In 1972, Domenic Gatto founded Atlantic Express Transportation Corp., a small school bus business in New York.
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By: Domenic Gatto
During my period of service to the U.S. Army, I traveled overseas and fought in the Vietnam conflict. In Richard Nixon’s book, No More Vietnams, he details the events leading up to the conflict and gives meaning to the issues surrounding the initial bombing of Vietnam. This is one of my favorite books, as it provides a closer look into the endeavors of the federal government during the Vietnam years.
One of Richard Nixon’s main points in this book is that the U.S. became involved with Vietnam for one purpose: to provide relief to the South Vietnamese from an oppressive Communist North Vietnam government. Richard Nixon writes about the smear campaigns that plagued the U.S. government during this time, as well as the formation of the decisions that led to the 1972 bombing of Vietnam and the mining of the Haiphong harbor in that same year. Nixon gives readers insight into both the mistakes and victories of the U.S. military during this supposedly “unwinnable” conflict.
While Richard Nixon was known as a supremely partisan politician, he mostly shrugs his party affiliation in this novel and presents the actions of the U.S. government in a straightforward manner. His personal goal was to free the Vietnamese people from the tyrannical Communist powers in their country, and Richard Nixon describes the Vietnam conflict as a mistake because his plan failed. In the book Richard Nixon also strongly criticizes the actions of Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson. No More Vietnams makes important information about the Vietnam era apparent to the public that wasn’t available during the war.
As a businessman and private philanthropist in New York, Domenic Gatto supports many non-profit organizations. As a disabled veteran who fought in Vietnam, Domenic Gatto maintains a special affinity for charitable organizations that provide support for war veterans. One such organization, Hope for The Warriors, seeks to enhance the lives of service members injured in the line of duty, as well as their families. More than 10,000 Americans soldiers have been wounded in Afghanistan since the start of the war there, and more than 30,000 have been wounded in Iraq. Many of these soldiers face permanent disability and disfigurement, and will require special services and accommodations for the rest of their lives.
Hope for The Warriors seeks to show a nation’s gratitude towards its war wounded by sponsoring multiple programs aimed at providing for the needs of these heroes. Programs include A Warrior’s Wish, which helps veterans satisfy goals that enhance quality of life; Above and Beyond, which provides services geared towards reintegration into society; family support programs; recreation and respite opportunities; and, an initiative aimed at meeting the immediate needs of families coping with a newly injured soldier.
Robin Kelleher and Shannon Maxwell cofounded Hope for The Warriors in 2006, after Maxwell’s husband sustained a traumatic brain injury in Iraq. The two gathered a community ready to help its war wounded, and the foundation has grown steadily since its inception. Hope for The Warriors raises funds via special events, and accepts philanthropic donations. To learn more, visit hopeforthewarriors.org.
Before launching his career as a successful businessman and President and Chief Executive Officer of Atlantic Express Transportation Corp., Domenic Gatto served his country in the Vietnam War. Upon returning home in 1969, Domenic Gatto became a member of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA).
Founded in 1978 by a small group of Vietnam veteran activists, Vietnam Veterans of America is an advocacy organization that exclusively represents soldiers returning home from the Vietnam War and their families. Although VVA maintained a high level of activity during its early years and gained the support of several media outlets, the organization experienced setbacks when arguing its case in front of Congress. After the triumphant return of hostages from Iran in the early 1980s, VVA began to demand proper recognition for Vietnam veterans. One year after the dedication of the Vietnam War Memorial in 1982, VVA established the Vietnam Veterans of America Legal Services (VVALS) to assist veterans seeking benefits from the government. Soon thereafter, VVALS became the most prominent veteran benefits legal service and contributed to the growth of the VVA as an organization. The VVA soon won the respect of Congress and the public and began to enact new advocacy programs for veterans of the Vietnam War.
Today, VVA maintains a membership of over 50,000 veterans across more than 600 chapters in the United States. Under the guidance of a national board of directors, composed of 24 men and women from local chapters across the country, VVA seeks to advance the cultural, educational, health, economic, and emotional needs of Vietnam veterans adjusting to their lives as civilians.
To accomplish the stated goal of serving Vietnam veterans, VVA identifies three courses of action for legislative success: working with the media, lobbying, and mobilizing constituents. The strategy has produced significant results in the past, including the establishment of the Vet Center system, increased job placement and unemployment services for veterans, and health care assistance for veterans suffering from the effects of Agent Orange exposure. To learn more about Vietnam Veterans of America or to find out how to become involved, visit the website at vva.org.
By: Domenic Gatto
In addition to serving as President and CEO of Atlantic Express Transportation Corp., I am Chairman of the Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club. Located in the small town of Farmingdale near the Atlantic coast in Monmouth County, New Jersey, Eagle Oaks offers a championship level course designed by Jack Nicklaus and Johnny Miller, two PGA Tour legends. Eagle Oaks` links-style course features a variety of meadow and forested contours with a full array of bunkers, water hazards, sand traps, and rough to navigate. Eagle Oaks honors the traditions of golf with a contingent of more than 40 caddies willing to accompany players on foot. The entire Eagle Oaks course is viewable online as an 18-slide show at eagleoaks.com.
In addition to its 18-hole course, Eagle Oaks offers a full driving range and a 75-yard short-game practice area that has multiple putting greens and all the hazard elements of a full course. Eagle Oaks also offers family friendly amenities such as the “Li’l Eagle” golf course, introducing youths to golf with a specially designed scorecard. After a day on the greens, Eagle Oaks offers relaxation at a 60,000 square-foot Southern Colonial-style Clubhouse. Ongoing renovations include guest suites, swimming pool, day spa, state-of-the-art tennis courts, and Kid’s Club services.
Eagle Oaks has played host to numerous tournaments throughout its 20 year history including the 1991 New Jersey PGA Championship, the 1992 US Amateur Qualifier, and the 1992 New Jersey State Amateur Championship. More recently, Eagle Oaks hosted the 2007 New Jersey State Mid Amateur Championship, the 2010 U.S. Open Local Qualifying Tournament, and the 2010 New Jersey Tournament of Champions. I am proud of the numerous high-profile tournaments held at Eagle Oaks in its short history and look forward to similar events in the future. I maintain a very close connection with the Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club as my son has been club champion these past three years.