US veterans continue kayak trip on Hudson
CITY OF POUGHKEEPSIE – Seven kayakers in homemade boats left Kingston on Wednesday, sailing the Hudson River towards Fort Montgomery. The seven paddlers are veterans brought together by the Hudson Valley National Center for the Reintegration of Veterans (HVNCVR) and their veterinarians on the Hudson program.
The group arrived at Quiet Cove Park on Thursday and were greeted by representatives from the MHA Dutchess Vet2Vet program, elected officials and Dutchess County Director of Veterans Services Adam Roche. “These veterans are paddling to honor the 800,000 U.S. military personnel who served in Afghanistan and promote the variety of programs available to veterinarians through the HVNCVR and I’m here to speak with my fellow veterans on behalf of Dutchess County,” he said. declared Roche.
The group was allowed to camp in the park overnight Thursday. After setting up their base, the dinner was delivered by Darby O’Gills in Hyde Park. After the meal, the veterans gathered around the fireplace, joined by Dutchess County Director Marc Molinaro and State Senator Sue Serino for a ‘fireside chat’.
The HVNCVR provides peer counseling to veterans and non-clinical support specifically designed to help veterans reintegrate into their communities. According to the Kingston-based organization, “Sometimes all someone needs is companionship and time with like-minded people offered through the Centre’s free programs, workshops and services. “
“We are truly honored to welcome Vets on Hudson to Quiet Cove. We must all do more to be there for those who have served and to return home. Sitting around a campfire listening to our veterans has been one of the most humiliating and powerful conversations I have ever had, ”said Molinaro. “Listening to them was so powerful and helpful. It’s just another reminder that we can all be there for them and for each other.
Senator Serino, a strong advocate for veterans programming, told Mid-Hudson News, “We need to do more for our veterans. They have served us and we must take care of them. Many veterans are struggling quietly, and programs like Vet2Vet are essential when it comes to helping brave servicemen return to civilian life.
Trip leader Jessica Bugbee, an army combat nurse, served in the war with fellow paddlers Marcus Curtis of Maine and Carol Builes of California.
Bugbee said the trip gives the group a chance to have intimate discussions about their experiences with others who have survived the same challenges. Builes called the trip “very therapeutic” and noted that the serenity of the water gives him a chance to reflect during quiet times while helping each other cope with the lingering effects of war simply by talking to others. as they head downstream.
On Friday morning, the group were treated to a breakfast provided by Mid-Hudson News and Cafe Primavera as fog hung over the Hudson. After breakfast, the camp was dismantled and packed into the ships and the crew set off south, paddling to Milton Landing in Ulster County for encampment on Friday.
Greg Lettterii, owner of Café Primavera on Market Street in Poughkeepsie, said, “Working with Mid-Hudson News to make the Veterans Breakfast has been a pleasure. It is my way of honoring those who have served.