Ms. Edith Lombardi,

VFW Department Service Officer
245 West Houston Street - Room 207
New York, NY  10014-4805

Dear Ms. Lombardi:


I am a 75-year old retired U.S. Marine Corps Lt. (Korea and Vietnam Veteran) living in Potomac Falls, VA.  I am also a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.


I am trying to help a friend, age 70, who is the sister and only living relative of a seriously and terminally ill (estimated two months) patient at the Bronx, NY Veterans Hospital.  He is a 30% Disabled Navy veteran and is 68 years old.  His name is William (Bill) Doherty, and he is also a former Vice Commander (or similarly titled position) of the VFW Post in Pearl River (Rockland County) NY.


I could not find any web or email listing for the Pearl River VFW Post, and came across your information and email while searching VFW web sites. Inasmuch as your office is in New York City this is probably a closer contact as well.


Billís Sister advises that the VA is about to release him from the hospital, despite his terminal status. 


Ms. Lombardi, something is drastically and seriously wrong here. I know the VFW was established primarily to come to the aid of veterans like Bill Doherty.  He served his country well and now, in the final months of his life, he urgently needs some help.  What is needed is for a VFW Service Officer, or someone well versed in and/or experienced with VA rules and regulations and Veteranís benefits, to immediately contact this veteran's sister to see if they can help her and her brother.  She is totally unfamiliar with claims, numbers, etc.  Talking to her on the phone tonight I advised her to go through all her brothersí papers she may have at her home (her brother was living with her for the past six years) and try to find discharge papers (DD-214's), Military records, Social Security information, Civil Service data, etc.


Bill's Sister and I would really appreciate it if you can help, and as you can imagine, time is of the essence! His Sister, Ms. Elizabeth (Betty) Lavigne (pronounced Levine), works in the Nanuet, NY School System and gets home after 3:30 pm.  (She does not have access to a computer or use email). Here is her contact information:

                                                    Ms. Elizabeth Lavigne

                                                    96 College Avenue

                                                    Nanuet, New York 10954

                                                    Telephone: (845) 623-4565



Thank you in advance, Ms. Lombardi, for any assistance you can provide.


Semper Fidelis,


Gerald F. (Jerry) Merna

1stLt, USMC (Ret.)