December 27, 2017




Old fashioned holidays celebrated at Putnam Veteran’s Home

Hobby becomes a passion

CARMEL – Guests came from near and far to help a dozen veterans residing at the Vincent Leibell Veterans Home in Carmel celebrate the holidays.

In addition to spreading warm cheer inside the residence on Drew Lane on Tuesday, proprietors of the non-profit Rock Hill Farm in Southeast brought their two Belgian work horses and two Holstein and half Chianina oxen to the get-together where attendees had the opportunity to meet the animals and even take a wagon ride on a cold winter’s afternoon.

Horses Mike and Tony each weigh 2,250 pounds and measure 19 hands tall (6’4” at the shoulder). The oxen, Gun and Powder, together weigh 5,600 pounds.

Rock Hill Farm is owned by John, DeeAnn, Nick, Jess and Danny Blumberg who spread their cheer year-round by showing their four legged family members at more than 30 country fairs and other venues throughout the region working with veterans, law enforcement, senior citizens homes and schools.

“The hobby has turned into quite a passion,” said John Blumberg.             

The family has two farms, in Southeast and Pawling, that are home to a total of 17 horses, the team of oxen, a small herd of beef cows while Danny keeps a petting zoo consisting of a pot belly pig, goats and rabbits.

Inside the veterans’ home, residents gathered with their guests and enjoyed each other’s company while reflecting on the past over cups of hot chocolate, coffee and cider provided by congregants from the Church of the Holy Communion.

The special afternoon get-together was held in conjunction with the county’s Dwyer Vet2Vet program. The PFC Joseph Dwyer PTSD Peer-to-Peer Veterans Support Program was created in 2012 and Putnam County is one of 16 chapters across the state aiming to bring vets together in a secure, anonymous setting in order to assist one another with the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.


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