Written by Gary Simeone Saturday, 25 January 2014 00:00
Our country’s veterans have dedicated their time and effort in fighting for our country and it is important that we give back to them. The veteran that is coming back to civilian life today has a lot more services available to them than veterans returning from previous wars or conflicts. Angelo Grande, Nassau County American Legion Commander, explained how the American Legion can offer their services to veterans last Wednesday night at the American Legion Post 336 in Glen Head. The event was put together by the Glen Head/Glenwood Business Association.
“Our returning veterans have better medical care, educational opportunities and job opportunities,” said Grande, who was elected Commander of the American Legion on June 9 of last year and is in charge of 54 posts in Nassau County. “In my travels I have seen great things being done by the American Legion.”
Some of those things include bringing in veterans from different medical facilities and feeding them and giving them clothes and toiletries. The Nassau County American Legion also has various committees that help veterans and their families, including support programs like Boys State, Legion Legacy Fund Scholarship, National Emergency Fund, Sons of the Legion and Legion Auxiliary.
“In a recent visit to the Fitness Center in East Rockaway I was fortunate to see the Fitness Center donate a high tech wheel chair to a veteran,” said Grande. “The wheel chair runs on treads and can go upstairs and travel in wooded areas. The cost of the wheel chair is $14,000.”
Grande said that at his Installation Dinner in June he honored a young man by the name of Captain James Byler who lost both his legs to a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. To help Byler adjust to civilian life, a veteran from the Mineola Post raised over $10,000 by collecting 270,000 soda bottles and cans.
Before becoming American Legion County Commander, Grande moved up the ranks, starting as a Division Commander and then moving to Membership Officer and Treasurer. From there he became an Adjutant before moving on to the title he currently holds.
There are three major programs that Grande plans to embark on during his tenure. These include the Vet Dog Program, Flags Over Nassau and establishing new Legion Posts at Colleges in Nassau County.