Among those ready to serve are the members of American Legion Continental Post #1424 at 107-15 Metropolitan Avenue, including post advocate Michael Arcati, commander Suzanne Parker, and vice commanders Pat Conley, Steve Carl and Dan Beals.
“Us veterans live to serve,” said Arcati. “As current and former military members, we know how to take orders and sacrifice. Furthermore, we have a group of members that fit within the vulnerable category, and we will need members of the community to help these veterans as well. We are all in this together.”
On March 21, Governor Andrew Cuomo stated, “The state is looking to increase hospital bed capacity from 50,000 to 75,000 statewide.”
To best serve the community, there is a push to adapt the American Legion Post’s 2,400-square-foot community space.
“The community needs to know that the Post and its members are ready to assist in any way we can,” Arcati said. “Our initial thought is that the Post could be used as a testing site and later as a location to administer vaccines.”
Although it may not be sufficient space for a makeshift hospital, Arcati envisions the possibility of adapting it into a triage location consisting of 12 to 15 beds with medical staff.
“If New York State wanted to convert it into a hospital, then we would of course oblige,” he said.
In addition, the Post’s basement and open space could serve as a supply depot and location for volunteers to gather.
“We could store masks, gloves, and other sanitary items, and then distribute it to the community in an orderly fashion,” Arcati said.
Arcati remains active in the Navy Reserve as a JAG attorney.
“In my civilian capacity, I am an attorney for a software company, CyberGrants, which provides a charitable giving platform for Fortune 500 companies,” he said. “We process over $6 billion per year in charitable funds, and we have a lot of clients launching funds to help with the COVID-19 crisis.
“We ask our fellow community members to remain calm and realize we can get through this challenge with cooperation and kindness,” he added. “Our generation has experienced 9/11 and the Great Recession, and this challenge to our way of life will also pass.”