Veterans Service Agency Director, Thomas "Tom" Ronayne

Prior to joining the Agency, Tom was a Construction Manager in NYC for firms including Tishman Construction Corp. as Lead Superintendent and employee veterans’ liaison. While with Tishman, Tom served as Team Leader at the World Trade Center from 9/11 until late 2002. Past Post, Suffolk County Council, District #1, NYS Aide de Camp, National Assistant Inspector General of Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S.. Tom served on active duty in the U.S. Navy for four years as a Tin Can (Destroyer) sailor and was deployed to El Salvador and Beirut, Lebanon serving as a Landing Forces Party and Weapons Security Petty Officer on both deployments. While in service he was a STG2. He served aboard USS Vogelgesang DD-862 and USS Vreeland FF-1068. He was awarded a Navy Expeditionary Medal, Navy Battle “E” Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (w star), and Navy Pistol Expert. Tom has been working as a Veterans Advocate since 1993.

Veterans Service Officer Biography, Melinda Gobin

Melinda served 3 years Active Duty in the US Navy. She served aboard the USS Simon Lake (AS-33) in La Maddelena, Italy as a Fireman and the USS Wasp (LHD-1) as an Operation Specialist 3rd class. Melinda earned her ESWS (Enlisted Service Warfare Specialist) as an E-3 on the USS Simon Lake (AS-33). She then went on and served 4 years in the Naval Reserves as a OS2 (Operation Specialist Second Class Petty Officer). She received the Armed Forces Service Medal, Navy "E" Ribbon, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

Veterans Service Aide Biography, Cody Kilroy

Beginning in 2009 Cody served 6 years with the New York Army National Guard as a 31B Military Police Officer. His service began at Fort Leonard Wood, MO where he attended OSUT (One Station Unit Training) for basic military training, and military police training. Upon completion of his initial training he was assigned to the 442nd Military Police Company in Jamaica, NY. In 2011 Cody was transferred to the 107th Military Police Company in Utica, NY as part of a team being called to active duty to deploy to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to assist with the Detainee Operations mission in direct support of OIF / OEF operations. While deployed Cody attained the rank of Specialist (E-4) and served as a team leader in his platoon which functioned as the quick reaction force responsible for tactical response to emergencies in and around the prison facilities. Upon completion of his active duty service Cody was transferred back to the 442nd Military Police Company which assisted in the disaster response efforts during hurricane Sandy, as well as assisting with security operations for various events throughout the state. Prior to joining the Veterans Services Agency Cody served in various law enforcement positions at the federal, state, and local levels for several years. For Cody’s military service he was awarded the Army Achievement Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War On Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Overseas Service Ribbon, the Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ “M” device, the New York State Long and Faithful Service Ribbon, the New York State Humanitarian Service Ribbon, and the New York State Operation Enduring Freedom Service Ribbon. Cody is also attending Suffolk County Community College where he is working towards a degree in Human Services. Cody is proud to be a member of the Veterans Services Agency and to help make a difference in the lives of veterans.

Veterans Service Aide Biography, Joseph McDermott

Joseph McDermott served in the United States Marine Corps from 2013 to 2018, as Military Police earning the rank of sergeant and the secondary military occupational specialty (MOS) of Special Reaction Team (SRT) member. During his overseas service across Southeast Asia, Joe was assigned to the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion. Highlights of his overseas service include being attached to the Custodial Support Element- Philippines, H&S Battalion Marine Corps Forces Pacific to protect a high-profile military detainee, along with participation in the Korean Marine Exchange program as a team leader. Joe spent his CONUS time stationed at Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) San Diego in the Provost Marshal’s Office, holding the billets of Patrol Supervisor, Desk Sergeant, and Watch Commander. Joe was certified as an Inter-Service Non-Lethal Weapons Instructor and a 1st degree Black Belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. Prior to working in Veteran Services, Joe worked as a UPS delivery driver for just shy of 3 years. He enjoys supporting veterans in his local community through his work in Veteran Services. Outside of work Joe is learning Python as a hobbyist, learning how to design and edit simple computer based games.

Veterans Service Aide Biography, Keith O’Reilly

Prior to joining the Veterans Agency, Keith spent a number of years in private industry/Retail world i.e.- Drug Stores, Supermarkets working as a supervisor or manager in the security safety end of the business world. Keith’s Military service encompassed 4 years of Active Duty in the U.S. Navy. He served aboard the USS Butte (AE-27) based out of Early Naval Weapons Station in Earl New Jersey as a member of the Deck Department. Keith then served on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69) based out of Norfolk Naval Base as a member of the deck department where he received his promotion to Petty Officer 3rd Class Boatswain’s Mate. Keith received letters of appreciation and commendation from the commanding officers of the USS Eisenhower for work during various shipboard work. He was awarded the Navy Battle “E” ribbon and the Good Conduct Medal.

Veterans Service Officer Biography, Gary W. Richard, Retired 1SG

Gary served active duty in the U.S. Army for thirty years. He was a Grenada, Desert Storm, Iraq, and Afghanistan veteran. While in service he was a First Sergeant for the Airborne Infantry 151st TIOG/Special Operations Command. He was awarded the Bronze Star w/V device, Purple Heart w/Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, ARCOM, AAM, Good Conduct Medal, Expeditionary Medal, Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, SWA Medal, AFRAM, ASR, NDSM w/BS, AOVSM, NCODP w/3, OSR w/2, IRAQ Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, GWOT Medal, ARCAM, Air Assault Badge, Combat Infantryman Badge 2nd award, Master Airborne Badge, Drivers Badge w/wheel and track, Expert Rifle Badge w/pistol and Machine Gun tab, Gold Recruiters Badge, Infantry Cord, Order of Saint Barbara Medal, Army Outstanding Unit Citation w/BS, Unit Meritorious Unit Citation. In December 2013, he completed his Master’s Degree in Human Services Leadership. He is an advocate for veterans and advocate of the Burn Pits issue.

Veterans Service Officer Biography, Brian Rooney

Brian served in the United States Navy for five years active duty as a Quartermaster onboard DDG-51 USS Arleigh Burke. Within those five years, his ship supported Joint-Warrior operations with all NATO ships off the coast of Scotland in 2009 and 2011, pirate operations off the coast of Africa in 2009, and in 2012, supported Israel in numerous operations. During his service on active duty, he has earned his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist pin. He served in the Navy Reserves as a Quarter Master First Class Surface Warfare from 2015 to 2021. In the reserves, QM1(SW) Rooney is on the funeral honor guard and services veteran families all over Long Island, and deployed to Bahrain in 2019-2020 in order to protect maritime merchant vessels. Brian has earned the Armed Forces Reserve medal enlisted, 3 Good Conduct medals, GWOT Expeditionary medal, GWOT, Navy Rifle Marksmen ribbon, military outstanding volunteer award, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medal, National Defense medal, 2 Navy “E” Ribbons, Navy Pistol Sharp Shooter ribbon, 2 Sea Service Deployment ribbons, Inherent Resolve Campaign medal, Navy and Marine Corps oversea service ribbon and Surface Warfare Insignia. In 2018 Brian received his Bachelors degree for Human Services from St. Joseph’s College. Mr. Rooney takes pride in serving veterans and veterans families and continue his service to his community as a Veterans Service Officer.