Duty Calls: Gold Star Mother wants to patch veterans’ room – Times Union http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Duty-Calls-Gold-Star-Mother-wants-to-patch-4062668.php?cmpid=twitter via @TimesUnion
Drew Matonak, HVCC president, veterans organizations, businesses and veterans helped dedicate the room Nov. 15 as a memorial to her son, Army Staff Sgt. Derek Farley, and as a quiet and secure place for the college’s more than 300 veteran students.
Her son was killed Aug. 17, 2009, in the Afghanistan war, when the improvised explosive device he was trying to defuse exploded.
Carrie, a Hudson Valley secretary and a strong advocate for veterans, made the pitch for patches during the dedication.
Funding and furnishings for the room came from the Staff Sgt. Derek J. Farley Memorial Fund of the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation. The Farley Fund also provides scholarships to veterans.
Ron Romano, president of New York State Industries for the Disabled, and retired Army Col. Charlie Johnson, a rep of the Rensselaer County Veterans Organization, a coalition of 18 veterans groups, and Tri-County Council of Vietnam Era veterans, made substantial donations to the Farley Fund during the dedication, to help finance and furnish the room.
NYSID and its partner, Altamont Program, support efforts to create jobs for disabled veterans and other disabled people.
The HVCC Armed Forces Study Room is similar to Battle Buddy Centers supported by NYSID in partnership with the Altamont Program in Chittenango, Madison County, and New York City as safe havens for veterans to socialize and study with fellow veterans and receive services they need.
The room is on the second floor near banks of desks with computers. in the Marvin Library Learning Commons.
The Armed Forces Room is furnished so veterans can relax, chat and study.
“This is a place where veterans can come together for camaraderie and mentor each other,” Farley said after the ceremony.
Carrie is a HVCC employee. She is secretary for Margaret Geehan, dean of liberal arts and health sciences at the college.
The treatment of her husband, Kenneth, after he returned from duty in the Vietnam War prompted her to become a strong advocate for veterans and encourage others to welcome and support veteran students at Hudson Valley years before her son enlisted in the Army. She founded the Armed Forces Club for veterans and active military personnel on campus.
Carrie also helps veterans and survivors of military personnel killed in action in her role as president of the Albany Chapter 11 of the Gold Star Mothers.
As one enters the room, you can read on a door plaque:
“This room is dedicated to provide a place of peace and intellectual enrichment for our veterans, members of the armed forces, and their families.”
Send Military unit patches to Carrie Farley, Hudson Valley Community College, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy, NY 12180.
To make a donation to the SSG Derek J. Farley Memorial Veterans Support Fund send a check payable to the Hudson Valley Community College Foundation, with “Farley Veterans Fund” in memo field, to HVCC Foundation, 80 Vandenburgh Ave., Troy, NY 12180-6096.