TopVet: Clarice Joynes, Mayor's Office of Veterans' Affairs NYC

Clarice Joynes accepts TopVet Award

New York City’s very own home-grown Marine, Clarice Joynes, is the first woman appointed as Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs, highlighting a 20-year career as one of the Big Apple’s most senior city servants.

She is an advisor to the Mayor, and New York area Veterans and the military, on their rights, benefits, and issues. A Veteran of the United States Marine Corps and the Mayor’s Office, Clarice Joynes is an ambassador for both our country and the City of New York. Ms. Joynes came to New York City government in 1988, after serving honorably in the United States Marine Corps.

“I am familiar with the feeling of pride of having served in the armed forces and the challenges that face Veterans after separation from the military.” With more than 302,000 Veterans living in the five boroughs of New York City, more than 91,000 of whom are World War II Veterans, she’s got a lot of challenges brought by the major Veterans issues – health care, finances, housing – but also major big city issues at the country’s largest city.

Ms. Joynes’ most notable career projects include serving as a member of the US Department of Veterans Affairs’ Local Advisory Panel of the Capital Asset Realignment for Enhanced Services (CARES) Commission, which was successful in keeping the Manhattan and Brooklyn campuses of the New York Harbor Healthcare System open for New York area Veterans and Operation Noble Eagle during the September 11, 2001 crisis. She also coordinated OpSail/International Naval Review 2000 for visiting United States Naval Ships and ships from over 50 visiting countries. Ms. Joynes oversees the annual New York City Veterans’ Day Parade with the United War Veterans’ Council and the annual partnership between the City of New York, the United States Navy, the Intrepid Foundation and Sea-Air-Space Museum, and numerous Veterans’ organizations for Fleet Week.

Ms. Joynes has spoken out on behalf of New York City-area Vets for healthcare issues, disease prevention and homelessness. Most notably, she recently hailed a major New York hospital for establishing a post-traumatic stress disorder facility for Veterans returning from action.

It’s not enough that her office assists Veterans with employment, housing and healthcare needs, Joynes said at a press conference. They also need emotional and psychological support, but “they’re afraid sometimes to reach out for assistance,” she said, because often, they are trained to “suck it up, move on.”

Ms. Joynes earned the Good Conduct Medal and a Meritorious Mast while serving as an active member of the US Marine Corps. She has received numerous honors for public speaking and has been honored by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg for outstanding government service. Ms. Joynes is a member of the board of the USO of Metropolitan New York. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Florence and Robert A. Rosen Family Wellness Center for Law Enforcement and the Military. A Queens, New York native, Ms. Joynes earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in American History at the City University of New York, Queens College.

“This is a City of patriotic Americans who have put themselves in harm’s way to preserve our way of life. We owe those who wear, and those who wore, the uniform of the United States of America a debt of gratitude for their service and their sacrifice,” she said.

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