Whitestone Blood Drive to Aid Ailing Vet Leader

Volunteers Urged To Provide Gifts Of Life

Looking to aid its ailing former president, the Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Chapter 32 will hold a special blood drive in Whitestone on Tuesday, Apr. 15.

Pat Toro, former Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 32 president, is currently battling a serious blood disease and is in need of donations.

The chapter is looking for as many donors as possible to participate in the drive, which will be held from noon to 5 p.m. on Apr. 15 at the VFW Community Post 4787, located at 19-12 149th St. According to the chapter, a minimum of 40 blood donors are needed.

As noted, the drive will help and honor Pat Toro Jr., former VVA Chapter 32 president and a life-long member, who is currently battling myelodysplastic syndrome, a blood disease known as a precursor to leukemia.

For the last several months, according to daughter JoAnn Marie Toro, he has been undergoing numerous blood transfusions, chemotherapy and other treatment at Orange Regional Medical Center in upstate Middletown.

A retired detective with the Port Authority Police Department, Pat Toro has been a long-time advocate for veterans in Queens for many years. He was active in bringing the Moving Wall-a mobile replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.-to Middle Village’s Juniper Valley Park for a weekend’s stay in 2012.

Pat Toro joined the VVA after serving a tour of duty with the Marine Corps in Vietnam. He earned a host of honors for his service including the National Defense Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with four stars, the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry and the Vietnam Civil Action Medal.

Over the years, Joann Marie Toro stated, Pat Toro also “received numerous commendations, medals and decorations for all the work he has done in honor of our veterans, not just from Vietnam.”

“He is a hero, not just to me and the rest of his family, but to everyone who’s lives he’s touched by being such a champion to those who’ve served and their families,” she wrote to the Times Newsweekly. “Anyone who gives time, or gives blood, is giving someone like my dad, someone’s hero, a shot at life.”

For more information or to register to donate, call Paul Narson at 1-631-897-3269 or email eravet24@aol.com or vvachapter32@aol.com.

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