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Our New Nassau County Veteran Agency Director: Mathew J. Rufrano

LongIsland.com

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Matt is a quiet, behind the scenes man who prefers the spotlight fall on others. What he would call, more worthy individuals. Yet for some his years of hard work have not gone unnoticed. Effective immediately, Matt is the new Director of the Nassau County Veteran Services Agency. Those who know of his tireless devotion to veterans and community issues know the exemplary job he will do in his newest role. For those who have been asking, "Matt who," read on.

Mathew J. Rufrano

During Matt s 25-plus years of service to Veterans, he has been called upon to do many things, and has had his efforts recognized by those who know him. However, because he has not sought publicity, many of these accomplishments go unnoticed. Here are just a few of what you might have missed:

- Founding Secretary, Vietnam Veterans of America: one of 6 Vietnam-era veterans who formed Nassau County Chapter #82 in February 1982.

- Founding member of the Town of Oyster Bay s Veteran Advisory Council.

- Founding member and recent Secretary of the Bethpage Community Foundation. For over two decades has participated in the annual Bretton Bowl to raise money for needy individuals.

- Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 82 Chapter s Distinguished Service Award and the President s Award.

- Has obtained grants for veterans and organizations that reach out to veterans.

- Has publicized veteran causes and deeds through the thousands of photos he has taken and the hundreds of articles and captioned photos he has had published in local newspapers.

- Helped countless veterans and the families of deceased veterans get their records, medals, and obtain needed documents.

- When the Traveling Vietnam Wall came to Eisenhower Park, Bryant Park in New York City, Massapequa, and Hicksville, was there guiding visitors to their loved ones; met Gold Star parents who were aging gracefully as their child forever remained as they remembered.

- Spearheaded a drive to raise money for a widow and her 3 daughters whose husband died from Agent Orange related diseases and whose 'claims' were denied. The money bought clothing and shelter for the family. With the assistance of the Vietnam Veteran Hogs brought Santa and Christmas gifts to the 3 girls.

- When VVA #82 needed a Chaplain Service, wrote and gave the service... unfortunately, far too many times.

For the record Matt served as Staff Sergeant, U.S. Air Force, Vietnam-era, 1964-1970.

--- Regards, Walt Schmidt