two other groups in our community that have always been very important to me are the Veterans (men and women) and our Senior Citizens.  Both groups deserve and have earned our deep respect and gratitude for everything they have contributed to our Country and to our community.

My late father, coming out of college enlisted in the Marines at a very young age. He was eventually sent over to guard what was left of Pearl Harbor after the attacks during WWII. I’m sure those years stayed with him his whole life.  He often told me if I ever have an opportunity to give back and assist Veterans to please try my best. I have tried to live up to my father’s request as Supervisor.

First, myself and the late Michael Mongero, a WWII veteran who actually landed on Normandy Beach when he was only 17 years old and survived, started our first Cortlandt Veteran’s Committee, which has grown to become regional back in 1992 my first year as Supervisor.  Mike was also a Cortlandt Town Councilman in the 1980’s and a great person!

After Mike’s passing away, Fremont Reif became our Chairman and currently, it is headed by Willy Nazario, a Purple Heart Vietnam Veteran and another dedicated leader for our Veterans.

We have held monthly meetings ever since this committee was formed and had speakers on many important issues for our Veterans.  We also hold very special Veteran ceremonies for Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Pearl Harbor Day and for all other occasions.  I have felt privileged to be the Master of Ceremonies at these events over the years. When I hear “Taps” played I get tears in my eyes.

Our Veteran’s Committee along with our Town Board and I have fought to keep the FDR VA Hospital open and to keep and increase services for our Veterans (men and women) who have defended our great Country.  I always say, “Our Veterans fought for us and now we need to fight for them”.

We were successful in our efforts to keep the VA open, increase services, to have built a new indoor pool for Veterans and to have the only NYS Veterans Nursing Home for spouses, as well, on this campus in the region.  We are very proud of this distinction.

Through the years I am proud to say that the Town has built many memorials paying tribute to our Veterans; a Purple Heart memorial, a Vietnam Era memorial, a memorial honoring all branches of the service an enhanced WWII memorial and a memorial honoring all Veterans throughout the years at our Hudson River Waterfront Park. We also have a Veteran’s banner tribute along two of our major corridors.

I consider all of our Veterans and their families dear friends and cherish the memories of those who have passed away.  They are all proud of their service and we are proud of them.


We also have many senior citizen clubs, programs, activities and events for our Seniors.  Our community center is used solely by our seniors during the week supervised by an excellent staff: A Director, Assistant Director, a nutrition and kitchen staff and others who join the seniors for informational programs.

Our Center is named after Supervisor Muriel H. Morabito, the first woman Town Supervisor (in the early 1970’s). There have only been two women supervisors.  I am the only other woman Supervisor in the 233-year history of Cortlandt.

The Senior Clubs go on approximately twelve interesting trips during the year and have special luncheons and events/parties that I have loved attending during my thirty years as Town Supervisor.

Hundreds of our Seniors attend our clubs and programs.  During the pandemic the center was closed due to Covid-19, but our staff made a point of making calls a few times during the year to check in on them.  The staff was still working at the center and could be reached to assist the Seniors with their questions and needs.

So, in conclusion helping both the Veterans and the Senior Citizens in every local government is a priority and certainly has been for me.  Once again, I truly love and respect each Senior and Veteran and always enjoy hearing them talk about their families and lives.


Town of Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi (1992-2021)