February 22, 2024

Member Spotlight: Patriot Hills of New York

Patriot Hills of New York was created to provide direct and effective support to returning veterans and their families, in a comfortable environment. Services and support are available to help veterans reconnect, transition, reintegrate and receive therapeutic healing.

Based near Schenectady in upstate New York, Patriot Hills is currently working with several communities and veteran and military service organizations to host its various programs and events. While it is looking for a permanent home office, Patriot Hills remains very active in the lives of veterans. For example, Patriot Hills will serve as the resource center for the Capital Region Veteran’s Memorial legacy room in Glenville, N.Y., and it continues to work with other stakeholders that provide venues for its programs.

The organization has hosted symposiums for veterans and family members on a variety of topics such as dealing with mental health challenges and background on examples of toxic exposure suffered by veterans. It has hosted its New York National Gard Family Program to provide resources and fun for families with recently returning veterans.

“Everything we do is based on transition, reintegration and providing therapeutic  resources for veterans,” says and Patriot Hills of New York CEO Jeannine Mannarino.

She adds that much of the non-profit organization’s efforts center around reminding civilians of the sacrifices made by veterans and how difficult it can be to reintegrate following service. One way to do this is by promoting Patriot Hills’ eight-week internship program with Russell Sage College, where a wide range of topics like managing finances and dealing with PTSD are covered.

Mannarino served in New York Army National Guard and for several years worked with the military in both public affairs and purchasing. As a purchasing specialist, she helped to start Patriot Hills in the years following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as a way to help families deal with the stress of having a veteran dedicated to serving their country. This can be an overwhelming burden that the organization is hoping to help solve.

Patriot Hills is funded by military and veteran causes and corporate and private donations.

While educational information and resources are a big part of what makes Patriot Hills unique, it also hosts events designed to support family fun. One such event planned is a Cinco De Mayo celebration planned May 5, 2024, in Rotterdam Elks Lodge where a number of fun events will be held for veterans and their families like pool, darts, cornhole toss and more.

In between those fun events, Patriot Hills will continue to help veterans find healthcare options to combat wartime illnesses and find ways to seamlessly integrate into civilian life.

“If we don’t educate civilians and veterans both on the resources that are available to them, then shame on US,” Mannarino says.