Tag Archives: Veterans of Foreign Wars

Whitestone street dedicated to former resident

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Alina Suriel

The Whitestone community had a strong turnout on June 12 for the dedication of a local street in honor of a late veteran known for his volunteer efforts.

The residential street on 145th Place and 17th Avenue will now be known as Robert C. Lohnes Way after Robert Lohnes, a former first class seaman in the United States Navy and retired NYPD detective.

He had lived on the street with his family for over 40 years before dying last year.

During his lifetime, Lohnes received a National Defense Medal for his nine-year stint in the U.S. Navy, and later served 34 years as a detective in the NYPD.

He was also involved in numerous volunteer efforts in the community, including the Whitestone Community Ambulance Service, Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America, in addition to helping out with response efforts during and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Lohnes passed away unexpectedly in late winter 2014 after being stricken with a form of blood cancer.

Councilman Paul Vallone and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein stood with Lohnes’ family and friends to unveil the street’s new name.

“Today, and every day, we remember and thank Bob for his service to our great country, our great city, and northeast Queens, and I am proud to join Bob’s wife and children on this very special day,” said Vallone.

“Whitestone, in many senses, is like a small town in a big city: everybody knows each other,” Braunstein added. “If it wasn’t for people like Robert Lohnes, this community wouldn’t be the special place that it is.”

According to Magaly Lohnes, Robert’s wife of 44 years, neighbors overwhelmingly supported the petition to dedicate the street to her late husband.

“A couple of the people even said they’re going to miss the mayor of 145th Place,” Magaly Lohnes said. “Because Bob was out there, he knew everybody, and everybody knew him.”

There was a solemn bagpipe performance of patriotic songs and members of the nonprofit organization Veterans of Foreign Wars were in attendance to honor their fallen comrade.

Many former members of Lohnes’ Boy Scout troops and their families were also among those paying their respects in the crowd of 50 people.

“We want to pay tribute to a man who dedicated his life to service,” said family friend Pat Connolly, who credits Lohnes with mentoring her two sons in their Eagle Scout troops. “He is sorely missed.”


Pol honors Queens veterans

| mhayes@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of the Office of State Senator Joseph Addabbo

Area veterans were honored during State Senator Joseph Addabbo’s fifth annual Veterans Barbecue on Saturday, August 24.

Last year, Addabbo, the ranking Democrat member of the Senate’s Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee, welcomed over 125 veterans and their families to the barbecue outside his Howard Beach district office. This year, the senator brought in and thanked over 70 veterans for their dedicated service.

“This is just our small way of saying, ‘Thank you for your service,’ not only to our local veterans, but also to their families,” Addabbo said. “All nobly served our country in years past, and of course, many are currently still doing so in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Addabbo and his staff reached out to various Queens chapters of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Catholic and Jewish War veterans and Vietnam veterans to be their special guests for the outdoor barbecue event.

“We should show our veterans that we appreciate their dedication and commitment not just on Veterans Day, but every day of the year,” Addabbo said.



VFW Post celebrates 75 years

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of VFW Post 885

Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 885 commemorated the group’s 75th anniversary on November 12 with a celebration at their headquarters, located at 120-19 14th Road in College Point.

During the ceremony, VFW Queens County Commander James McBride recited the 75th anniversary proclamation to VFW Post 885 Commander Jim Reilly.

VFW District Commander Bernard Robinson and Post 2813 Commander Marvin Jeffcoat also attended the celebration.

Among the highlights of the event was a group of six cakes made by Mia Lucash, a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of Post 885. Five of the cakes paid homage to the branches of the United States Service, with the sixth being a congratulatory treat for the members of Post 885.

VFW hosts parade-goers

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of VFW Post 885

Marchers in the New York City Veterans Day Parade were hosted by the John Vincent Daniels Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 2813 after the procession’s conclusion on November 11.

Members of the United States Army Transportation Group based out of Fort Totten, many of whom recently returned from a tour of duty in Iraq, and Boy Scouts from Sunnyside’s Troop 309 visited the post, located at 51-27 Queens Boulevard in Woodside, after participating in the parade.

During the event, which included a buffet for guests, Boy Scouts interacted with soldiers, including VFW Post 2813 Senior Vice Commander Eddie Avila, an Iraq War veteran and teacher in the New York City public school system.

‘Green Team’ cleans up Veteran’s Plaza in East Elmhurst

| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of Louis Armstrong Middle School -  The Louis Armstrong Middle School “Green Team” assembled on June 8 and October 21 to restore Veteran’s Plaza.

The students of the Louis Armstrong Middle School are “teaming up” to be green.

The school’s “Green Team,” which consists of students from grades five through eight, organized a beautification project aimed at renovating Veteran’s Plaza, the school’s park, located at 32-02 Junction Boulevard in East Elmhurst.

“Prior to our ‘adoption’ of Veteran’s Plaza, the park was filthy with constant vagrancy,” said Joshua Blum, a science teacher and sustainability coordinator at the middle school. “The New York City Parks Department’s budget is stretched thin and we had an army of extremely motivated young people who wanted to make a difference in their community. The park used to be messy, have chipped paint falling off benches and railings, few rose bushes and no flowers.”

The project, which consisted of two phases, one on June 8 and the second on October 21, included washing the park’s walkways, scraping gum from pavement stones, removing weeds, planting new grass, additional rose bushes and annual flowering bulbs and painting the perimeter railings, benches and flag pole,

The students received help during the restoration from community residents and the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post.

“I am very proud of my students for taking part in this community project,” said Blum, who led the renovation. “They were very excited, and that feeling was spread to everyone who participated. We look forward to future opportunities to help our environment within our community.”

The students who participated in the cleanup experienced the dual delight of providing their schoolmates with a place to play and contributing to the betterment of their neighborhood.

“I’ve always wanted to give back to the community,” said Carter D., a seventh grader at Louis Armstrong. “Today I feel like I did that with this park project.”