News From Ramaz
"Major Scheinfeld, can you come with us to visit veterans at the VA NY Harbor Healthcare facility? We know that you have an early flight this afternoon home to LA." Within minutes, the Major was with us on the crowded subway heading toward First Avenue and 23rd Street, to one of the largest VA facilities in NYC. We were not surprised, as the Major is the hero we heard earlier in the morning, and he is a brother to his men, and a person with impeccable midot.
Mr. Anthony Stamatouras, Director of the Veterans Club House welcomed us to the VA Club House where we were excited to meet and interact with the Veterans. At first, it was games only: poker, pool, chess, foosball and some singing too, as a few students accompanied a Veteran, as she strummed on her guitar. The games were actually ice-breakers. Conversations began with stories of loss and fear, always with pride, and humor too. The Veterans shared personal anecdotes and their "wounds," albeit not visible, have left them emotionally scared, but strong too! Their courage to move forward is due to the fine work of highly trained professionals like Mr. Stamatouras who provide the psychological and physical care that Veterans with PTSD require.
Seeing first-hand the care that the VA facility provides was an experience that our students will remember, and they will recall this visit and respond when someone they meet needs a helping hand and more.