Over 40 people attended an informational event at the Powelton Club in Newburgh on September 22nd to hear about creating an Endowment account through the Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County. Federation president, Harvey Kallus explained what an Endowment is and chairperson Jeff Karitis told everyone how to get started. In addition, current Endowment holders Rissa Cutler, Mona Rieger and Michael Gittelsohn told us why they created their accounts. Keynote speaker Lt. Co. Richard Vargus spoke about the canine program sat the US Department of Defense. His bio is below.
Thanks to Gail Conklin for these photos. Click on the thumbnail for a larger view.
LTC (Dr) Richard Vargus, United States Army
LTC Vargus retired in 1995 after 21 years of service in the United States Marine Corps and United States Army.
Following retirement he began an extended career in law enforcement, assuming positions in federal and local law enforcement, most notably as a Special Agent with the Federal Aviation Administration as the Explosives and Canine Coordinator, serving on the New York Joint Terrorist Task Force
In October 2012 he assumed the position of the Department of the Army Military Working Dog Program manager and in 2018 assumed his current position as the Department of Defense Canine Program Manager, responsible for developing long strategic initiatives, policy, interoperability with DoD and international partners and the US Secret Service providing canines to support Presidential, Vice Presidential, Secretary of State travel and all designated National Security Special Events.
Col Vargus is a graduate of the Command and General Staff and Air War College, Senior Leaser National Security Management Couse and holds a Doctorate in Public Administration. He is married to his wife of 24 years, retired Lieutenant Colonel Norma Vargus, a veteran of service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Vargus’s currently reside in Alexandria Virginia.