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News and Events

News and information for the Tompkins County Veterans Community. For additional updates regarding the Coronavirus from the local, state, and federal levels, please check the links on our new COVID-19 resources page.


MAY 2020

  Gov. Cuomo Announces Guidelines for Memorial Day Gatherings

As New York State enters Phase I of re-emerging from the COVID-19 shutdown, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced guidelines and suggestions for gathering this Memorial Day weekend.

  Remember to be Counted this Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this nation. This Monday, May 25, is also a chance for all Veterans to make sure they and their families are counted in the 2020 Census. An accurate headcount of everyone in Tompkins County can help determine how much gets received of $675 billion in federal funds.

  Two Chances for Veterans to Connect with Veterans

This Thursday and next -- May 21 and May 28 -- the County's Department of Veterans Services invites Veterans across Tompkins County to hop on Zoom and meet other Veterans via the following upcoming events:
  -- The next session of the Veterans Coffeehouse, co-sponsored with Team RWB, will be 12p-2p this Thursday, May, 21. Meet other Veterans, learn about tips to deal the COVID-19 quarantine, and even pick up a new recipe or two. Find log-in information with Zoom included on the coffeehouse's flyer.
 --   Warrior Writers meets 7-9p on Thursday, May 28. Come join Vets from various eras of conflict and hone your writing or journaling skills to help tell your personal story. Send an e-mail to for log-in information.

  Assemblywoman Lifton Shares Updates on NYS Phased Re-Opening

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton provides information about the state "PAUSE" and the start of re-opening the state while we all continue to deal with the presence of COVID-19.

  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Celebrates Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage
Celebrate and follow this month's activities and the VA and more celebrate the heritage and contributions of the Asian and Pacific Islander community.

  Tompkins County Officials to Visit Veterans in Virtual Coffeehouse, May 7
Tompkins County Administrator Jason Molino and County Public Health Director Frank Kruppa will visit this Thursday's virtual Veterans Coffeehouse and field questions from Tompkins' Veterans community about the continued response to COVID-19. Directives of change come down almost daily from the state and federal governments that the County must react to. These gentlemen accepted the invitation to share some of this latest news this Thursday, May 7. The Veterans Coffeehouse is co-sponsored by Team Red, White, and Blue (Team RWB) and the Tompkins County Department of Veterans Services. This session takes place between 7:30a and 9a via Zoom. The Coffeehouse offers the chance to meet or reconnect with other Vets and exchange info about relevant resources. Login information for this session is listed on the coffeehouse flyer.

  Access Veterans Numbers Through the Census

At 11a on Wednesday, May 6, the U.S. Census Bureau will share information about Veterans numbers in the communities. Access through this headline.

  Checklist for Self Care During COVID-19 Quarantine

Find great tips for taking care of yourself and family at this link. U.S. Navy Veteran Beth Golden, licensed therapist and Team RWB member, shared this list for area Veterans and their communities during this time of social distancing and staying home. 


APRIL 2020


  Veterans Invited to Connect at April 30 Virtual Coffeehouse

Team Red, White, and Blue (Team RWB) and the Tompkins County Department of Veterans Services invite Veterans across Tompkins County to drop in anytime between 7:30 and 9a on Thursday, April 30. The Coffeehouse is via Zoom and offers Veterans the chance to reconnect with other Vets, meet new ones, and exchange info about relevant resources. Login information listed on the coffeehouse's flyer

  New Filing Deadline of May 5 for Veterans with Dependents Who Missed Stimulus

The Military Times reports that the IRS reset May 5 as the new deadline for Veterans with Dependents to file for the COVID-19 Stimulus checks. The IRS also added a warning for inaction.

  Assemblywoman Lifton's Earth Day and COVID-19 Updates

News from Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton on happenings from Albany for the 125th District and updates on local impacts and resources. This update includes information on pending legislation, unemployment insurance and federal aid, use-of-masks mandate, voting by mail, and other information regarding the fight against the Coronavirus.

 Connecting Veterans across Tompkins

Two upcoming events offer area Veterans the chance to connect with other Vets, share stories and situations, and learn about other Vet-specific news. Due to "social distancing" practices amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, both events will be held via online platforms or simply by calling in.

  • The Veterans Coffeehouse, 12-2p Thursday, April 16, 2020
  • Finger Lakes Warrior Writers. 7-9p Thursday, April 23, 2020 


 Veteran Coffeehouse goes "Virtual"

COVID-19 is keeping everyone inside to stay safe but Team RWB and Tompkins County Department of Veterans Services still want our community of Veterans to find a way to gather. Thanks to Zoom technology, all in our community of Veterans are invited to gather online 7:30-9:30a this Thursday, April 2, for the next Veterans Coffeehouse. To join us go to, then enter the Meeting ID on the flyer linked to this headline, or just dial the phone number also on the flyer. 



  Census Staff to Talk Jobs for Veterans at Feb. 20 Veterans' Coffeehouse

Staff members with U.S. Census 2020 will talk about job options for Veterans at the next Veterans' Coffeehouse, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020.  Members of the Kiwanis Club of Ithaca also will be onhand in support of area Veterans. This event is co-sponsored by Team RWB and Tompkins County Department of Veterans Services. It takes place monthly on the third Thursday.


Congressman Anthony Brindisi and staff will host a resource fair for the Cortland area.

  Sign up for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway of Valor Tribute Ride

Join members of area chapters of the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) and Blue Knights for their annual memorial 100-mile ride on July 11, 2020. The ride honors Medal of Honor Recipients Terrence Graves, USMC 2nd LT, and Robert F. Stryker, USA SP4.

 VA $243 billion budget request strengthens care and benefits for Veterans

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) proposed a 10.2% increase for Fiscal Year 2021 to provide Veterans with high-quality health care and timely access to benefits and services.


  Tompkins COFA Seeks Nominations for Annual Recognition

The Tompkins County Office for the Aging is now accepting nominations for volunteers who have made significant contributions to the community through civic engagement.

 Gov. Cuomo Announces Aid for Veterans Issues

NYS Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed funding to help address Veteran homelessness, education, and suicide prevention efforts in his 2020 State of the State Address.

 Honoring Dr. King at GIAC Annual Community Breakfast Jan. 18

The Greater Ithaca Activities Center host its annual community breakfast 9-11a with ICSD Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown as guest speaker.

 Tompkins' Warrior Writers meets Jan. 16
The Warrior Writers group will meet Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020, to review prior and new writing projects. 


 Veterans Coffeehouse to be Jan. 16

Team RWB invites all Veterans in Tompkins County to its next Veterans Coffeehouse on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020.



  Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act Extends Benefits for Eligible Veterans

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act 2019 goes into effect on New Year's Day. It extends the presumption of exposure to herbicides to Veterans who served in the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam. 

 Loaves & Fishes Celebrates this Holiday Season
Come share in these upcoming, special meal events with the guests and staff of Loaves & Fishes of Tompkins County.

Warrior Writers Meets Dec. 19
The next meeting of Warrior Writers will be at 7PM Thursday, Dec. 19at the Tompkins County Department of Veterans Services, 214 W State/MLK Jr. St. (corner of MLK Jr./State and Albany), in Ithaca, NY. 

 Join in Wreaths Across America Saturday, Dec. 14, at Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Volunteer help is needed starting at 10a Dec. 14 to "remember and honor our veterans through the laying of Remembrance wreaths on the graves of our country's fallen heroes." Tompkins County's chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America (#377) hopes many Tompkins Veterans and their families will join them this Saturday in Romulus.

  Veterans' Coffeehouse Starting December 19

The Veterans’ Coffeehouse will be a space for Veterans to connect and socialize throughout the winter over some warm beverages on the third Thursday monthly.



  GIAC's Annual Harvest Fest Dinner, Friday, Nov. 22
The Greater Ithaca Activities Center holds its annual community dinner 6-8p (services ends at 7:309p). The menu consists of turkey and all the trimmings. This dinner is FREE and open to all.

 Memorial Honors Fallen Alumni from Iraq War
Cornell University added to its war memorial plaque during Veterans Day Weekend the names of two Cornellians lost in battle during the conflict in Iraq.  


  YMCA Hosts Free Day for Veterans, Active Military, and their Families, Nov. 11


News Coverage of Tompkins County's Veterans Day Parade, Nov. 3, 2019

      Ithaca Voice: 50 Photos from the 100th annual Tompkins Veterans Parade

      The Ithaca Journal: PHOTOS: 100th Tompkins County Veterans Day Parade 


  Nov. 12 Reading Offers a Glimpse of Tompkins County During WWI 

  Tompkins County Veterans Celebrated On Nov. 3, 11


  Caroline Food Pantry Honors Veterans, Nov. 11

  Honoring All Who Served - IC Celebrates Veterans Day, Nov. 7


  Free Baseball Hall Of Fame Admission For Veterans, Nov. 6




  Mental Health First Aid for the Veteran Community, Oct. 28-29




  Vietnam Veteran Association POW/MIA Annual Watchfire


JUNE 2019

  Tompkins County Mourns Death of Sgt. James G. Johnston

  J.R. Clairborne Appointed Director of Veterans Services



  Tompkins County Moves Toward Establishing Veterans Services Agency