Larry Neumann is July’s Vet Who Rocks
A Hudson Valley Vet who serves as a mentor and inspiration is this month's Vet Who Rocks.
Every month 101.5 WPDH shares the story of a Hudson Valley Vet Who Rocks. These veterans continue to give back to the community long after their military service is over. We share these stories on the first Wednesday of every month during the Veteran Report on the Boris and Robyn Show, highlighting the veterans who inspire all of us to strive for the very best.
This month's Vet Who Rocks is Larry Neumann, a Vet2Vet Facilitator with Mental Health Association in Orange County. From 1980 to 1986, Larry served as a Machinist Mate in the US Navy. He was assigned this rating because of his mechanical background. Born in Flint, Michigan, surrounded by friends and family who worked in the automotive industry, it was no surprise that he came to work in a tool and die shop. He would later apply these skills, combined with his military training, working in the engineering spaces of the USS Hepburn, where he lived for four and a half years and obtained the rank of Petty Officer 2nd Class
Larry says he loved Maintaining and repairing the ship's equipment but his true calling, as he would find out, would be helping others. While stationed in San Diego, California, Larry and his shipmates would go into town and help homeless people with food, clothing and other necessities. It was this service that Larry found most gratifying.
While on patrol in the Indian Ocean, Larry and his crew came upon a small boat containing about 100 Vietnamese refugees. While attempting to provide supplies for their continued journey, their boat, being in poor repair, quickly began to sink. The outreach quickly turned into a full-blown rescue mission. Larry is still proud to say that no lives were lost despite rough seas as he and his shipmates dove into the frigid ocean to save their lives. Larry was presented with a Humanitarian Service Medal for his heroics.
Larry's fellow MHA employee, Angela, sent us a letter nominating him and explaining how he's continued to help his fellow veterans.
Larry is a very dedicated, competent, and loyal professional. He is well known for his positive, upbeat, and delightful disposition and his strong work ethic. Larry’s knowledge, skills and abilities continue to develop in his role as one of MHA’s key supervisors. Larry continues to be highly active with the Hudson Valley Veteran’s Task Force. As his previous direct supervisor and the leadership of MHA, I thoroughly enjoy Larry’s opening remarks/related stories at the monthly meeting. He has been a team leader since 2018 for the annual point-in-time count for homelessness in Orange County. In the last several years he has taken a lead role with other veteran organizations (Orange, Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, and ClearPath) for the annual Veteran’s Appreciation Event at the Dutchess Stadium.
Larry’s desire to ensure all veterans receive the necessary services they need is what sets Larry apart when it comes to serving veterans. Ultimately, Larry is a true asset to MHA and the veterans of Orange County, and it is an honor to nominate him.
Aside from all of his work for the community, Larry literally "rocks" as the drummer for Jerry The Bulldog. He also plays as a session drummer throughout the Hudson Valley.
Larry will receive $500 for being this month's WPDH Vet Who Rocks. He will also be in the running for $10,000 which will be handed out to one monthly honoree on Veteran's Day this November. If you know of a veteran who truly rocks, you can nominate them here.
The WPDH Vet Who Rocks is made possible by our friends at O'Connor and Partners, Tompkins Community Bank, Xterior Solutions and MHA of Dutchess County.