Rockland bestows Freedom Award upon two women veterans


County Executive Ed Day and Director Susan Branam of the Rockland County Veterans Service Agency present the 2024 Freedom Award to Mattie Moore. Photo: County of Rockland

Two women who served with the Army have been honored with Rockland County's annual Freedom Award, which recognizes female veterans for their outstanding service to the nation.

Major Mattie Moore, U.S. Army Reserve (Ret.), served in Operation Desert Shield/ Desert Storm in 1991. She has been a registered nurse since 1971 and has worked at numerous hospitals.

Moore worked for 30 years at Keller Army Community Hospital in West Point. She has  volunteered with the United Negro College Fund, Healing the Children, and the American Legion Hunger Program. Moore is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and Buffalo Soldiers of Rockland County.

The county also posthumously recognized Mary Contreras, a Vietnam veteran who served as a nurse in the Army. Contreras was proud of her military service and is remembered for her strong work ethic and dedication to her family and her community.

Mary Contreras was posthumously honored with Rockland County's Freedom Award. Photo: Rockland County

“Acknowledging those who have worked and sacrificed to protect the freedoms we enjoy is crucial,” said County Executive Ed Day. “Particularly women whose contributions to building and protecting our country have long been overlooked.”

Veterans Service Agency Director Susan Branam added: “There’s no question, the freedoms we enjoy today would not be possible without women like these who made the brave choice to serve, and it is my pleasure to recognize their service."

Robert Brum is a freelance journalist who writes about the Hudson Valley. Visit to read his work.

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