To Salute, or Not Salute after Veterans Leave the Service

Did you know the Defense Authorization Act of 2009 allows U.S. veterans to render the military hand-salute during the national anthem? Previously, hand-salutes were permitted during the raising, lowering, or the passing of the flag while wearing their organization’s headgear. Now that the guidelines have expanded, feel free to exercise your first amendment right while others do the same.

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Lewiston Kiwanis Club Comes Through Again!

For the 3rd year in a row, the members of the Lewison Kiwanis Club invited WNY Heroes to speak at one of their monthly meetings and accept their generous support during the holiday season. The members listened attentively and had multiple follow-up questions about all we offer. It should be noted that many of the membership have been part of the 7% of Americans who enlist, including Club President, Marty Pauly’s father.

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Eichel & Moore’s Score with Veterans

January 3 saw lots of local Veterans and their immediate family members enjoy watching their hometown team declaw the Florida Panthers 4-3 thanks to the Sabres Captain Jack Eichel, as well as Rob and Kristi Moore. Eichel and the Moore’s graciously donated their boxes for the evening to WNYHeroes, who then offered the opportunity to those we serve.

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Book Sales Help WNY Heroes

Author Karen Zale’s book can be found at and all proceeds go to WNYHeroes.

“In my opinion The Will to Survive should be mandatory reading for all High School students.”
-Rick Sepanski,
Senior Master Sergeant (Ret.) USAF

“As a 17-year-old reading this book, my mind couldn’t possibly grasp how I would have acted under such great pressure. My generation has had quite the opposite upbringing. We live in an era of instant gratification free from hardship. Men like John Zubrzycki who fought for our country exemplified tenacity. They never lost their sense of purpose.”
-James George,
Lancaster High Senior

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School’s Out!

Five more dogs have recently joined the ranks of over 30 serves animals that are part of our Pawsitive For Heroes program. The K-9’s passed with flying colors. When asked how difficult the training was, one dog was quoted as saying “It was pretty rrrruff!” Another dog was asked which part of his Veteran’s house he liked best. He replied with “The rrrroof!” In all seriousness, one of the hardest things to convey to the public about services animals is the fact that they’re not there for strangers to interact with. Please help spread the word and keep the dogs focused on their job when they are wearing their customized vests. Thanks!

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Lancaster High’s “Lit. Mentors” Are Legendary!

Lancaster High School’s Literature Mentor’s, who normally serve as elementary school students’ reading buddies, raised nearly $5,000 in less than one week for WNY Heroes. “We are happy to be a part of something like this. Especially as a senior, it is amazing to be able to leave a mark for a good cause.” Lit. Mentor Marina Volpini said. The “These students have a lot on their plates, but they decided to go above and beyond in order to thank those who have served our country.” Mr. John Efthemis, English teacher and Lit. Mentor adviser said. “This was not for a grade, but they spent time after school and on weekends to make this possible.”

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End of Year Summary for 2018

Adopt-A-Hero (for the holidays):
638 Veteran family members were assisted.

Operation Backpack:
100 children of Veterans got school supplies.

Operation B.O.O.T.S.:
14 events took place including 2 Little Heroes activities and 8 women’s group activities.

Pawsitive for Heroes:
36 dogs have been properly trained as service animals to serve local combat Veterans.

William E. Kramp Jr. Scholarships:
10 academic scholarships were awarded, worth $1,500 each.

Heroes Bridge (financial grants):
2017- $236,000 was awarded to Veterans.
2018- $320,000 was awarded to Veterans.

Operation Automotive:
Multiple cars were given to local Veterans again this year.

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New Admin. Assistant Joins Team

WNY Heroes welcomes former Air Force TSgt Dennis McCarthy. Dennis served 12 years in Security Forces and can now be found at our front desk, helping us meet the needs of fellow Veterans. Dennis’s tours included Iraq, Afghanistan, and a temporary assignment in Saudi Arabia. Dennis is married with two children.

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Boy Scouts Do Their Good Deed and Then Some!

A huge “Thank you!” goes out to Boy Scout troop 285, the parents that raised them so well, and the boys’ adult leaders. Because of them, countless local Veterans will have food on the table. The troop, out of Orchard Park, pulled up with a trailer full of non-perishable food items that our volunteers have been distributing to local Veteran families. This is how you define “grass roots effort”.

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Vet Family Profile: Josh Allen’s New Best Friends- The Wilkins!

Recently, Buffalo Bills QB Josh Allen and Walter Payton ‘Man of the Year’ nominee, Lorenzo Alexander had a chance to meet our heroes, the Wilkins family. Mike Wilkins and his wife Jade have been giving back to our organization after receiving assistance in the past. These folks really know how to pay it forward.

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I Hate Chocolate…Said No One Ever!

It’s simple. Visit our office, say “Hello” to the staff, support local Heroes by purchasing some boxes of delicious crispy chocolate bars by Niagara Chocolate, and watch these double sized bars fly off your desk at work.

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These are just a fraction of the items donated by you, our supporters, waiting to be picked up by local Veterans and their immediate families. Thanks to you, over 100 Veteran families will have a much brighter holiday season.

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Events Calendar

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