Patriot Hills of New York: Protecting and Caring for Veterans

Denise Sherman May 21, 2024
107 People Read

Patriot Hills of New York is a company started by Jeannine Mannarino, who noticed how difficult it is for volunteers, first responders, and former military members to deal with toxicity and trauma. Jeannine lived through these challenges, and she had firsthand experience of how much they can change a person. That's why she decided to find a way to help people, which is where Patriot Hills of New York came into play.

Dealing with trauma and trying to do the right thing

One of the toughest situations for Jeannine Mannarino was to come back after 9/11 and attend funerals or wakes for National Guard members. A lot of people that were serving the country at that time either never came back, or were just brought back to be buried. Those who did manage to survive ended up with severe trauma that had a significant impact on their ability to sustain themselves and live a normal life.

It was at that point that Jeannine realized how important it is to retire and start a business that would help veterans, not only in the New York area, but nationwide as well. There's a huge disparity when it comes to the expectations our veterans have from our society when they come back and how they are received. Unfortunately, many of them find it very difficult to fit in when they return.

The primary focus when it comes to the Patriot Hills of New York is to help veterans access a safe haven, come back, and re-integrate into society. That's why the Patriot Hills of New York has partnered with a multitude of other organizations, ready to offer information, support, and guidance to those who truly need it.

It wasn't easy to start Patriot Hills of New York, but the primary push, at least for Jeannine, was from her husband and daughter. Once they were all on the same page that they had to do something and assist those military veterans and National Guard retirees, it was all set in stone and they started helping them as quickly as possible.

Patriot Hills Jeannine Mannarion Local Event

Offering mental health support to veterans

One of the advantages brought by the Patriot Hills of New York is that it assists any of the veterans who are constantly dealing with trauma and the adjacent post-traumatic stress. These illnesses make it difficult for a veteran to get back into the society. Bipolar, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression are very problematic for veterans, and that's not all.

Many of them are also dealing with various life-threatening illnesses due to asbestos exposure. Over the years, asbestos has been used for many different military products and applications. While its fire resistance was incredible, that doesn't deter from the fact that it's a very toxic material. Mesothelioma is one of the many different side effects that many military veterans are dealing with even today. The Patriot Hills of New York organization was built to assist people who have physical and mental health issues that appeared during their time in the military.

Offering help to veterans in need has always been the primary focus for the Patriot Hills of New York, and it did everything with great success. The organization got its 501C3 status in 2008, and it became a 100% charity at that time. Since then, they hosted a large number of meetings at the Library of the State Headquarters. In addition, the organization was also able to apply for a Certificate of Insurance, which was used for educational purposes.

This year, the Patriot Hills of New York managed to invite three students from Russel Sage College as interns, and they were able to learn a lot about PTSD, trauma, and many others from Professor Glenda Kelman.

How does the organization help veterans and their families?

Patriot Hills of New York is designed to offer great assistance and support to veterans in dire need of help. For example, they are offering opportunities for job referrals. They can also assist a veteran's widow or a friend in putting together the necessary paperwork that they need for the PACT act. Unlike other organizations, the main focus is on offering opportunities, be it in the form of potential jobs, educational opportunities, exclusive resources, internships, hosting symposiums about mental health challenges, and many others.

Moreover, Patriot Hills of New York also helps veterans learn a multitude of other things, like how to file a VA claim, where they can receive the necessary cancer treatment, etc. They can also learn about all their veteran's benefits that are active at this time. Plus, they can figure out where and how to make the most out of these opportunities.

The Patriot Hills of New York also highlights some of the latest career opportunities specifically for veterans. Some of these are exclusive because they are provided specifically to the organization by select businesses that want to hire solely veterans (or which are inclined to work mostly with veterans).

Patriot Hills Event Jeannine Mannarino

Requesting services from Patriot Hills of New York

What's important to note about Patriot Hills of New York is that once you reach the website, there's a section where you can actively request some services. Every veteran has their own needs and requirements, and many of them have been going through the fallout of stress and trauma. That's why the organization was created, to provide the necessary assistance and support.

Because of that, any veteran can go to the website, share their information, and if they qualify, they can request a multitude of different services. These include things like anger management, legal consultation, suicide prevention, health and human services, but also resume building, financial management, professional development, etc.

Other services also include substance abuse counseling, healthy living, getting a therapeutic animal, marriage/family enrichment, recreational or outdoor activities, and spiritual or grief counseling. All of these services are readily accessible, and they can be a great solution for many issues veterans are dealing with. The fact that they are being offered freely to registered veterans is helpful, and it's a great way for Patriot Hills of New York to give back to the community and help those in need.

Creating a business that helps people

Patriot Hills of New York was made from the ground up as an organization designed to help others. But, as Jeannine says, it wasn't a smooth process. They made a lot of mistakes along the way, especially in the beginning. But then again, there were few to no organizations doing anything remotely like this. And as always, when there's an unpaved way, it becomes very hard to complete certain tasks and goals. Yet, over the years, they became a part of the GoodWill Ambassador program for the military and their adjacent families.

When it comes to what exact challenges they had to deal with, Jeannine mentions it was difficult to become a 501C3 nonprofit, their request didn't go forward. That's why it ended up taking 2 years until the organization actually ended up registered as a charity, something which eventually happened in December 2008.

However, Patriot Hills of New York is also developing a board in South Carolina. They are looking to register their 501C3 in South Carolina as well. That's one of the great plans they want to pursue, at least in the near future. In addition, at this time the organization is working very hard to set up headquarters and also a dedicated transitional center. They want to create an internship program at the Russel Sage College as well.

How difficult was it to balance personal life and working on the Patriot Hills of New York?

For Jeannine, creating and running a nonprofit was not a simple task. It required a lot of commitment, planning, not to mention she pays for her own gas and cars. She also mentions that she never collected a paycheck. However, she thinks that working for the greater good and giving back to the military is extremely important.

It's not something for everyone, and it can be hard to achieve. But ever since the organization was created, there have been many fulfilling moments. Lots of veterans were able to solve their medical issues, there was even a Black Hawk helicopter that landed at the Community Day in Ballston Lake. There were lots of great moments like that, including the emotion of giving people a new lease on life and helping them move onward with their lives. All of that makes these challenges of running a nonprofit totally worth it!

Jeannine's advice to entrepreneurs

Jeannine's entrepreneurial road was a challenging one, and she certainly has a lot of great ideas for those who want to become an entrepreneur. Based on her experience, one of the most important things is to trust in yourself and your instincts. Don't sell yourself short; many of your ideas can be great, and you can achieve amazing results if you stick with them.

She also says that accepting advice is helpful; no one will ever know it all, and getting advice from others can help you save time, money, and resources. Also, it's important to give credit to everyone you work with. In her case, Jeannine always credits veterans, the military, the overall community, board, volunteers, and other organizations.

Lastly, Jeannine encourages everyone to follow their passion and not worry about failure. Even if sometimes failure appears, it's a part of the process, and you can learn a lot from it. You always want to pursue your dreams, never give up, and do the things you want. It's definitely going to be a huge challenge to achieve everything, but it's very fulfilling when things click together the way you want! It's a great idea to follow Jeannine's advice and pursue your entrepreneurial ideas; you're the only one who can turn them into a huge success!


Connect with Patriot Hills 

Patriot Hills Community Event


Greater Capital Association of Realtors Chamber of Commerce Verified Member Denise Sherman Team National Association of Realtors


About the Author

Denise Sherman, a dedicated Real Estate Salesperson, focuses on assisting homeowners and first time home buyers in Albany County NY. Her priority is to offer readers valuable insight to make informed real estate decisions. Explore her incredible story, "Military Veteran Helps Families by Taking the Stress out of Buying a Home." If you want to send Denise a quick message, then visit her contact page here.