Join us in November for a Toast to the Troops!

Throughout November – Veterans Appreciation Month – the Buffalo Naval & Military Park is partnering with several WNY craft breweries and bars — together with 7 Eyewitness News WKBW and Country 106.5 WYRK— in a fundraiser to honor our veterans and support the Naval Park.

Simply stop into any of the establishments listed below, donate whatever amount you like, and sign a “Toast to the Troops” card which they’ll post proudly at that location. Then — raise your glass with those around you to salute and give thanks to our veterans for all they’ve done for our country!

Flying Bison Brewing Company
Big Ditch Brewing Company 
Hamburg Brewing Company
Liberty Hound restaurant
Ebenezer Ale House
Ulrich’s Tavern
Caputi’s Sheridan Pub
Thirsty Buffalo
Lafayette Brewing Company Buffalo
Fred’s Buffalo
Wing City Grille
12 Gates Brewing Co.
Public House on the Lake

Would you like to see your establishment on this list? There’s no cost to participate!

Just call the Naval Park at (716) 847-1773 and ask for Paul.

See invite letter below.

Dear Friend of the Naval Park:

In honor of Veterans Month – November – and in support of the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park, we are partnering with area microbreweries, locals pubs, and restaurants throughout the region on a campaign we’re calling “Toast to the Troops.”

The concept is simple: whenever patrons stop in, we just ask that your servers/bartenders ask them if they’d like to make a Toast to the Troops.  And for whatever monetary donation they’d like to give ($1 minimum suggested), they’ll get the attached card, which they can sign and give back to the server, who will then display it on a wall in your bar/restaurant throughout the month.  All proceeds benefit the Naval & Military Park.

There’s no cost to you to participate, and we only ask that you hang on to the money for us in between our weekly pick-ups.  Our support package includes a stack of cards, a sharpie marker, a roll of masking tape and a collection envelope, so hopefully, this will be virtually effortless on your part.  In return, we’ll include your establishment’s name on our Naval Park website and in social media posts as a participant with the intention to drive some traffic your way as well. Please share your photos with us on our Facebook page.

By the way, Veterans Day is Saturday, November 11, so this could be a nice way for you to gain some extra patrons that day by promoting this on your own web/social media!

If you have any questions, feel free to call me on my cell 716.207.3992 or email me at

Thank you for your support.

Paul Marzello
Director of Development
Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park
Office: 716.847.1773, ext.14
Cell: 716.207.3992

Buffalo Naval Park honors memory of Lieutenant Commander Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. with dedication of new display, free admission to park

Buffalo Naval Park honors memory of Lieutenant Commander Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. with dedication of new display, free admission to park

BUFFALO, N.Y. – May 11, 2017 – The Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park hosted an unveiling of a new display to honor the memory and naval career of Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.

Buffalo Naval Park honors, Ralph Wilson Jr, Free Admission, BNMP

Captain Brian Roche announces that Friday, May 12 – and every Friday of WNY’s Armed Forces Week thereafter – will now be known as Lieutenant Commander Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Day at the park, and will include free admission for all.

LCDR Wilson, who left a gift to the Naval Park upon his passing in 2014, was a proud veteran who rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy and served as Commanding Officer of a World War II Minesweeper, the USS Picket, from March 1945 to January 1946.

The new display was unveiled during a ceremony in the Hangar Building, the future site of the Naval Park’s new Hall of Honor, currently in the design stages.  The ceremony included a presentation of colors by the Maritime Charter School Honor Guard and a performance of the National Anthem by Buffalo Dolls Vocalist Donna Kerr

Also, a surprise announcement was made to the public and to Mrs. Mary Wilson, LCDR Wilson’s widow, that tomorrow — and the Friday of every annual Western New York Armed Forces Week thereafter — will now be known as “LCDR Ralph C. Wilson Day” at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park.  On that day, admission will be free for all visitors, to honor his legacy.

“By creating this day, we hope to immortalize LCDR Wilson for generations to come, so that we will always remember how much he meant to and cared for Western New York,” said Captain Brian Roche, Executive Director of the Naval Park.  “We are honored to display his personal military effects here at the park, and we thank his family for their generosity in sharing and entrusting these items to us.”

To commemorate the occasion, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown read a city proclamation.   Proclamations were also delivered from the New York State Senate and Assembly via Senator Chris Jacobs’ office and Assemblywoman Monica Wallace’s office, respectively.  Representatives from Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz were also on hand to mark the occasion, as were members of the park’s board of directors and staff.

“It is wonderful and heartwarming to see the support from our elected officials regarding this initiative,” added Naval Park Board Chairman Don Alessi.  “They understand how great of an impact LCDR Wilson had on this community, and the pride he felt for his military and civic service.”

The Naval Park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through the end of October.  Its World War II era ships include the USS Little Rock — the only guided missile cruiser on display in the U.S. today; the USS The Sullivans, a destroyer named after five brothers who died when their ship sank during the Battle of the Solomon Islands; and the USS Croaker, a Gato-class submarine.  A variety of military vehicles and aircraft are also on display, in addition to a museum building filled with artifacts, interactive exhibits and historical information spanning virtually all of our nation’s wars and military conflicts.

Buffalo Naval Park honors, Ralph Wilson Jr, Free Admission, BNMP

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown reads a proclamation announcing that Friday, May 12 would be Lieutenant Commander Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Day in the City of Buffalo.

Buffalo Naval Park honors, Ralph Wilson Jr, Free Admission, BNMP

From left, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Naval Park Board Chairman Don Alessi, Mary Wilson, and Naval Park Executive Director Brian Roche unveil the new display dedicated to Lieutenant Commander Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.




ATTENTION: We are Looking for WNY Veterans of Operation Desert Storm

The PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program is looking to identify Desert Storm Veterans in our community, so we can formally invite them to attend our annual dinner honoring WNY Veterans who served in Operation Desert Storm, Iraq 1991.

We are able to accommodate 50 Veterans, each with a plus one, completely free of charge. This notice is not serving as an official invitation to the event, rather as a tool to find and identify Desert Storm Veterans in our community, so we can formally invite them to attend.

If you are or know a WNY Desert Storm Veteran contact Mike Shurmatz at the Veterans One-stop Center of Western New York, 1280 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14209, 716-898-0110, ext 144 or

On September 10th, 2016, the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer Support Program is hosting this annual dinner honoring WNY Veterans who served in Operation Desert Storm. We will spend the evening on board the USS Little Rock at the Buffalo Naval Park, honoring the brave men and women who took part in this “Forgotten War”, which was one of the United States most impressive displays of Military force and dominance.

Desert Storm Dinner Flier_Page_1

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VA Press Conference at the Buffalo Naval Park

The purpose of this nationwide effort is to inform our Veterans, their families, media, and other stakeholders of what VA is doing on their behalf in the delivery and access to VA healthcare, services, programs and benefits.

The “I Pledge Allegiance” Challenge Becomes Patriotic Gesture

The “I Pledge Allegiance” Challenge Becomes Patriotic Gesture

On June 11th, The Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park held a very successful event that was patriotic too. The “I Pledge Allegiance” Challenge drew over 500 people. Any child aged 12 or under who could recite the Pledge of Allegiance from memory won a free Perry’s Ice Cream treat, a free American flag from Ace Flag, and free admission to the Naval Park.

Peter Roe, managing partner of Ace Flag Co., provided a talk on the fantail of the USS Little Rock on the history of the American flag. As the photos showed, parents joined in on the fun as they pledged along with their children in a very patriotic gesture.

It’s Official, LCS 9 Will be Commissioned at Canalside in Buffalo

Kick-off press event featured a host of dignitairies.

The USS Little Rock (LCS 9) Commissioning Committee held a press conference Tuesday, April 26, 2016 at the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park.

In addition to words from Committe Chair Moe Naylon, Commander Burkhart, Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul, City of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown, Congressmen Brian Higgins, Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs, USS Little Rock Association Director Steve Chase, and Celebrity Ambassador Jim Kelly addressed the media and the crowd in attendance.

Joining Commander Burkhart on his visit to Buffalo were members of LCS Crew 109 Warhawgs CS3 Angelo Hurst and Master Chief Joseph Reynolds. Also in attendance were representative from the Naval Park as well as many of the Docents.

The event was covered by all major televison, radio and print media from the Buffalo market and received susbstantial press on local news throughout the day. The Commissioning Committee is grateful to all of the diginitaries that provided words of support for our military men and women and the Commissioning of LCS 9.

While a date for LCS 9 Commissioning Week. is still to be determined, Command Burkhart provided some insight into what people can expect while the ship is docked at Canalside. The ship will be in Buffalo for eight to 10 days and during that time, the crew will host tours of the ship.  Commissioning Week will also include visits by the crew to local schools and civic organizations as well as the official Commissioning Ceremony which typically takes place on a Saturday.

The Commissioning Committee is also planning a series of events for that week and is expecting to publish a schedule once a date for LCS 9 Commissioning Week has been established.

Buffalo Naval Park Opens For 37th Season

BUFFALO — Saturday, March 26, 10:00 a.m. marked the official ribbon cutting to open the 37th season of the Buffalo & Erie County Naval & Military Park. Naval Park docents and local dignitaries were present to cut the ribbon, Sea Cadets provided the Color Guard, and the Buffalo Dolls sang the National Anthem. The ribbon cutting took place at the entrance to The Sullivans.

The Naval Park is open daily from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. It is the largest inland Naval Park in the United States including four vessels and a diverse assortment of military aircraft, vehicles, and exhibited artifacts on display in the Museum Building and outdoor exhibit area. For more information regarding rates, scheduled tours or party rentals aboard the Little Rock, visit or contact 716-847-1773.


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