Anda di halaman 1dari 70

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E 2 0 1 6

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Senator John J. Flanagan

Senator Jeffrey D. Klein

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

Dear Veterans, Friends and Families:


Welcome to the annual Veterans Hall of Fame Ceremony. It is with
a great sense of pride and admiration that we in the New York State
Senate are once again honoring and recognizing outstanding veterans
from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves both in
military and civilian life.
The veterans gathered here today have given their lives to a cause
greater than themselves, and in doing so, have protected our country
and way of life. Today we honor these heroic New Yorkers whom we
owe a tremendous debt of gratitude. Their past bravery in military
endeavors has helped shape the American landscape- a country of
strength, freedom and diverse beauty.
Many of those here today have also helped extensively in their
communities. These are not only veterans, but community organizers,
teachers, small business owners, police officers, firefighters,
emergency personnel and first responders.
Finally, as we pay homage to all the veterans, let us not forget the
families fathers, mothers, daughters and sons who also participated
in the rich tradition of military life. Thank you all for your laudable
service to our nation.

Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins


Democratic
Conference Leader

Senator John J. Flanagan


Temporary President
Majority Leader
Coalition Leader

Senator Jeffrey D. Klein


Independent Democratic
Conference Leader
Coalition Leader

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E
PROGRAM

Opening of Ceremony
with the

Pledge of Allegiance
SPEAKERS

Colonel Lee Schiller, Jr.


Commander of the Watervliet Arsenal

Senator John J. Flanagan


Senator Jeffrey D. Klein
Senator Andrea Stewart - Cousins
INTRODUCTION OF HONOREES
Senator Thomas D. Croci

SPECIAL THANKS
Gettysburg Flag Works for their
generous donation of center pieces.
www.gettysburgflag.com
Susan E. Wells
Stars4ourTroops@aol.com
Amy Amoroso
NYS Program Coordinator for
Veteran Business Outreach
Purple Heart Foundation
www.thepurpleheart.com

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

COLONEL LEE H. SCHILLER, JR.


Colonel Lee H. Schiller, Jr. is the 58th commander of the Watervliet Arsenal.
He was born in Baltimore, Maryland and received his commission in 1988 from Western
Maryland College. He first served as Medical Services Corps Officer and then branch
transferred to the Ordnance Corps. His military education includes the Medical Service
Corps Officer Basic and Advanced Course, Combined Arms and Services Staff School,
United States Army Command and General Staff College and the Industrial College
of the Armed Forces. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology from Western
Maryland College, a Masters in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University and
a Masters of Science in National Resource Strategy from the Industrial College of the
Armed Forces.
His previous assignments include Platoon Leader and Company Executive Officer,
101st Airborne Division (Air Assault); Company Commander, 2d Infantry Division;
Logistics Officer Joint Task Force Bravo; Observer Controller, Joint Readiness Center;
Officer Advanced Course Small Group Instructor; Battalion Executive Officer, TF 28th
CSH; Depot Commander, Sierra Army Depot; Staff Officer, Office of the Deputy Chief
of Staff for Logistics, HQDA; Senior Military Advisor to the Iraqi Armed Forces and
Site Lead and served as the Deputy Director for Maintenance Policies and Programs,
Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, HQDA. He assumed command of the
Watervliet Arsenal on July 18, 2013.
Colonel Schillers operational experiences include Platoon Leader, Operation Desert
Shield/Desert Storm; Logistics Officer, Joint Task Force Bravo, Honduras; Battalion
Executive Officer, Operation Iraqi Freedom; Senior Military Advisor and Site Lead,
Operation New Dawn and the Office of Security and Cooperation-Iraq.
His awards and decorations include the Bronze Star Medal, with two Oak Leaf
Clusters, Meritorious Service Medal, with seven Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint Service
Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, Joint
Service Achievement Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award,
Southwest Service Asia Service Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism
Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Saudi and Kuwaiti
Liberation Medals, Airborne Badge, Air Assault Badge and Combat Medical Badge.
He is married to the former Ms. Christine Brown, a retired Lieutenant Colonel and
Army Nurse. They have four children: Andrew, Joseph, Elizabeth, and Matthew.

I pledge
allegiance to
the Flag of the
United States of
America, and to
the republic for
which it stands,
one Nation under
God, indivisible,
with liberty and
justice for all.

2016 HONOREES

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

EUGENE GENE A. BURCH


Eugene Gene A. Burch of Forest Hills, Queens, has a long and proud legacy
as a United States Army veteran and community advocate for the needs of
other former members of the military.
Mr. Burch served in the United States Army from July 1965 through July 1968
during the Vietnam War. Following basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey,
he received advanced basic training in Aberdeen, Maryland, and earned a
diploma as an Ordinance Supply Specialist. Mr. Burch ultimately became
involved with the Red Ball Express in the Vietnam War a special unit that
ensured the prompt delivery of repair parts to troops in need and named
after the famed supply delivery operation during World War II that provided
critical supplies to Allied Forces.
Associated with the 519th Battalion, Mr. Burch served as a military police
officer and supply sergeant until his honorable discharge in 1968. Among
other honors, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam
Campaign Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.
Since 1988, Mr. Burch has been a dedicated leader and member of American
Legion Post #1424 in Forest Hills. He served as Commander in 1992 and
1993, as Finance Officer in 1991, 1992, 1997 and 1998, and has been a
member of the Executive Committee since 2000. He also served for two
years as a veterans affairs advisor and community relations representative
for former New York State Senator Serphin Maltese.
Professionally, Mr. Burch has worked in retail management throughout his
career. In addition to serving veterans, he donates his time and energy to
numerous community organizations, including the Forest Hills Community
and Civic Association, United Cerebral Palsy of Queens and the MetroForest Chamber of Commerce.

EUGENE GENE A. BURCH IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JOSEPH P. ADDABBO, JR.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

PAUL RIZZO RUSSO


Mr. Russo first served in the United States Air Force from 1982 to 1986 as an
Aircraft Armament Specialist at Bitburg AFB in Germany, and at Shaw Air
Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina. He later served in the United States
Army National Guard with deployments ranging from delivering ice storm
relief in Malone, New York, to building schools and roads in Guatemala and
Honduras.
As a civilian, Mr. Russo worked for 25 years at the New York State Department
of Labor as a local veteran employment representative, with the mission of
finding employment for veterans. In 2006, he received the Local Veterans
Employment Representative of the Year Award through the New York State
American Legion for his dedication to bettering the lives of the brave men
who fought for our country.
Mr. Russo has been an active part of the Lt. Warren Eaton Post 189 in Norwich
for the past 25 years in various positions including, Post Commander and
Chenango County AL Commander. He is also a founding member of the
Norwich American Legion Riders, serving as President for the past 12 years,
growing the chapter from five Riders to more than 50 active Riders.
Under Mr. Russos leadership, the Norwich Legion Riders have raised tens
of thousands of dollars for the Landstuhl Hospital Care Project, a non-profit
organization that provides comfort and relief items for military members
who become sick, injured or wounded during their service in the Middle
East. Because of his commitment and enthusiasm, Mr. Russo was awarded
the National American Legion Rider of Honor in 2015.
Veterans come off the battlefield and they dont have anything, said Mr.
Russo. We do this because they need the help, and we need to make a
difference.

PAUL RUSSO IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR FREDERICK J. AKSHAR II.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JOSEPH S. FORTE
Joseph S. Forte was born on March 26, 1929 in Kingston, New York. At age 15,
he joined the New York Guard and became a distinguished marksman. Shortly
after turning 16, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and trained as a B-25 Gunner,
becoming an instructor with the rank of Sergeant. When it was discovered he
was underage, he was discharged and returned home until he turned 17, when
he reenlisted.
For 26 years, Mr. Forte played the trumpet with the United States Military
Academy Bands Hellcats and traveled with the Army Football Team. Due to his
excellent work ethic and skill, Mr. Forte received the Excellence in Competition
Marksmanship Award, achieved by only a small percentage in the military.
Mr. Forte served on active duty in the Army from World War II, through Korea,
and into the Vietnam War era, and has continued to serve veterans, their families
and his community since retiring from service in 1973. He has been actively
involved in many organizations, including Ulster County Chapter 60, Vietnam
Veterans of America, Ulster County Chapter 156 Disabled American Veterans
(DAV), American Legion Post 150, VFW Post 1386, and is an honorary member
of Ulster Detachment 253, Marine Corps League. Mr. Forte has held numerous
offices, including Commander of American Legion Post 150, and Commander of
U.C. Chapter 156 D.A.V.
Mr. Forte is a past recipient of the Kingston Veterans Association Veteran of The
Year honor and is the bugler for the New York State Disabled American Veterans.
He continues to play his bugle at the funerals of fellow veterans, and at age 86,
shows little sign of slowing down.
Mr. Forte has earned many awards for his bravery, courage and dedication
including the World War II Gunners Wings, Meritorious Service Medal, Army
Commendation Medal, Good Conduct Medal 9th Award, National Defense Service
Medal with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, American Campaign Medal, World War II Victory
Medal, New York State Conspicuous Service Cross, Under-Aged Veterans Service
Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and the Expert Qualification Badge for Rifle,
Pistol, Carbine.
JOSEPH S. FORTE IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR GEORGE AMEDORE, JR.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JOSEPH A. PANZARDI, SR.


A lifelong Queens resident, Joseph A. Panzardi, Sr. honorably served in the
United States Army during the Vietnam War.
Mr. Panzardi bravely reported for duty with the United States Army after
being drafted on August 21, 1967, and was assigned to basic training at Fort
Bragg, North Carolina. He was then assigned to advanced infantry training
at Fort Ord, California. On January 15, 1968 he was assigned to the 133rd
Assault Helicopter Company, 229th Aviation Battalion, 1st Calvary Division
in Bien Hoa, Vietnam. Due to a family emergency, Mr. Panzardis tour
of duty in Vietnam was shortened in April 1968. He continued his service
with the 2nd Squadron, 14th Armored Cavalry in Bad Kissingen, Germany,
where he participated in the defense of the border between Germany and
Czechoslovakia when the Russians invaded in September 1968.
Mr. Panzardi was honorably discharged in August 1973. Due to his selfless
bravery and sacrifice, he received numerous awards, including the Air Medal,
the Good Conduct Medal, the Vietnam Service and Campaign Medals, the
Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, the Presidential Unit Citation and the National
Defense Medal.
Following his service to his country, Mr. Panzardi remains active in the
community, always wanting to do his part to help. He is the 1st Vice
Commander of the Edward McKee American Legion Post 131, Senior Vice
Commander of the Queens County VFW, Quartermaster of the Whitestone
Community VFW Post 4787 and life member of Queens Chapter 32 of the
Vietnam Veterans of America.
Mr. Panzardi has always had the love, devotion and support of his wife,
Maryann. Together they reside in Queens, and have three beautiful children
and five wonderful grandchildren.

JOSEPH A. PANZARDI, SR. IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR TONY AVELLA.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

WALTER HUGHES
Walter Hughes served his country proudly during World War II. At the age
of 12, he went to work for $3 a week on his stepfathers tugboat. When the
vessel was pushed into the auxiliary at the start of the war, Mr. Hughes
became a merchant seaman at 14. At age 18 he bravely entered into the
service of the United States Army.
As a member of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, Mr. Hughes took
part in some of the best known battles and missions of the World War II. In
1944, he first saw combat in Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands.
While in Holland, Mr. Hughes received shrapnel wounds to his shoulder and
back when a bullet hit his shoulder strap, and another ripped the gun from
his hands. During this engagement, a fellow injured soldier Mr. Hughes was
assisting gave him his sidearm, knowing that he himself would be going to a
hospital. Mr. Hughes credits that gun for his survival; he pulled the .45 from
his belt and ran at the enemy, firing, and did not stop until he fell on top of
their bodies.
At one point, Mr. Hughes spent time in an Army hospital, where he was told
he would need to have his right foot amputated. Not agreeing, he slipped out
and made his way back to the 82nd Airborne. At the close of the World War II,
Mr. Hughes took part in the liberation of Camp Wbbelin, Germany.
Mr. Hughes was honorably discharged from the Army after receiving two
Purple Hearts, the Bronze star, Frances Legion of Honor and a Belgian
postage stamp with his image as he charged the enemy in the Battle of the
Bulge. He returned home to enjoy his career in the tug boat industry.
In 1981, Mr. Hughes and his loving wife, Mary, moved to Port Jervis, where
he still resides today. They were married for 56 wonderful years before her
passing, but Mr. Hughes is confident that she is watching over him now.

WALTER HUGHES IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JOHN BONACIC.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

TOM HORN
Tom Horn always knew he wanted to serve his country on the front lines. He
enlisted in the Marines in 1969, received his basic training at Paris Island
and his Infantry Training at Camp Lejeune, ultimately serving in Vietnam
from 1969 to 1971. Mr. Horn worked sea duty on the USS Columbus, served
as instructor for the Special Warfare Training Center and was discharged
in 1975. He then went into the Marine Corps Reserves in the Communion
Battalion in Huntington, New York, and was the Match Armorer for the
National Reserve Rifle Team for the Marine Corps.
For his incredible dedication to his country as well as his sacrifice, Mr.
Horn was awarded a Silver Star with a V for valor, three Purple Hearts,
Three Bronze Stars, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and numerous other
medals and citations. He was one of only 42 survivors out of a troop of 680
of the 2nd Battle of Khe Sanh, for which he was awarded his Silver Star and
one of his Purple Hearts.
Following his service to his country overseas, Mr. Horn has continued to
serve by volunteering. A member of Babylon American Legion Post #94,
he has served as Commander on two separate occasions and is currently
serving as Post Commander for a second term. Mr. Horn continues has also
served as Chairperson of the Board of Management, 2nd Vice-Commander,
3rd Vice-Commander, Bar Chairperson, and on many other committees.
Mr. Horn has been married for 40 years to his wife, Debbie, and together
they have three children and two grandchildren. Their eldest daughter,
Colleen Horn-Politowski, and her husband Craig reside in Buffalo. Their
second daughter, Erin, has been Auxiliary President of Post 94 eight times
and has also been Suffolk County Auxiliary President. Their son Kevin is
a Marine living in North Carolina; he works for ALLY Financial as a senior
systems engineer and is a member of Babylon Post 94.

TOM HORN IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR PHIL BOYLE.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

ROSETTA Y. BURKE
Rosetta Y. Burke was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on February 28,
1937. She was a true trailblazer serving as the first female Assistant
Adjutant General of New York State and of the Army National Guard. Ms.
Burke was the first female general in New Yorks Army National Guard and
the first female in the nation to be promoted to Major General. She became
a beacon of hope for women in the military, showing that it was possible to
advance and to dilute stereotypes.
Ms. Burke served with the Army Reserve from 1962 to 1992, and joined the
New York Army National Guard in 1993, retiring as Major General in 1997.
She is President of the National Association of Black Military Women, and an
honorary member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority.
A former nurse, Ms. Burke is a member of the Reserve Officers Association,
The Retired Officers Association, Association for the Military Surgeons of
the United States, National Guard Association of the United States, Militia
Association of New York, National Black Nurses Association, and many other
organizations.
In recognition of her devoted career and her bravery, she was awarded two
Army Commendation Medals, two Army Reserve Good Conduct Awards, a
National Defense Service Medal, an Armed Forces Reserve Medal and an
Army Service Ribbon.
When Ms. Burke first entered the military, it was unusual for women to
go into combat. More often than not, women came in as nurses or worked
in administrative positions. Ms. Burke has been an inspiration and major
influence in helping change that mindset.

ROSETTA Y. BURKE IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR NEIL BRESLIN.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JOHN DULISSE
Mr. Dulisse bravely decided to serve his country at a young age by joining the
Army in 1970 and retiring in 1972 as a Specialist 4th Class. He is a graduate
of Rockland Community College with a degree in Electronics Technology.
Following an apprenticeship with IBEW Local Union 303, he went on to work
for Tikvah Electric in Pearl River, New York.
For more than 16 years, Mr. Dulisse has selflessly given to his community and
fellow veterans. He has been the Post Commander of the American Legion
Post 794 in Nanuet, serving many roles in his time there. A representative
of the American Legion, Mr. Dulisse is a long time active member of the
Rockland County Veterans Coordinating Council. He plays an integral role in
all of the councils programs and special events, and is a major supporter of
the Frederick Loescher Veterans Cemetery Bench program.
Mr. Dulisse is a dedicated member of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 333 of Rockland County. He is currently their 1st Vice Commander
and sits on the Executive Board of Directors. In addition to monthly visits to
the veterans nursing home in Montrose, Mr. Dulisse serves in various roles,
including as chairman of the annual pig roast.
More recently, Mr. Dulisse has taken a significant lead in his role as a
founding member of the Rockland Community College Student Veterans
Committee. He takes great pride in this committee, and is always helping
student veterans in their transition to the college environment.
Mr. Dulisse is known for his role as a guest speaker at many local
organizations throughout the community. When speaking to Boy Scouts,
Eagle Scouts and Civil Air Patrol Cadets, he focuses on the significance of
being an American and the importance of serving our country.
Mr. Dulisse is a valued individual within the veteran community, and his
commitment goes beyond words of praise and gratitude.
JOHN DULISSE IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR DAVID CARLUCCI.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

WILLIE BURKS
Willie Burks was drafted by the United States Army in 1968. While in Vietnam,
he was wounded, and it was during his recovery that he decided to educate
himself by attending York College and Allen Medical School, eventually
graduating as a lab technician.
Community service has always been important to Mr. Burks; it gives him
a sense of great pleasure. In 1978, Mr. Burks joined Proctor Hopson VFW
Post 1896, where he became Allstate Post Commander. He serves as Senior
Vice Commander and President of the Post Memorial Association, and is
currently the Hospital Chairman and Patriotic Instructor.
In 2002, Mr. Burks joined the Masonic Mason, where he received his 32nd
Degree; he has held the position of Wishful Master, Sir Knight, Royal Arch,
Lodge of Perfection, Sublime Prince, St. John Consistory and Shrine, R.W.
Deputy Grand Master.
Among the many community services Mr. Burks participates in are two
stand downs per year for veterans and their families. During these stand
downs, clothing and food are distributed, along with information about
housing, medical care and employment.
Mr. Burks has received many awards for his courage, sacrifice and
dedication to his country. These awards include the Purple Heart and Bronze
Star for his sacrifice, a Unit Citation, Homeless Veterans Service Award,
NAACP awards for Recognition for Contributions to the Cause of Justice and
Equality, P.T.S.D. Founder Award and Outstanding Service as Domiciliary, the
New York City Council Certificate of Recognition, New York State Assembly
Certificate of Merit Extended Care Center Volunteer, State of New York
legislative resolution and proclamation, and many others.
Mr. Burks has faced every obstacle with unrelenting bravery and allegiance
to his country. Although he was drafted into the Army, his service did not end
with the end of his deployment. His dedication to his fellow veterans, both
during wartime and peace, is what makes him worthy of praise.
WILLIE BURKS IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR LEROY COMRIE.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

PETER COLOMBO
Peter Colombo served his country proudly in World War II. Upon completion
of his military service, he tried to return to New York University, where he
was a pre-med student prior to enlisting in the military. He was unable to
continue these studies, because NYU was only taking pre-med students who
had two years of experience. At that point, Mr. Colombo decided to pursue
his college education at Kent University, where he received his degree in
chemistry. He continued on to the University of Alabama, earning another
degree as a bacteriologist.
When Mr. Colombo returned home, he began his career at Brookhaven
National Lab as a chemist; this is where Pete met Lorraine Gilbrandson. The
two were married in 1955, built a home in Patchogue, and in 1956 welcomed
their first child, Leonard. In 1962, their daughter Lauren was born, and
Karen joined the family in 1964.
Mr. Colombo continued to serve his country throughout his career at the
Brookhaven lab as a division head in the Nuclear Research Center and as a
Consultant to IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). His assignment as
a consultant was to visit developing countries that were exploring nuclear
energy and share his expertise in the storage and disposal of nuclear waste
generated by nuclear power facilities. In the late 1970s and early 1980s,
Mr. Colombo was assigned to a research project, where he voyaged on a
submarine-like ship named Alvin. Alvin took him about 2 miles deep in
the ocean to fetch a 25-year-old barrel of nuclear waste, checking to see if
the disposal process was safe and the barrel intact.
At the time of Mr. Colombos retirement in 1994, with 43 years of service at
the lab, he had either created or assisted in the creation of eight different
patents belonging to several organizations or companies including DOE, NRC
and the EPA. Over his lifetime, Mr. Colombo has given up so much personally
to serve his country, including his dream of becoming a doctor.
His nephew, Frank Colombo, says it all: My family and I find it a privilege to
call this selfless man a part of our family.
PETER COLOMBO IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR THOMAS D. CROCI.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

RAYMOND A. SALVIE
Raymond A. Salvie of Liverpool, New York, was born in Rhode Island on July
7, 1925. Upon graduating from high school, he nobly made the decision to
enlist in the United States Marine Corps in April 1944. After completing basic
training at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, Sergeant Salvie transferred
to California. That August, he set sail as a member of the 21st Infantry
Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, to patrol the Island of Guam. He was selected
to serve as a skilled mortarman.
From Guam, Sergeant Salvies unit headed to the Island of Iwo Jima, making
landfall near Black Beach on February 21, 1945. For nearly a month, under
horrific conditions, Sergeant Salvie courageously fought in the Battle of Iwo
Jima and helped capture the island and its airfields from the Japanese army.
This fierce battle was a pivotal victory for the United States.
Sergeant Salvie continued to serve after Iwo Jima and was assigned to guard
duties with the 1st Marine Division in China. He was honorably discharged
on May 29, 1946. For his valiant service, Sergeant Salvie received several
awards, including a Presidential Unit Citation, Good Conduct Medal,
American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Marine Corps
Expeditionary Medal, and the Combat Action Ribbon.
Sergeant Salvie also served in the Marine Corps Reserve during the Korean
War, earning the rank of Sergeant, and later moved to the Syracuse area,
where he dedicated more than 25 years of service as a State Trooper with the
New York State Police, Troop D.
Sergeant Salvie is a lifetime member of the Police Benevolent Association
and the Marine Corps League. He is the last living State Trooper who is also
a survivor of Iwo Jima.
Sergeant Salvie has devoted his life to service, both abroad and at home.
This outstanding veteran is a true American patriot, who served his country
with honor and distinction and made many contributions to his community
RAYMOND A. SALVIE IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JOHN A. DEFRANCISCO.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JOSEPH GALLANT, JR.


Joseph Gallant, Jr., was born in Harlem in 1949 and later relocated to the
Bronx, where he currently resides. By age 11, Mr. Gallant knew he would
serve his country. At a young age, he joined the 369th Naval Cadets and
moved on to the Job Corps before enlisting into the United States Army in
1966.
After completing basic training at Fort Gordon, Georgia, Mr. Gallant attended
jump school at Fort Benning, where he was inducted into the 173rd Airborne
Rangers. He was deployed to Vietnam from 1968 to 1969, with the rank of
Specialist/E4. Upon his honorable discharge, Mr. Gallant was awarded
various medals for his undeniable bravery, sacrifice and dedication,
including a Bronze Star, a Good Conduct medal and an Air Defense Medal.
Mr. Gallant is current President of the Charlton & Thompson Bronx
NABVETS Chapter #0029, and is a member of the Friends of Charlton &
Thompsons Park located on East 164th Street, between Cauldwell Avenue
and Boston Road in the Bronx. In October 2010, the Friends of Charlton &
Thompson Park, along with members from the Bronx Chapters of NABVETS,
spearheaded a mission in which the remains of Cornelius Charlton were
moved to their rightful resting place at Arlington National Cemetery in
Virginia after 57 years. This mission was extremely valiant, because Mr.
Gallant knows how important it is to never leave a man behind. He is devoted
to maintaining the honor of his fellow military men and women.
Along with many other soldiers, Mr. Gallant suffers from exposure to Agent
Orange in Vietnam, an herbicide that was sprayed on trees and vegetation.
Although he is ill, Mr. Gallant remains dedicated to providing support and
leadership to veterans from all walks of military service.

JOSEPH GALLANT, JR. IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR RUBEN DIAZ, SR.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

DONALD MARSHALL
A lifelong resident of the Greenpoint community, Donald Marshall was drafted
into the United States Army on February 27, 1968. During the Vietnam War,
about 25 percent of all our military forces were draftees. Mr. Marshall was
one of the brave souls whose name was drawn, and he reported diligently
and bravely to serve in the United States Army in a time of great need.
After basic and advanced training, Mr. Marshall was assigned to the 2nd
Battalion, 6th Field Artillery, 3rd Armored Division in Gelnhausen, Germany,
from September 1968 until May 1969. He was then transferred to the
587th Signal Company, 86th Signal Battalion, First Signal Brigade in Tay
Ninh, Vietnam, until he completed his active duty on February 20, 1970. In
recognition of his valiant service, sacrifice and work ethic, Mr. Marshall
attained the rank of Specialist 5 and was awarded the Army Commendation
Medal for his service in Vietnam. His other decorations include the Vietnam
Service & Campaign Medals, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Medal,
New York State Conspicuous Service Star and Medal for Merit.
Since leaving the service, Mr. Marshall has maintained a desire to remain
active in his country, especially in lending a helping hand to his fellow
military men. He joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Vietnam Veterans of
America and Disabled American Veterans as a life member, as well as the
American Legion and Catholic War Veterans as a regular member. There, he
can work every day to help his fellow Army veterans assimilate to civilian
life, and help those who were injured or need other assistance.
Mr. Marshall has served as both Adjutant and Service Officer of American
Legion Post #1771, and is current Commander of Pfc. John P. Czachor VFW
Post #5806, a position he has held since 2013. Mr. Marshall prides himself
on keeping fellow veterans apprised of their benefits as well as changes to
veterans benefit regulations.

DONALD MARSHALL IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR MARTIN DILAN.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

THOMAS MICHAEL HOARE


Chief Warrant Officer 4 Thomas Michael Hoare was born and raised in
Northern Manhattan. Raised in Washington Heights, he attended Incarnation
Grammar School and Saint Nicholas of Tolentine High School. Chief Warrant
Officer Hoare is happily married to his wife, Carolyn, and together they
reside in Inwood.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hoare attended Fordham University where he received
a Bachelor of Arts in Economics in 1986. After graduating from Fordham,
he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. In November 1990,
then a Corporal, Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hoare was mobilized for Operation
Desert Shield and deployed to South West Asia with the 8th Communication
Battalion, 2nd Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Intelligence Group. He
deployed on many other missions, ultimately returning home in March
2005, and currently serves as Executive Officer, Support Company, 6th
Communication Battalion.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hoare has been active in his community as well.
He is a Trustee of Good Shepherd Parish and a member of their finance
committee, former organizer with the William B. Burke, Division #3 Ancient
Order of Hibernians, Commander of American Legion Inwood Post #581, Vice
Commander New York County American Legion, past-President and Trustee
of the Good Shepherd Mens Club, former member of Inwood Patrol, former
District Leader for the 72nd Assembly District, County Committee member,
Judicial Delegate, and a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Marine
Corps Officers Association and the American Legion.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hoare has received many military awards and
recognitions due to his unlimited dedication and commitment to the freedoms
of our country. Some of these include, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation
Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, with one gold star, Army
Achievement Medal, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal with five stars,
Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Unit
Commendation, Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal with four stars, and a
National Defense Medal with one star, among many others.
Chief Warrant Officer 4 Hoares loyalty to the liberties of his country is
unmatched, as he has dedicated his life to protecting our freedoms.
THOMAS MICHAEL HOARE IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR ADRIANO ESPAILLAT.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JAMES IRWIN
Torpedomans Mate 2nd Class James Irwin enlisted in the United States Navy
in October 1966. Assigned to the nuclear powered ballistic submarine USS
Theodore Roosevelt, he served as the ships small arms petty officer and was
certified as a nuclear weapons handler. During four years on active duty, Mr.
Irwin completed six deployments, totaling over one year under the ocean,
earning him the Submarine Warfare Medal.
Following his honorable discharge in December 1970, and even as he
searched for a job, Mr. Irwin was committed to helping his fellow veterans
in need. He worked for the United States Treasury Department as a Customs
Patrol Officer and Inspector. In 2000, he became a founding member of the
Albany-Saratoga Submarine Veterans, a local chapter of US Submarine
Veterans, Inc., and has served as its Base Commander since 2012. From
2006-08 and from 2011 to the present time, Mr. Irwin has served as Northeast
Region District 5 Commander, overseeing the operation of all submarine
veteran bases in New York State north of New York City. He represents the
local members of a national organization composed of 13,000 members
throughout the U.S. and works to perpetuate the memory of those who made
the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country, going down with their ship.
Mr. Irwin has received a number of awards in recognition of his courageous
effort and willing sacrifice, including the 2010 Robert Link Award for
his work in preserving the WWII submarine USS Croaker, the 2012 Silver
Anchor Award for local community service, and the National 2015 District
Commander of the Year Award.
In Ballston Spa, Mr. Irwin serves as Commander of American Legion Post
234 and as a trustee of VFW Post 358. He also works closely with the Naval
ROTC Unit at RPI in Troy and with the Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit in
Ballston Spa.

JAMES IRWIN IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR HUGH T. FARLEY.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

ARTHUR PEARLMAN
Arthur Pearlman was born in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn in
1947 and spent most of his young life growing up in East New York. An
accounting student at Brooklyn College, he decided to join the U.S. Air
Force in November 1965 after speaking with a recruiter. Air Force testing
showed an aptitude for electronics so, after completing Basic Training at
Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, Mr. Pearlman went to Biloxi, Mississippi,
to complete electronics courses before being assigned to repair radio and
communications equipment on planes. Wherever the planes went, thats
where we went, recalls Arthur, whose first assignment was at Stewart Air
Force Base in Newburgh, New York.
In February 1968, Mr. Pearlman was sent to Saigon, Viet Nam, where he
would remain until August of that year. It was the height of the Tet Offensive
and many of Arthurs comrades would not return home again.
Mr. Pearlman spent a total of three years, two months and 29 days in service
to the United States, retiring as a Sergeant. He sums up his memory of the
military: I loved it. If not for the fact that its not a place to raise an Orthodox
family, I might have stayed.

ARTHUR PEARLMAN IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR SIMCHA FELDER.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

EDWARD SPRINGER, SR.


Edward Springer, of St. James, has spent the majority of his life dedicating
himself to his community, his county and his country. Since joining the St.
James Fire Department in 1971 at age 18, he has continually served his
fellow residents in numerous ways for more than 45 years.
In 1972, during the Vietnam War, Mr. Springer joined the United States
Armys 101st Airborne Division. After serving his nation, he was honorably
discharged in 1975 with the rank of Sergeant.
Returning home in 1975, Mr. Springer rejoined the St. James Fire
Department. He was named Chief in 1988, and also served as the president
of the fire department. Mr. Springer worked as an emergency technician
with the department for more than 25 years as well.
In addition to his volunteer efforts, Mr. Springer has been committed to
serving his Suffolk County community for more than 40 years. He began
as a firefighter at the Northport VA hospital in 1976 and was named Chief in
1984. In 1988, Mr. Springer was named to the position of Fire Marshal with
the Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services. His
efforts, which include running the only Suffolk County Arson Detection K9
program, led to his being named the Chief County Fire Marshal in 2011. He
held that position through his retirement in January 2016.
Though retired, Mr. Springer continues to serve his community as the
Commissioner of the St. James Fire District. He is also Commander of the
American Legion Post 1152 in St. James.
Mr. Springer and his wife, Therese, are the proud parents of St. James Fire
Department Chief Edward Springer, Jr., who is married to Christine, and a
daughter, Christine Amato, wife of Anthony Amato. Mr. and Mrs. Springer
are the grandparents of six.

EDWARD SPRINGER, SR. IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JOHN FLANAGAN.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JOHN WHITE
John White, born and raised in Rochester, New York, served his country with
unmatched bravery as a United States Marine. After returning from combat,
he became Senior Vice President of Sales and Product Development for
Priority Management Systems, a global management training company.
As an Infantry Captain in the United States Marine Corps from 1966 to 1973,
Mr. White served heroically in Vietnam, Guantanamo Bay, Quantico, Camp
Pendleton and Camp Lejeune. He was severely wounded in Vietnam, and
spent 14 months in various naval hospitals. Mr. White dedicated and risked
his life for his country, approaching every assignment with a fervent desire
to succeed and to excel. For his actions in combat and for his sacrifice, he
received the Silver Star and the Purple Heart.
After serving his country for seven years, and then moving back home to
Rochester, Mr. White wanted to remain involved with his community and with
the military. He is an active member and past-President of the Rochester
Rotary Club, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Rochester General
Hospital Foundation, the Reid Petroleum Corporation, and Rochester Steel
Treating Works. As a veteran, Mr. White understands the help that his fellow
veterans need, not only simply assimilating back to civilian life, but also in
assistance and recovery. He is a core team member of 1 Team 1 Fight, an
organization assisting local veterans, and is a committee member for the
Gold Star Families Memorial, which honors families who have lost a loved
one in combat.
The United States Marines are thought to be the toughest, bravest and most
courageous soldiers of them all. Always the first on the front lines, when a
man joins the Marines, he does so out of love for his country and the people
of his country. One small way we can begin to thank these men for their
unbelievable sacrifice is to give them special recognition whenever we are
able.

JOHN WHITE IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR RICH FUNKE.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

WENDELL H. SCHILLINGER
Drafted into the U.S. Army in 1951, Wendell H. Schillinger underwent
Airborne Training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and served with the 5th Calvary
during the Korean War. After being injured in battle, Mr. Schillinger was
treated at a hospital in Japan before being reassigned to the 252nd Truck
Company and re-deployed to Korea. When Mr. Schillinger left the United
States Army, he was discharged with the rank of Sergeant.
Sergeant Schillinger was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the
Korean Service Medal. He also received the NYS Conspicuous Service Medal
and the NYS Medal for Merit.
After completing his military service, Sergeant Schillinger spent 30 years
with Hawkeye Aerospace as a development technician. He is an active
member of American Legion Ely-Fagan Post 1151 in Henrietta, where he
serves on the board of directors. He was instrumental in assisting the Legion
with building updates and renovations, which were donated by town and
local businesses, saving the Post over $30,000.
Sergeant Schillinger serves as an advisor to local officials on military
issues and helps coordinate numerous community-based events, including
the towns veterans concert and the military fly over for the Memorial Day
Parade. He was also active in securing state designation for the Henrietta
Veterans Memorial Highway. His dedication to the needs of veterans, the
American Legion and the community is an inspiration for all.
Sergeant Schillinger has selflessly donated his time, experience and
energies wherever and whenever they have been needed. He is a hero
not only to our country but to the Town of Henrietta. We thank him for his
courageous service to our nation and his continued commitment to his fellow
veterans and community.

WENDELL H. SCHILLINGER IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR PATRICK GALLIVAN.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

LUKE GASPARRE
In 1943, Private First Class Luke Gasparre proudly enlisted in the United
States Army. At the young age of 18, Mr. Gasparre trained to become a
soldier and was assigned to the ACORN Division, an infantry division tasked
with breaking through German lines in Germany. Mr. Gaspare bravely fought
in the Battle of the Bulge, which was the highest causality operation by the
end of World War II.
During his service in World War II, and on a freezing winter night while trying
to avoid detection from the Nazis, Mr. Gasparre suffered a gunshot wound
to his right hand, but was able to safely return to his base without further
injuries. Mr. Gasparre was recently awarded the French Purple Heart,
which he received for his bravery and courage in the face of danger and in
recognition of his battle injuries. In addition, Mr. Gasparre is a recipient of
the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.
At the end of the war, Mr. Gasparre returned to his home in Astoria, New
York. In 1964, he had the honor and distinction of beginning his employment
with the United States Postal Service, where he worked for 34 years. For
52 years, Mr. Gasparre has worked as an usher for the New York Mets
organization, where he continues to serve at the age of the 92.
Born in 1924, Luke Gasparre has remained a lifelong resident of Astoria,
and is a loyal husband, and a beloved war veteran. The New York State
Senate thanks Mr. Gasparre for serving his country and is proud to honor the
sacrifice he made to keep our country safe and free.

LUKE GASPARRE IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR MICHAEL GIANARIS.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

GEORGE S. DELIANITES
Staff Sergeant George Delianites entered the United States Army Air Force
in 1943, and was a tail gunner on a B25. He was part of the 13th Air Force,
also known as the Jungle Air Force, and 75th Bomb Squadron, 42nd Bomb
Group, known as the Fighting 13, was stationed in New Guinea.
On January 21, 1945, on his 50th mission, Staff Sgt. Delianites plane was
shot down in the Pacific. He had been in the rear with the radioman, who
was on his first mission and too afraid to come out of the plane. Staff Sgt.
Delianites jumped onto the wing, got the raft, and yanked the radioman out
of the plane and onto the raft as it was sinking. At that point, he did not
know if the other three airmen had made it out. After the plane sank, he was
able to see the other three the pilot, the co-pilot, who was also on his first
mission, and the flight engineer where he paddled over to get them onto
the raft. They were out at sea for two days before being rescued and taken
back to base. After some R&R in Australia, Staff Sgt. Delianites flew 12 more
missions.
In honor of his service and bravery, Staff Sgt. Delianites received the Purple
Heart, Air Medal and Bronze Star. He is a true American hero, who served
his country with honor, putting his life on the line to preserve freedom and
democracy.

GEORGE S. DELIANITES IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR MARTIN J. GOLDEN.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

ROBERT F. MCLEAN
As the father of two children who went on to become lawyers, Robert Bob
McLean does not need to testify under oath; that fear was ever-present
during his service in World War II. During times of combat and military action,
Mr. McLean always kept two things in mind: do your job and acknowledge
your God. That mindset helped him through the fear as a crewmember of PT
Boat 461 in the time leading up to, then during and after, the D-Day Invasion.
During WWII, Mr. McLean declined an opportunity to train with the Navy
Seals, and then served in the Navy Air Force V-5. His tech ability and a quick
study for signals made him ideal for a Communications Tech position. Mr.
McLean can still recount with vivid detail his experiences with camaraderie,
battle and survival.
Following WWII, Mr. McLean participated in Jesuit retreats for the better
part of a decade. He went on to attend Utica College and afterward, took a
sales position for the Rome Cable Company. He worked there for 10 years,
and then in a similar position with the Thomas & Betts Corporation for more
than 20 years.
Born in Rome, New York, Mr. McLean still calls this area home. While he
envisions a time when he will be reunited to dance again with his late wife
Carol to a Glen Miller standard or Bobby Darin song, he still likes to drive
to visit his CEO son, or his daughter - an author and attorney or any of his
seven grandchildren. An avid skier, Mr. McLean can be seen on the slopes,
and in the warmer months, playing a few holes of golf.

ROBERT F. MCLEAN IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JOSEPH A. GRIFFO.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JULIXA CAMPUSANO
Julixa Campusano has always admired her father, and in 2003 following the
9/11 tragedy, she wanted not only to make a difference for her country, but
also wanted to follow in her fathers footsteps by serving in the United States
Army.
After basic training and advanced training at Fort Lee Virginia, Ms.
Campusano was assigned to the 146th Quartermaster Company located at
Fort Totten Queens. In 2004, she was deployed to Kuwait during Operation
Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. During her 15 months
of deployment, Ms. Campusano was responsible for supervising and
performing tasks involving the general upkeep and maintenance of all Army
supplies and equipment. She was also part of convoys delivering supplies to
soldiers stationed in different areas of Iraq.
Achieving the rank of Specialist after much dedication and hard work, Ms.
Campusano received numerous medals and ribbons, including the National
Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal W/ M Device, Global
War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and Overseas Service Ribbon.
After her deployment, Ms. Campusano joined the Reserve Officers Training
Corps (ROTC) in college. There, she learned and developed her leadership
skills in preparation for a career as an officer in the United States Army
Reserves.
On February 6, 2009, Ms. Campusano completed the Quartermaster Basic
Officer Leadership Course in Fort Lee, Virginia, achieving the rank of 2nd
Lieutenant. She was then assigned to the 1179th Transportation Brigade
located at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn.
Ms. Campusano is a proud mother, daughter and solider who will continue
to prosper in the years ahead. Throughout her time in the army, she has
volunteered with grace, honor and commitment to her nation, which reflects
how selfless, dedicated and brave she truly is.

JULIXA CAMPUSANO IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JESSE HAMILTON.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

FREDERICK WEDIN
Frederick Wedin was raised in Brooklyn, and moved to Levittown, New York,
marrying his high school sweetheart. Married for 50 years, they raised four
children and have five grandchildren.
Mr. Wedin joined the United States Navy and was discharged as a 3rd Class
Petty Officer. During his years of service (1961 to 1965), he served aboard
the aircraft carrier USS Wasp. Mr. Wedin participated in the Cuban Blockade
crisis and rescued astronauts following their landing in the Atlantic.
Following his discharge from the Navy, Mr. Wedin attended John Jay College,
where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. In addition, he
attended two years of electrical college and studied title closings at Hofstra
University.
Mr. Wedin was a New York City Police Officer attached to the Unit Organized
Crime Control Bureau. He has owned a wholesale clothing business and
has been and is still involved with many service groups, including Fraternal
Order of Police, Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks, and board member
community youth program of St. Bernard Church. Mr. Wedins efforts at St.
Bernard Church enabled the expansion of the program and funds for a new
basketball court. He has been Vice Chairman of Toys for Tots, volunteered at
Northport Hospital, and helped special needs children at the Henry Viscardi
School to assemble packages for troops overseas.
Currently Quarter Master, Mr. Wedin is soon to become Jr. Vice Commander
of VRW Post 9592. He has been a member since 1984, and serves on various
boards that raise money for the Post. Mr. Wedin created a group of veterans
and non-veterans to help the elderly, young and disabled in the community.
Mr. Wedin served his country with bravery and honor and continues giving to
his nation through his volunteerism and dedication.

FREDERICK WEDIN IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR KEMP HANNON.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

DOUGLAS CONDIT, JR.


Mr. Condit, after completing two years of college, still had not selected a
major or a career. With the war going on in Vietnam, he enlisted in the Navy
to fulfill his military obligation. Given his college education, he was offered a
military school, and since he had ambulance experience, he chose to become
a corpsman.
The life of a Navy corpsman is unique. The United States Marine Corps does
not have any medical personnel; consequently, Navy corpsmen are assigned
to Marine units to provide medical care. Upon graduation from corpsman
school, Mr. Condit was assigned to school at USMC Camp Pendleton, where
he learned field medicine and how to function as a Marine. After a year at
Pendleton, his unit, 2nd Battalion 27th Marines, was sent to Vietnam during
the Tet offensive. Mr. Condit spent a year there in combat, in the elephant
grass and rice paddies.
During his deployment, Mr. Condit displayed unmatched bravery and valor.
He received numerous awards for his service, including the Combat Action
Ribbon, the Vietnamese Service Medal with USMC insignia and 4 bronze
stars, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and a Good Conduct Medal.
Following his service, Mr. Condit was recruited by the University of Alabama
for a new program that trained former corpsmen to serve the civilian
community as physician assistants (PAs). Upon graduation, he was recruited
by Montefiore Medical Center, which was experimenting with use of PAs as
house officers. Mr. Condit became a PA in the Department of Cardiothoracic
Surgery, where he works to this day. His accomplishments as a PA have
earned him numerous local, regional and national awards.
Like most soldiers, after serving his country overseas, Mr. Condit was driven
to continue helping his community and his country through volunteerism.
He is very active, assisting in registration of 500 new voters in 2008, and
currently serving as Vice President of Friends of the Williamsbridge Oval.
DOUGLAS CONDIT, JR. IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR RUTH HASSELL-THOMPSON.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JEWISH WAR VETERANS USA POST 1


On the evening of March 15, 1896, a group of Jewish men who were union
veterans of the Civil War met in New York City at the Lexington Avenue Opera
House. That night, they formed the Hebrew Union Veterans Association in
response to the false claims by some prominent Americans that Jews were
not patriotic and did not fight in the Civil War.
The organizations presence spread nationally, changing its name to the
Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, which today is the
oldest active veterans organization in the United States. Those same Jewish
Civil War veterans from Manhattan became the original members of Jewish
War Veterans USA Post 1.
Today, the more than 100 members of Jewish War Veterans Post 1 include
veterans of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War and
the War on Terrorism. One of its members was recalled to active duty in April
2015, and was assigned to Special Operations Command.
Jewish War Veterans USA Post 1 is active at the Manhattan VA Medical
Center, where it runs a bingo game for patients, organizes Jewish religious
services and hosts an annual Fleet Week reception for sailors and Marines.
The mission of the Jewish War Veterans is to maintain true allegiance to the
United States of America, to foster and perpetuate true Americanism, to
combat whatever tends to impair the efficiency and permanency of our free
institutions, to uphold the fair name of the Jew and fight his or her battles
wherever unjustly assailed, and to encourage the doctrine of universal
liberty, equal rights, and full justice to all men and women.
On March 15, 2016, Post 1 commemorated its 120th birthday by unveiling a
plaque at the site of the Lexington Avenue Opera House, now a DoubleTree
Hotel.

JEWISH WAR VETERANS USA POST 1 IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK


STATE VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR BRAD HOYLMAN.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

SELWYN BUDDY EPSTEIN


Selwyn Buddy Epstein was enlisted in the Army from 1951 to 1954 as
a member of the 375th Chemical Smoke Generator Company attached to
3rd Infantry Division. In 1951, he served 11 months on the battlefield in
Korea. Mr. Epstein was discharged in 1954 as Private 1st Class.
Mr. Epstein continues to serve his country and fellow veterans as a
member of the advisory board at the Long Island State Veterans Home.
There, he coordinates with the Meadowbrook Womens Initiative Group to
make handmade lap blankets that he picks up and delivers to veterans.
With an unwavering commitment to his community and to his fellow
veterans, Mr. Epstein serves as Senior Vice Commander of the Jewish
War Veterans in Oceanside, New York, and is also Director of the
Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 1. Each year, Mr. Epstein
participates in a Korean Vets program called Tell America, where
veterans spend a day describing their wartime experiences to students
in schools so that these veterans stories are preserved and shared.
Mr. Epstein grew up in Jamaica, Queens, and currently resides with his
wife Marie in Long Beach. In his spare time, Mr. Epstein volunteers at
the Long Beach Soup Kitchen and South Nassau Communities Hospital.

SELWYN BUDDY EPSTEIN IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR TODD KAMINSKY.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JOHN STIEGLER
Devoted to serve his country, John Stiegler joined the United States Navy
in 1971. After completing his training at Naval Station Great Lakes, in Great
Lakes, Illinois, Mr. Stiegler was assigned to the USS Concord (AFS-5), a
combat supply ship supporting the 6th Fleet.
As a Machinists Mate 3rd Class, Mr. Stiegler served for two years in the
Navy, based out of Norfolk, Virginia. He was deployed on the Concord in
the Mediterranean Sea, making ports of call throughout the region in North
Africa, Italy, Greece and Spain, among others. Mr. Stieglers work in the
engine room ensured that the ship continued to operate smoothly.
Since his discharge from the Navy, Mr. Stiegler has dedicated his time to
serving fellow veterans. A 36-year member of the American Legion, he
has served for 20 years as an officer of the Donovan Post 1626, including
three terms as Commander. Mr. Stiegler is also a 10-year member of VFW
Red Jacket Post 3068, serving two years as Commander. He has also been
involved with the Erie County Council VFW, serving as an officer for five
years.
Mr. Stiegler also volunteers at the Buffalo Veterans Hospital. He takes pride
in aiding veterans, whether through helping with a claims process, advising
on proper veterans advocates, or generally being available to assist in any
way he can.
Along with his wife Linda, Mr. Stiegler is a longtime resident of Cheektowaga,
New York. We gratefully thank him for his service to his county, and for his
continued service to fellow veterans.

JOHN STIEGLER IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR TIMOTHY M. KENNEDY.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JIM MULLARKEY
Jim Mullarkey currently serves as Commander of the New York State
Catholic War Veterans. Born, raised and educated in the Bronx, he served in
the U.S. Army Special Forces and Airborne in Vietnam in 1958. Mr. Mullarkey
served in 77th Special Forces on his first tour and 82nd Airborne Division
on his second tour. In fact, his first trip to the Southeast Asian nation was to
help prepare and train a new generation of soldiers in the South Vietnamese
military. Mr. Mullarkey completed parachute school in the Army and joined
the United States Parachute Team, competing in 19 countries. In 1969,
he finished in second place in France at La Fete de Gauche, and he has
parachuted into Van Cortlandt Park to honor his friend Joe Dunne, carrying
Dunnes burial flag.
Mr. Mullarkey continues to pay tribute to his fellow veterans. Throughout the
years, he has provided dignified funeral services for 48 indigent veterans
as a final salute to these brave men and women. He also distributes burial
flags to fellow veterans. When asked what his greatest accomplishment is,
Mr. Mullarkey, like many veterans, insists that he will never leave his fellow
soldiers behind.
Mr. Mullarkey is the author of patriotic prose, including Dont Grieve for Me,
which speaks in the voice of the deceased, stressing the fullness of lifes
experiences. In addition, he has received many awards, including the Bronx
Board of the Ancient Order of Hibernians Service Award, Honor of the Order
of Saint Sebastian and the Catholic War Veterans Nationwide Man of the
Year Award.
An accomplished visual designer, Mr. Mullarkey designed a war memorial
painting at a subway station at Bainbridge and Jerome Avenues which
depicts soldiers and incorporates patriotic phrases. He has also created a
tribute to his fellow sandhogs on a handball court at a Manhattan school.
Mr. Mullarkey is the proud father of Mary, Jacqueline, Candice, Diane, John
and Michael. He has 17 grandchildren.
JIM MULLARKEY IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JEFFREY D. KLEIN.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

MIKE SULSONA
Mike Sulsona served as a Marine in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971, as a rifleman
in an infantry unit. On January 15, 1971, while on patrol, Sergeant Sulsona
stepped on a detonated land mine. The explosion resulted in multiple
wounds, including the amputation of both his legs above the knee. Due to his
courageous sacrifice for his country, Sergeant Sulsona received an honorable
discharge in October 1971, after receiving a promotion to Sergeant and being
awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
In the following years, Sergeant Sulsona attended college and graduated
with honors from Goddard College with a Masters Degree in Writing. In
1989, he received the prestigious Kennedy Center Award for playwriting,
and later appeared in the Academy Award-winning movie, Born on the
Fourth of July, and the documentary, Hearts and Minds. He also received
a national award for his play, Who We Are/How We Love, and has been
nominated for a Writers Guild of America Screenwriting Award for his script,
North of Manila.
In his 40 plus years home, Sergeant Sulsona has spent much of his time
and energy on veterans in need. He always puts others before himself,
helping fellow veterans who are suffering from Agent Orange exposure,
as well as the homeless, amputees, burn victims and those suffering from
post traumatic stress disorder. Sergeant Sulsona assists with paperwork,
making phone calls and keeping appointments, and is available 24/7 when
needed. Sergeant Sulsona is also a member of Rolling ThunderChapter 2
NY, where he volunteers his time and energy to help veterans from all wars.
Sergeant Sulsona and his wife reside on Staten Island to this day, where they
are both avid community volunteers.

MIKE SULSONA IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR ANDREW J. LANZA.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

MARIA DEL PILAR RYAN, PH.D.


Colonel Maria del Pilar Ryan served 27 years in command and staff positions,
including as commander of the largest field artillery battery in the United
States Army. A native of New York State, Colonel Ryan had service in her
blood, as her grandmother served in the United States Navy in World War I.
Colonel Ryan is a 1986 graduate of the United States Military Academy at
West Point. She continued her education, earning her M.A. and Ph.D. at the
University of Pennsylvania.
Colonel Ryan began her career in the Third Armored Division in Germany,
and was stationed there at the fall of the Berlin Wall. Other assignments
during her service include: senior military intelligence officer for the Armys
III Corps Artillery, Weapons of Mass Destruction counter-proliferation
strategist in United States Forces Korea, and Chief of International History
and full professor at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Upon her retirement from the Army in 2013, Colonel Ryan received the
Compass Award from the Womens Leadership Exchange, given to those
who have shifted the paradigm of how women are perceived as leaders.
Colonel Ryan lives with her family in New Windsor, New York, and continues
to work in the field of leadership and leader development.
Distinguished members of the United States Army who served so valiantly
and honorably in times of conflict, deserve a special salute from the
representatives of the State of New York. Our nations veterans, like Colonel
Maria del Pilar Ryan, Ph.D., deserve to be recognized, commended and
thanked for their military service and their dedication to their nation.

MARIA DEL PILAR RYAN, PH.D. IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR WILLIAM J. LARKIN, JR.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

VITO PINTO
Whether defending our country, educating our children, or passing legislation
to better our lives, Vito Pinto has always been a person to rely on. A Vietnam
veteran, Mr. Pinto served in the United States Navy as a Naval Flight Officer/
RIO in Fighter Squadron VF-96 in the F4 Phantom aboard the carriers USS
Ranger and USS Enterprise in the Tonkin Gulf. He flew combat missions
in both South and North Vietnam. Mr. Pinto has been a strong advocate for
veterans throughout his lifetime and is a member of the Lt. Col. Sam DiRienzo
VFW Post 2285, The Leroy Gregory American Legion Post 979 and the Vietnam
Veterans of America Chapter 49 and Military Officers Association.
Mr. Pinto has demonstrated care and concern for community through
his involvement as a teacher and guidance counselor, coach and student
government advisor in the Tuckahoe School District. He is a strong supporter
of the DARE Program in the Tuckahoe and Eastchester School Districts, and
is known for never leaving home without displaying his DARE pin on his
suit or sport jacket lapel. Coach Beans thoroughly enjoyed coaching
varsity wrestling, volleyball and basketball where his teams won many
league titles and sectional championships, and made it to the State finals. Mr.
Pinto has always believed in getting students involved, and led by example,
coordinating fundraisers, clothing and food drives and other activities to
benefit those in need, especially senior citizens and veterans.
Mr. Pinto served his community well during more than 27 years in elected
office as a Village Trustee, Town Councilman and County Legislator
representing District 10. He has been instrumental in local and county
partnerships in recreation fields and programs, parks, public works projects,
environmental issues, public safety-safe gun storage and social host law,
and senior citizen programs and housing.
Mr. Pinto recently served for five years as Director of Westchester County
Veterans Service Agency, partnering with multiple community organizations
to serve as an advocate and leader for both the veterans and youth of
Westchester.
VITO PINTO IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR GEORGE LATIMER.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

WILLIAM BILL HUGHES


Bill Hughes served in the United States Air Force as a Pararescueman from
1969 to 1974; he was a founding member of the Pararescue Team, 106th Rescue
Group, New York Air National Guard, serving from 1975 until 1991, and retiring
as a Senior Master Sergeant. A decorated Vietnam veteran, Bill received the
Distinguished Flying Cross, several Air Medals and the Meritorious Service
Medal, along with numerous other awards and decorations.
Bill had a career in the Southampton Town Police Department, retiring
as a lieutenant. He is currently an active volunteer in several service and
veterans organizations, including: Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5350,
Commander/Legacy Life Member; American Legion Post 924, Hampton
Bays; The Pararescue Benevolent Association - Board of Directors; Boy
Scouts of America; National Eagle Scout Association - Life Member; and the
Knights of Columbus, Hampton Bays/East Quogue - Past Grand Knight. Mr.
Hughes was the Top Fundraiser for Wounded Warrior Ride - The Hamptons
in 2009 and 2010.
For five years, Bill has served as the Commander of VFW Post # 5350. He
managed the huge undertaking of relocating the Post to its current location
in Westhampton Beach. There, Bill runs an active branch with emphasis on
veterans and youth, and specifically supporting the local military men and
women of the 106th Rescue Wing. He has instituted new programs and made
the Post the fastest growing in New York State. The Post runs one of the most
robust Patriots Pen and Voice of Democracy Programs in the district, with
students consistently placing at the highest levels. In addition, Mr. Hughes
has worked with both Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to advance themselves and
the VFW.
Bill and his wife Linda live in Hampton Bays and have two adult children,
Elizabeth and Will. His selection into the New York State Senate Veterans
Hall of Fame is a fitting honor in recognition of his patriotism and service to
our country.
WILLIAM BILL HUGHES IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR KEN LAVALLE.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

ROCCO V. DONOFRIO
Rocco DOnofrio was born and raised in Utica, New York. In 1942, at the age of
18, he enlisted in the Army to serve and defend his country. Upon completion
of boot camp at Camp Hood, Texas, Sergeant DOnofrio was then sent to
Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky, where he was trained as a Tank Destroyer.
Following Sergeant DOnofrios advanced tank destroyer training, he was
assigned to the 20th Tank Destroyer Battalion and went to fight World War
II in England. After a brief time there, he was sent to France, where he saw
action on Omaha Beach and later saw combat duty at the Battle of the Bulge.
It was there he was captured by the Germans, but not before he and his team
destroyed their own tank.
Sergeant DOnofrio was imprisoned by the Germans at a camp on the Elbe
River, commonly known as Camp Lilienstein. He escaped from the POW
camp twice, was recaptured on his first escape, but made it to allied lines on
his second escape and was quickly returned to his unit.
After being honorably discharged from military service, Sergeant DOnofrio
returned to his hometown of Utica, where he and his wife raised two
daughters. He worked throughout the North Country for over 48 years as a
wine and spirits representative/salesperson, and during his many trips to
the Tupper Lake area, fell in love with the region. Sergeant DOnofrio resides
in the Tupper Lake area to this day, and is an active member of both the
Edmond Bujold VFW Post 3120 and the Benjamin Churco American Legion
Post 220.
Sergeant DOnofrio displayed a tremendous amount of bravery overseas as
a tank destroyer and POW during World War II. His courage and loyalty to his
nation are honored and appreciated more than can be expressed.

ROCCO V. DONOFRIO IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE VETERANS


HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR BETTY LITTLE.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JOHN CONDON
John Condon, nicknamed Big Jack by his fellow soldiers, began his United
States Army basic training in August 1968 at Fort Dix. He was then moved to
artillery school at Fort Sill, and infantry school at Fort Benning. From July
1969 through July 1970, he served with the Fire Direction NCO (E-5) with
the 3/82 Field Artillery RVN in support of the 196th Light Infantry Brigade,
America 1 Division. Mr. Condon served nobly and with heart. Always putting
courage before fear, Mr. Condon reached the rank of Sergeant and was
honorably discharged at the end of his brave service.
Mr. Condon went on to graduate from Seton Hall University in 1968, where
he played varsity soccer and was named to the Deans List. He earned a
Master of Public Administration and Planning from Long Island University.
Mr. Condon is a 42-year resident of Huntington Station.
Mr. Condon married the love of his life Jeanne M. Schulz Condon and together
they have two children. One son, Lt. Col. Garrett M. Condon, lives in Zachary,
Louisiana, with his wife Lauren Edwards Condon; his daughter, Dr. Megan K.
Condon Czuba, lives in Sayville, New York, with her husband Martin.
Always recognizing the importance of remaining active in the community,
Mr. Condon understands how important it is to help his fellow veterans. He is
committed to helping veterans re-assimilate to civilian life, making sure that
they understand their rights as veterans and the benefits to which they are
entitled. He is past-Commander and life member of the Veterans of Foreign
Wars Nathan Hale Post #1469 Huntington, and is former Vice President of
the Huntington Town Veterans Advisory Board.

JOHN CONDON IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR CARL L. MARCELLINO.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

WILLIAM B. ALLENDORPH
William Allendorph began his service in the United States Army as a draftee
in Troy, New York, January 1967. In June of that year, following basic and
advanced infantry training, he entered Infantry Officer Candidate School
and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant in May 1968. Mr. Allendorph received
orders for specialized training in advance of his deployment to Vietnam,
which included the study of the Vietnamese language and other duties and
responsibilities necessary to serve as an advisor to combat forces of the
Vietnamese army.
In Vietnam, Mr. Allendorph was detailed to Quang Tin Province in the 1
Corps Tactical Zone, where he served as Mobile Advisory Team Leader.
He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 1969. Mr. Allendorphs duties were
to assist the Vietnamese regional and popular forces in military operations
against the enemy, resulting in numerous and deadly engagements. One of
the most gratifying missions he commanded in Vietnam was rescuing an
imprisoned U.S. Army soldier, Specialist 4 Larry D. Aiken. Following his tour
in Vietnam, Lieutenant Allendorph was promoted to Captain and assigned
to the John J. Kennedy Special Warfare School. He received training as a
Special Forces Officer and also the Green Beret. For his service and bravery,
Sergeant Allendorph received 3 Bronze Stars, Army Commendation Medal,
Combat Infantry Badge, U.S. Army Parachutist Badge, National Defense
Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, New York State
Conspicuous Service Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry
with Bronze Star.
Sergeant Allendorph was honorably discharged on May 1, 1971, and returned
to Wynantskill, New York. He and his wife, Diane, are the proud parents of
four sons, John, Jason, Scott and David, and one daughter, Bess, who passed
away in 2002. Sergeant Allendorph worked for the U.S. Postal Service in
several different Capital District locations, retiring as USPS supervisor of
customer service in Mechanicville in 2004.

WILLIAM B. ALLENDORPH IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE VETERANS


HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR KATHLEEN A. MARCHIONE.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

LEWIS LICHT
Like so many of the Greatest Generation, Marine Corps Corporal Lewis
Licht is a hometown hero who answered the call to serve our country against
the forces of tyranny in World War II.
Corporal Licht was born and raised in New York City and graduated from
the prestigious Bronx High School of Science. He joined the Marine Corps
in February 1943 and was assigned to the VMB-611 squadron, one of seven
Marine Corps squadrons flying B-25 bombing missions in the Pacific Theatre.
He flew 27 combat sorties as a radio-gunner, providing air support to Allied
ground troops fighting the Japanese forces in the Philippines, including the
Eighth United States Armys invasion against enemy bases at Mindanao and
Borneo.
For his brave and devoted service, Corporal Licht earned the Distinguished
Flying Cross, the Air Medal with three gold service stars, the Navy Unit
Commendation Medal, the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific
Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars, the World War II Victory
Medal, the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, the Philippine Liberation
Medal with one bronze service star, the New York State Conspicuous Service
Cross with four silver devices, and the New York State Conspicuous Service
Star.
After his military discharge, Corporal Licht went to college, receiving
his bachelors degree Phi Beta Kappa from New York University and his
doctorate from New York University Dental School. He had a successful
dental practice in Flushing, Queens, for 60 years before retiring three years
ago at the age of 89.
Corporal Licht has resided in Roslyn Heights since 1956 and is a member of
American Legion Post 144 in Williston Park. He and his wife Barbara were
married for 51 years and raised two daughters, Lisbeth and Carolyn. He is
also the proud grandfather of two granddaughters, Lindsay and Chelsea.
LEWIS LICHT IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JACK MARTINS.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

LESLIE ELLIS LEWIS


Leslie Lewis, who was born and raised in the Bronx went off to fight in World
War II when he was just 18 years old. Eventually relocating to Scarsdale, Mr.
Lewis raised two sons, Robert and Mark, before moving to Brooklyn in 1982.
There, he settled into a home on Wyckoff Street between the Gowanus
Housing Projects and the Wyckoff Housing Projects. Shortly thereafter, he
joined the precinct community council.
Mr. Lewis worked for 30 years in the exhibition business, eventually
becoming president of the Greyhound Exposition Company. In his trade show
capacity, and always maintaining concern for minority areas, he developed
the Job Power concept as a way to bring employers to unemployed urban
minorities. This concept was recognized by then-President Nixon, and is
known as the modern day job fair.
These experiences led Mr. Lewis to begin work as a liaison between people
and their elected officials. Upon moving to Brooklyn in 1982, he developed
a relationship with the District Attorneys office in an effort to improve
community relations. In his capacity as police liaison, as well as Council
President of the 84th Precinct, Mr. Lewis serves as a switchboard between
Borough President Adams, the Brooklyn District Attorneys office, the police
and his 2.5 million constituents.
Mr. Lewis gathers complaints from the public and then communicates them
to the police, making sure that something gets done about them. Crime has
seen a dramatic decrease in the 84th Precinct, going down more than 90%
since 1990, according to NYPD statistics. Due to the efforts of community
leaders like Mr. Lewis, Brooklyn neighborhoods have a high quality of life,
are more walkable and real estate is more valuable.
For all of his work, Mr. Lewis was recognized with a Congressional
Commendation from Congressman Ed Towns in February 2012. The efforts
of community leaders like Mr. Lewis make Brooklyn neighborhoods a safe
place to live, and we are thankful for his service.
LESLIE ELLIS LEWIS IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR VELMANETTE MONTGOMERY.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

CLAYTON O. CARPENTER
Major Clayton O. Carpenter of the 160th Special Operations Aviation
Regiment died on January 15, 2014, while flying his Blackhawk helicopter
on a training mission near Hunter Army Airfield, Savannah, Georgia. He was
laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery on March 5, 2014.
Major Carpenter was born in Brooklyn in 1983, and his family relocated to
Cortlandt Manor, where he spent his childhood. In 2001, Major Carpenter
accepted an appointment into the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, with
nominations from former Vice President Al Gore and U.S. Representative
Sue W. Kelly. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point
in 2005.
Commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant, Major Carpenter was assigned to Fort
Rucker, Alabama, for Initial Entry Rotary Wing Training. After completing
the Aviation Officer Basic Course, he was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 25th
Aviation Regiment at Wheeler Army Airfield, Hawaii, and deployed in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in June 2008. He also served in Iraq as
a Headquarters and Headquarters Company Commander, and deployed in
support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in September 2011. He arrived at the
160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) in September 2012
for Officer Green Platoon and served as an MH-60M Platoon Leader in C
Company, 3rd Battalion, 160th SOAR(A).
Major Carpenters awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service
Medal (w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster), Air Medal (w/Numeral 2), Army Commendation
Medal (w/Valor Device), Meritorious Unit Citation (w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster),
National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal (w/Bronze
Service Star), Iraq Campaign Medal (w/3 Bronze Service Stars), Global War
on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon
(w/Numeral 3), and NATO Medal. At the time of his death, Major Carpenter
was a Captain. He was posthumously promoted by the Army to Major and
awarded another Meritorious Service Medal.
CLAYTON O. CARPENTER IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR TERRENCE MURPHY.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

FRANK J. PULLANO
Frank J. Pullano of Geneva, New York, died on Friday, February 12, 2016, at the
age of 86. He is being honored posthumously for his sacrifice and dedication to
maintaining the freedoms of our country.
Mr. Pullano proudly served his country as a member of the New York State
National Guard, earning military awards for his dedication and commitment,
including the Good Conduct Medal and the Meritorious Service Award. In 1980,
Frank retired as the Deputy Public Affairs Officer for the New York State Division
of Military Affairs.
Mr. Pullanos commitment to excellence and his spirit of humanity carried over
into all fields of enterprise, including charitable and civic endeavors. His devotion
to the betterment of humanity led him to serve as chairman of the Heart Fund
Drive, the March of Dimes and the Cancer Fund, and he was one of the founding
fathers of the Geneva Junior League Football.
With a sense of civic responsibility, Mr. Pullano acted as co-chairman of Genevas
Bicentennial and past-president of both the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and
Geneva Growth. He helped found Geneva Scholarship Associates, which has sent
over 150 local students to Hobart and William Smith Colleges since its inception.
He was a member of numerous worthy organizations, including American Legion,
Knights of Columbus, Hydrant Hose Fire Company, Sons of Italy, the Military
Officers Association of America and the Disabled American Veterans.
Mr. Pullano was named 1980 Man of the Year by the Geneva Italian Club and
was presented with the New York State Liberty Award from the New York State
Senate, the Presidents Award from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the
DeSales Alumni Hall of Fame Award, and the Humanitarian of the Year Award
from the American Legion Winnek Post 396, and the Share the Light Award from
Catholic Charities.
A true American patriot, Mr. Pullano served his country and community with
honor and distinction. We thank him for his service to our nation.

FRANK PULLANO IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR MICHAEL F. NOZZOLIO.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

P. EARLE GLEASON
P. Earle Gleason proudly served his nation upon being drafted into the United
States Army in 1968. A distinguished Vietnam War combat veteran, who
served with the Americal Division, Mr. Gleason was awarded the Combat
Infantrymans Badge, the Bronze Star, and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry
with Palm. He was honorably discharged with the esteemed rank of
Sergeant.
A lifelong resident of Yates County, Sergeant Gleason has dedicated a lifetime
of commitment and service to his country and to his home community,
particularly in service to local veterans when he began a career with the
Yates County Veterans Service Agency as Service Officer in July 1994,
becoming Director of the Agency in September 1994.
For more than two decades as Director of the Yates County Veterans Service
Agency, Sergeant Gleason was respected as a tireless advocate for his
countys more than 2,000 veterans, as well as by the community at large
through his dedication to community service within the Johnson-Costello
American Legion Post 355 and as a Milo Town Councilman for 24 years. He
currently serves as a Yates County Legislator.
In 2008, P. Earle Gleason was honored by the Department of New York
American Legion as Service Officer of the Year. He has served as a guardian
for two Rochester Honor Flights, an organization which benefits from his
volunteer service.
Sergeant P. Earle Gleason has embodied the truest ideals of citizenship,
sacrifice and service as a soldier, a veteran, and in dedication to his fellow
veterans, his community and his family.
Over the course of his life and service, P. Earle Gleason has been guided by a
sense of duty and enduring code of service. He is a symbol of patriotism and
honor for veterans in Yates County, our state, and our nation.
P. EARLE GLEASON IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR THOMAS F. OMARA.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

RONAL BASSHAM
Ronal Bassham left Emerson High School in 1953 at the age of 17 to enlist in
the United States Air Force. He bravely served in Vietnam from 1971 to 1972,
and for his outstanding courage and sacrifice at Quang Tri, he was awarded
the Bronze Star Medal and the U.S. Vietnam Service Medal. Mr. Bassham
retired in 1975 after 22 years of honorable service to his country.
Following his retirement from the Air Force, Mr. Bassham began a new career
with Harrison Radiator in 1977, and in that same year, helped create the first
successful veterans committee in the history of the United Auto Workers
Union. In 1995, with the goal of providing opportunities for younger workers,
Mr. Bassham retired from Harrison Radiator. Since his retirement he has
continued to be a community and union activist, and during the 1990s, helped
write the Living Wage Law for the City of Buffalo. This law has impacted the
lives of thousands of citizens living and working in the City of Buffalo. During
this time, Mr. Bassham also worked with Vietnam Veterans Chapter 681,
and was instrumental in opening the first Residential Post Traumatic Stress
Clinic in Western New York.
In May 2002, Mr. Bassham had a significant leadership role in the Day of
Honoring Event. At last, minority veterans received their long overdue
decorations, and in 2006, Mr. Bassham was appointed by the federal
government to be the Veterans Administration Volunteer Services
Representative for Western New York.
Mr. Bassham is a member of at least 35 community groups. One of his favorites
is the Niagara Military Affairs Council (NMAC). In 2006, Mr. Bassham worked
to open the Womens Residential Clinic, located in Batavia, New York. This
clinic provides support for female veterans suffering from PTSD. He has
also worked to establish the Womens Military Support Network of Western
New York, which aims to assist women at the Batavia and Buffalo veterans
hospitals.

RONAL BASSHAM IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR ROBERT G. ORTT.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

CARMEN S. TURCHIARELLI
Carmen S. Turchiarelli was born in Accadia, Italy. His family moved to the
United States when Mr. Turchiarelli was just five years old, settling in
Buffalo, New York. When Mr. Turchiarelli was 19, he left his job at the Curtiss
Wright aircraft factory to serve in the United States Army.
Mr. Turchiarelli was as a member of the 1st Infantry Division, The Big Red
One, and first saw action on June 6, 1944. On D-Day, his unit was part of the
second wave that landed at Omaha Beach. After nearly 12 hours of intense
fighting, during which time the unit sustained heavy casualties, they were
able to move inland and begin the liberation of Europe.
As the troops fought their way across France into Belgium and Germany,
Mr. Turchiarelli had the opportunity to distinguish himself; using a bazooka,
he destroyed two German tanks during the Battle of Hrtgen Forest. These
actions saved American lives, and for that, he was awarded a Silver Star.
For his bravery, Mr. Turchiarelli also earned a Bronze Star for taking out a
German staff car.
During another engagement, when his unit was falling back, Mr. Turchiarelli
went back for a soldier standing in the middle of a field, who was unable
to move due to shell shock. Mr. Turchiarelli attained the rank of Sergeant,
and although he was never wounded, he did suffer from frozen feet, hearing
impairment and snow blindness.
Mr. Turchiarelli embodies the dedication, hard work and sacrifices of this
nations greatest generation, and we truly appreciate his service to our
country,

CARMEN S. TURCHIARELLI IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR MARC PANEPINTO.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

KINDA THOMAS
Kinda Thomas realized her call to duty and her need to protect the citizens
of her country on the front lines. Her bravery is unmatched, as she sacrificed
the majority of her life to serve in the military to protect the freedom and
interests of the United States of America.
Ms. Thomas joined the Marine Corps in 1996 and served until 2004 in
consecutive tours of duty. During these tours she fought and served
courageously. Her bravery and self-sacrifice kept her and her fellow Marines
in good spirits and ready to face each day with determination and a smile.
Upon ending her last active duty tour, Ms. Thomas enrolled in Brooklyn
College and completed a Baccalaureate in Sociology with a minor in Human
Resource Management and Diversity. Since then, she has worked in an
administrative capacity for the City University of New York, and interned at
the Office of the Manhattan Borough President while working on her Masters
in Social Work.
Ms. Thomas call to help others in need did not end with her military service.
She is tirelessly committed to working with people to organize improvements
to the environment and their neighborhoods.
Since leaving work with the City, Ms. Thomas has worked with Rapid Realty,
Cityscapes Realty and EXIT Realty to help New Yorkers find affordable
housing. She believes that every man, woman and child deserves not
only their freedom, but also the ability to live in decent, affordable and
comfortable housing. She says, Working with diverse people gives me a
thrill, and I feel an immense sense of gratification when I am able to help
others to accomplish their goals.

KINDA THOMAS IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR KEVIN S. PARKER.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

ANDREW P. JACKSON
Andrew Jackson has always appreciated the importance of the written word.
Without it, civilization would still be in the Stone Age. An activist librarian, Mr.
Jackson has served as Executive Director of Queens Librarys Langston Hughes
Community Library and Cultural Center in New York since 1980. There, he
provides extensive outreach to schools, libraries, community organizations,
cultural institutions, correctional facilities and colleges. In addition, Mr. Jackson
has served as a library consultant/advisor to public libraries in Florida, New York
and North Carolina, advocating and sharing his knowledge in order to preserve
the importance of the written language.
Past-President of the Black Caucus of the American Library Association, Mr.
Jackson has served on the BCALA Executive Board since 1996. He has also served
as co-chair of ALAs Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunrise Celebration since
2001, and is a member of the ALA Task Force on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
Locally, Mr. Jackson serves as chair of the Queens Borough Presidents African
American Heritage Planning Committee, York College Presidents Advisory
Council, and is a founding board member of the Corona-East Elmhurst Historic
Preservation Society.
Mr. Jackson co-edited the award-winning book, The 21st Century Black Librarian
in America: Issues and Challenges (2012) and authored Queens Notes: Facts
About the Forgotten Borough of Queens, New York (2010), along with many
published essays.
Mr. Jackson earned his Master of Library Science at Queens College-Graduate
School of Library and Information Studies and a Bachelor of Science in Business
Administration from York College. He was given five African names in recognition
of his commitment to teaching Black history and designing and presenting
cultural programs for the community-at-large.
Mr. Jackson served in the United States Air Force from 1964-1968. He served with
the 4th Air Commando Squadron at Nha Trang Air Base, Vietnam. For his valiant
service to his country overseas, he was selected as First Term Airman of the Year,
received the Bronze Star Medal and Distinguished Unit Citation. Mr. Jackson was
honorably discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant.
ANDREW P. JACKSON IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JOSE PERALTA.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

WALTER E. BRIDGERS
Walter E. Bridgers served in the New Jersey Guard for several years and
completed his basic training with the award and distinction of Trainee Leader
of the Cycle. He continued serving his country in the United States Army for an
additional 11 years, until he was medically retired at the rank of Sergeant E-5.
During his tour, he served bravely as a Combat Medic and a Logistic NCOIC.
Sergeant Bridgers determination resulted in his distinguished military career.
During his service he received multiple medals and letters of achievement,
commendation and appreciation for leadership. His superiors described him
as highly regarded, possessing an excellent reputation among supervisors,
peers, and subordinates, and a credit to the United States Army.
While his last five years in the Army proved to be his most challenging, they
also propelled him into a new life experience. During that time, Sergeant
Bridgers had a life-altering physical injury he broke his back. After undergoing
rehabilitation at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, he was released but not
repaired. Repair required surgery, which was not medically recommended until
his condition further deteriorated. This resulted in Sergeant Bridgers forced
medical retirement in 1986. After his discharge, he decided to pursue a career in
psychology so that he could better understand his physical trauma and transition
to civilian life.
Today, Sergeant Bridgers is a seasoned professional with a Baccalaureate in
Psychology and a Masters in Social Work Administration from Hunter College
School of Social Work. He oversees a government facility for veterans and
their families, working with men, youth, and family service organizations. He is
particularly adept in psycho-educational intervention for post-traumatic stress
disorder, war trauma, male involvement in family planning, and in managing
clinical staff.
Sergeant Bridgers lives and works by the principle of integrity. Colleagues and
clients describe him as a soulful presence, an engaging, humorous, and dynamic
teacher and public speaker, and an influential mentor, leader and helper. He has
demonstrated ability to coach people through crisis and troubleshoot problems
with confidence and humility.
WALTER E. BRIDGERS IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR BILL PERKINS.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

CARLTON RICHARDSON
Carlton Richardson was born on April 24, 1961, in Brooklyn, New York. Upon
graduating high school, he joined the United States Marine Corps at the young
age of 19. In November 1987, Mr. Richardsons hard work and determination
earned him the rank of Sergeant, a major milestone in his life, giving him
the bravery and determination he needed to face his next challenge head on.
The first major foreign crisis for the United States after the end of the Cold
War presented itself in August 1990. Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq,
ordered his army across the border into Kuwait. Within hours of Husseins
directive, Sergeant Richardson and his unit, the Marine Wing Support
Squadron 373, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, were deployed to Bahrain in the
Middle East during the Gulf War.
Through August 1990 to April 1991, Sergeant Richardson served as Supply
Administration Chief alongside his squadron and participated in Operations
Desert Shield and Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. While in
Southwest Asia, his fellow Marines and Sailors of MWSS-373 pumped over
29 million gallons of fuel to tactical aircraft, provided over two million meals,
transported 46 million pounds of ordnance, produced two million gallons of
potable water, treated 18,000 patients, administered 3,200 immunizations,
provided water, electricity and sanitation for eight dispersed billeting areas
and drove over one million accident-free miles. All while under heavy Iraqi
Scud Missile fire, the belief that he would make it home to his wife was
Sergeant Richardsons only defense and he did.
Due to his undeniable valor and bravery, Sergeant Richardson was awarded
a Medal of Honor, the Kuwaiti Liberation Medal, the South West Asia Service
Medal with two Bronze Stars, a Certificate of Commendation and a Good
Conduct Medal. After being honorably discharged, Sergeant Richardson
continues a life of service as the American Legions Post 573 Commander.

CARLTON RICHARDSON IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR ROXANNE J. PERSAUD.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

THOMAS R. WOOD, SR.


WILLIAM CHARLES WOOD III
Thomas R. Wood, Sr. and William Charles Wood III are a rare breed for the
United States military. Twin brothers, they came into the world together
and remained inseparable. So it was no surprise for their family when they
decided to enlist in the military together. Both are driven by their desire to
protect the freedoms our country espouses.
Thomas and William entered military service in 1988, attending boot camp
together at Parris Island, South Carolina. In 1990, the brothers were called
upon to serve their country in the first Gulf War. Thomas served as part of
an amphibious task force aboard the USS Nassau, and William served with a
forward combat unit, Romeo 5/11.
Both men received many awards for their exemplary service, including:
Combat Action Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and Liberating Kuwait Medal.
William also earned the Southwest Asia Service Metal with two Stars,
National Defense Service Award, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, and Rifle
Sharp Shooter Badge. Thomas was awarded a Meritorious Mast for his
actions during a helicopter crash in South Korea, as well as an Overseas
Ribbon with four Clusters.
In 1992, these two distinguished Marines were honorably discharged at the
rank of Corporal. From there, they continued to serve their community.
Thomas and William have been involved with youth sports and as members
of the American Legion for many years. They have been firefighters for
the LeRoy Fire Department for more than two decades, serving in many
leadership positions. William has been named Firefighter of the Year twice.
More recently, Thomas received the Departments highest honor, Medal of
Valor. William and Thomas have dedicated their lives to bettering society,
and together they have achieved so much more than any one man can.
William and Thomas celebrate their family lives as well William and
his wife Kathy have two children, Alyssa and Riley, while Thomas has two
children, Chelsie and Thomas.
THOMAS R. WOOD, SR. AND WILLIAM CHARLES WOOD III ARE NAMED TO
THE NEW YORK STATE VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR MICHAEL H.
RANZENHOFER.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

FATHER MORITZ FUCHS


The child of Swiss immigrants, Father Moritz Fuchs grew up in Fulton, New
York. He was drafted into the United States Army in September 1943 and
completed his initial training at Fort Benning. After training Mr. Fuchs
became a replacement for the 1st Infantry Division, 26th Regiment, 3rd
Battalion.
After arriving in Europe, Father Fuchs engaged in the Battle of Hurtgen
Forest, the longest battle fought on German ground during World War II,
and the longest single battle the US Army has ever fought. Fighting against
German soldiers, nearly every member of his squad was injured or killed.
At just age 19, Father Fuchs courageously continued and soldiered on
through some of the most horrific fighting of World War II. He reached
the rank of Staff Sergeant, and earned many commendations, including
the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, and was selected to serve as bodyguard
to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, chief prosecutor of the
Nuremberg Trials.
Shortly after returning from the War, Father Fuchs entered seminary school
and went on to serve in several parishes throughout the Oswego region.
Today, he is enjoying his retirement and resides in his hometown. Father
Mortiz Fuchs continues to volunteer at local parishes and is never seen
without the Infantry insignia pinned to his lapel.
Father Moritz Fuchs served his country with bravery and honor and continues
giving to his community through his dedicated volunteerism. He is a hero
not only to our country, but also to Oswego County. We thank him for his
courageous service to our nation and his continued commitment to his fellow
veterans and community.

FATHER MORITZ FUCHS IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR PATTY RITCHIE.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

KEITH RIVERA
Born and raised in the Bronx, Keith Rivera began his journey to success
by joining the Army at the age of 18. After completing basic training, he
continued serving his country until 2006, achieving the rank of Sergeant
while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. For his bravery, courage and
dedication, Sergeant Rivera was awarded the Army Commendation Medal,
the Army Good Conduct Medal and National Service and Defense Medal.
Sergeant Rivera is a graduate of Monroe College with an Associate Degree
in Information Technology and Bachelor of Business Administration. He has
been recognized academically on both the Deans and Presidents Lists. As
the founding president of the Monroe College Student Veterans of America,
he helped create a military friendly environment on the campus, where he
selflessly and tirelessly volunteers his time as a spokesman for the veteran
community. Sergeant Riveras military service and work in the community
continues to be recognized; he has been awarded a proclamation from New
York State Senator Jeff Klein, a Citation from New York City Councilmember
Jose Rivera and a Certificate of Appreciation from the Bronx Chamber of
Commerce President Lenny, all in November 2011.
Recognizing the importance of helping his fellow veterans, Sergeant Rivera
has remained active since completing his tour of duty. He served as a veterans
benefit advisor and veterans admission counselor at Monroe College from
2010 to 2013. After leaving that position, he joined the Department of
Veterans Affairs as a service officer for paralyzed veterans and now serves as
a medical support assistant in the Vet Center for Readjustment Counseling.
Sergeant Rivera continues to serve his community as a dedicated advocate
for veterans, and makes himself regularly available to assist veterans in
navigating and understanding the benefits they are entitled to receive for
their service to our country.

KEITH RIVERA IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR GUSTAVO RIVERA.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

FRANK NICOLAZZO
Frank Nicolazzo was born in Calabria, Italy, in 1931. He immigrated to the United
States with his family in 1936 and settled in Newton, Massachusetts. Mr. Nicolazzo
courageously joined the United States Army in September 1952, and served as a
member of the 700th Ordnance Company, 45th Infantry Division.
Mr. Nicolazzo was honorably discharged in 1954 with the rank of Sergeant. While
in the service, he earned the Korean Service Medal with two battle stars, the
United Nations Korean Service Medal, and the National Defense Ribbon. Most
importantly to Mr. Nicolazzo, however, was receiving his U.S. citizenship papers.
In 1967, Mr. Nicolazzo and his growing family moved to Rochester, New York,
where he opened a family bakery. Since that time, he has demonstrated his
expertise in baking at a number of well known locally owned bakeries. Even in
his retirement, Mr. Nicolazzo continues to work as a part-time baker at Tops
Supermarkets.
Mr. Nicolazzo joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1988, with membership in
the Thomas F. Healy Post #16. His steadfast leadership gained him a two-term
tenure as VFW County Commander, and 8th District Commander, an area that
encompasses Monroe and Wayne counties, as well as the Finger Lakes region.
In 1989, 36 Korean War veterans, including Mr. Nicolazzo, formed Monroe County
#1 Chapter of the Korean War Veterans Association. One of the missions of this
group was to create a lasting memorial for all those who served and died during
the Korean War. A few years later, Mr. Nicolazzo was part of the creation of the
Commemorative Park alongside a well-traveled highway on Monroe Countys
east side. A final step in his efforts to make sure the lives lost during the Korean
War, The Forgotten War, were not forgotten was the renaming of NY Route 441
as The Korean War Memorial Highway.
Mr. Nicolazzo and his wife Judy live in Greece, New York. When he is not involved
with activities at Post #16, he enjoys spending time with his four children, eight
grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

FRANK NICOLAZZO IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JOSEPH E. ROBACH.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JOE ROBERT BROWNE


In 1966 at age 19, Joe Robert Browne was drafted into the United States
Army. Although he was uncertain about what lay ahead of him, he was proud
to have been chosen to defend his country. Mr. Browne served from May 1966
until May 1968, rising to the rank of Sergeant.
Despite injuries and obstacles, Sergeant Browne demonstrated courage and
heroism throughout his time in the military. Perhaps the most conspicuous
example of this occurred on July 21, 1967. Sergeant Browne and other
members of his squad had come under fire while on a mission to assist two
Marine platoons that had been ambushed by a Vietnamese army battalion.
After his squad leader had been fatally wounded and began to fall off their
truck, Sergeant Browne anchored himself by wrapping his arm around a
blazing hot machine gun barrel, and pulled him back onto the moving vehicle.
Although he was in great pain, having been burned severely, Sergeant
Browne remained at his position and loaded all four machine guns until the
10,000 round supply of ammunition was exhausted.
Sergeant Brownes courageous actions were instrumental in denying the
enemy a victory and saved both Marine and Army lives. For his actions, he
received a Bronze Star Medal with V Device, and both a Purple Heart and
Purple Heart First Oak Leaf Cluster. Sergeant Browne also earned a number
of other medals and awards during his time in the service, including a Good
Conduct Medal, a Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal, Expert Rifleman, the
National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service medal with one Bronze
Service Star, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device and NYS Cold
War Recognition Certificate.
After returning to civilian life, Sergeant Browne married and is the father of
seven children. He is a pillar of the community, volunteering with many local
charities and helping his fellow Vietnam veterans in any way he can.

JOE ROBERT BROWNE IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JAMES SANDERS JR.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

LAWRENCE FISHER
Lawrence Fisher, son of John and Ada Fisher, was born April 17, 1941 in
Savannah, Georgia. He attended Savannah Public School and graduated high
school in 1959.
Mr. Fisher relocated to the New York metropolitan area, working various
jobs to make ends meet. He took the firemen civil service exam and was
eventually hired. While employed as a fireman at the 125th Street Station, he
was drafted by the United States Army. Following basic training, Mr. Fisher
went to officer training school at Fort Benning, Georgia. He was assigned to
parachute school, which he successfully completed.
Mr. Fisher was sent to Vietnam as a First Lieutenant, and is proud that he did
not lose a single man under his command. Within a week of being scheduled
to return home on his final detail in Vietnam, Mr. Fisher and his unit were
ambushed and he was shot and captured by the Vietnams Peoples Army.
They held him captive in a foxhole for 137 days. Finally able to escape, Mr.
Fisher got back into U.S. Army territory and was airlifted to the Philippines.
From there, he was transported to Walter Reed Hospital, where he remained
for six months. Mr. Fisher was operated on, and all but one bullet were
removed successfully. The remaining bullet is still lodged in Mr. Fishers
back, and as a result of this injury, he is paralyzed on his left side.
A brave hero, Mr. Fisher has one daughter Veronica and is the proud
grandfather of four.

LAWRENCE FISHER IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR DIANE SAVINO.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

DIANA B. GAETANO
A true champion for women in the military, Diana B. Gaetano served as a
Staff Sergeant in the United States Air Force at one of the most tumultuous
times in our nations history. In her near decade of service, Ms. Gaetano
worked to plan, develop and administer a successful Womens Air Force
Recruitment program throughout Eastern New York, which shaped the lives
of countless women in the area.
After completing her service in 1969, Ms. Gaetano spent time managing her
family and pursuing a rigorous course load independently. She settled in
Poughkeepsie with her husband Frank Gaetano, who graduated from Citadel
and was in the Army until 1975 when he joined the reserves. She worked for
more than 20 years at Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation.
Ms. Gaetanos commitment to serve extends far beyond her time with the
military. As a member and treasurer of the Kiwanis International Club of
Pleasant Valley, Ms. Gaetanos passion for volunteerism helped her promote
and expand the organizations values of justice, patriotism and good will to
benefit the local community. For the past six years, she has been a dedicated
member of the Pleasant Valley Firemens Ladies Auxiliary, playing a vital
role in ensuring the health and safety of those who lay their lives on the line
to fight fires throughout the community.
In 2014, Ms. Gaetano was awarded a Certificate of Congressional Recognition
for her role in actively advancing the universal hope of freedom and liberty
for all, during the Vietnam War. She is a veteran of distinguished character
because of her service both during and beyond her time spent in the military.

DIANA B. GAETANO IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE VETERANS


HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR SUE SERINO.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

SIDNEY T. CLARK
Sidney T. Clark was born in Beckley, West Virginia, but was raised in
Columbus, Ohio, and the Bronx, New York. He joined the United States Marine
Corps at the young age of 17 in an effort to escape New Yorks extremely
hard city life. Sergeant Clarks service in the Marine Corps was during a time
of peace; he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, with the Marine Reactionary
Force traveling on the LST naval ship, going to different countries and
performing various operations.
Sergeant Clark was also stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he
worked on the fence line as Marine security. He then was assigned to the
2nd Marine Division, where he was attached to Fox Company 2/2, serving
nobly and bravely when the school bus was attacked at the Marine Barracks,
Savannah Seca, Puerto Rico. The Company was sent from Camp Lejeune
to Puerto Rico to hunt the terrorists who attacked a school bus. There, he
was one of the NCOs who ran the night patrol up in the rainforests of Puerto
Rico. Marines are often thought to be the bravest of the military elite. Always
on the front lines, putting themselves in danger even at a time of peace.
Sergeant Clark is a glowing example of a Marines readiness to step into
battle to protect our nations safety and freedoms.
After Sergeant Clarks 28 years of military service, he retired and returned
to the Bronx. There, he began volunteering his time at the James J. Peters
Bronx Veteran Medical Center. Sergeant Clark has received numerous
awards for volunteerism in the Outreach Department, including honors
for 3,000 hours of outstanding volunteer service in assisting veterans
throughout the Bronx community and the surrounding counties. Sergeant
Clark, like many veterans, understands that the war does not always end
once they return home. He dedicates his life to helping his fellow veterans
better assimilate to civilian life and understand their rights and the benefits
that they are entitled to from the government they so courageously served.

SIDNEY T. CLARK IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR JOS M. SERRANO.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

PAUL RIECKHOFF
Paul Rieckhoff is the founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America
(IAVA), Americas first and largest Iraq and Afghanistan veteran organization. A
nationally recognized authority on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and issues
affecting troops, veterans and their families, Mr. Rieckhoff served as an Army
First Lieutenant and infantry rifle platoon leader in Iraq from 2003-2004.
Mr. Rieckhoff enlisted in the Army Reserves in 1998, completing basic combat
and advanced individual training at Fort McClellan. He served in the Army
Reserves, as a Specialist with the 812th Military Police Company. While working
on Wall Street, Mr. Rieckhoff transferred to the New York Army National Guard,
graduating from Officer Candidate School in 2001, and was named a Distinguished
Graduate. He then selected infantry as his branch and joined A Company, 1/105th
INF (Light).
Mr. Rieckhoff left Wall Street on September 7, 2001, planning to travel and
complete additional military schooling. Those plans changed on 9/11 when he
heard the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Mr. Rieckhoff immediately joined
volunteers serving in Ground Zero rescue efforts, without a single concern for his
own safety only for the safety of others. His National Guard unit was activated
that evening.
In 2002, Mr. Rieckhoff began infantry officers basic course at Fort Benning,
graduating in June 2002. In January 2003, he was called to deploy to Iraq, and
joined the 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Stewart as a Platoon Leader for 3rd
Platoon, B Company, 3/124th INF (Air Assault) FLNG. The unit was attached to
1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division and spent almost a year conducting combat
operations in Baghdad. All 38 of the men in Mr. Rieckhoffs platoon returned
home alive.
Mr. Rieckhoff was released from active duty in March 2004 and from the National
Guard in 2007. A New York native, he serves on the State Council on Returning
Veterans and their Families always willing to help his fellow veterans.

PAUL RIECKHOFF IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR DANIEL SQUADRON.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

SAMUEL L. REDDIC
Samuel Lee Reddic was born in Meckenburg, South Carolina, on October 27,
1943, and has a twin sister. He moved to Harlem, New York, in the 1950s, and
graduated from Commerce High School in the Bronx in 1961.
Mr. Reddic began his career in the mailroom at Grey Advertising on Park
Avenue in New York City. He saw an ad and applied to become a plumber. It
was the height of the fight for civil rights in this country, and he fought hard
to become one of the first black plumbers apprentices in the local plumbers
union. His work took him from the Brooklyn Navy Yard to nuclear plants in
New Jersey and Illinois. In the fourth year of his plumbers apprenticeship,
on June 10, 1965, Samuel Reddic was drafted into the U.S. Army. After basic
training, he was stationed in Germany with the Third Infantry Division, and
continued his training, becoming a sharpshooter and earning a National
Defense Service Medal. He was honorably discharged in 1971 with the rank
of Specialist 5.
Mr. Reddic finished the final year of his plumbers apprenticeship when he
came back to New York. But, while driving home in 1981, he was shot six
times during a robbery attempt. He still carries two bullets lodged against
his spine. As a plumber, he worked for the New York City Board of Education
until he retired in 2000. He endured at times extreme prejudice on the job;
still, he will tell you with pride that he has been a member of the Plumbers
Local for 50 years. In 1979, Mr. Reddic moved to Yonkers. His wife Millicent is
a nurse. One of his two daughters, Melissa Denise Reddic, also served in the
U.S. Army, completing three tours in Iraq.
When a friend in the neighborhood urged Mr. Reddic to get involved with
the local post, before long, the now 73-year-old became Commander of
the Samuel H. Dow Post in Yonkers. Mr. Reddic works hard to help his local
veterans and recruit new, younger servicemen and women to join the post.
He served on the executive board of HRCA, and the Hudson River Community
Association, and attended Messiah Baptist Church.
SAMUEL L. REDDIC IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR ANDREA STEWART-COUSINS.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

PHYLLIS MILLS CREAMER


1st Lieutenant Phyllis Mills Creamer was born in Kane, Pennsylvania in
1921, one of seven children. A 1942 graduate of the Syracuse General School
of Nursing, Ms. Mills Creamer joined the Army Nurse Corps in December
1943 at Fort Dix, New Jersey, at a time when joining the military was the
most patriotic and honorable thing one could do.
After completing basic training in Atlantic City, 2nd Lieutenant Mills Creaner
sailed from New York City on the Queen Elizabeth to establish the 160th
General Medical Corps near Cheltenham, England, in the Cotswolds. This
hospital soon became the largest U.S. Army hospital in the European Theater
of Operations. Due to her hard work, diligence and tireless efforts, she was
promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 1944.
In late 1945, 1st Lieutenant Mills Creamer sailed back to New York City on
the Queen Mary and was honorably discharged in early 1946. She decided
to further her career in the caretaking field, and studied public health
under her GI Bill at Syracuse University. After graduating from Syracuse
University, she worked at the Visiting Nurses Association in Syracuse until
she married. She retired in 1986, following 16 years at Syracuse Universitys
Student Health Service as a triage and allergy nurse.
Just like many veterans coming home from duty, Ms. Mills Creamer
found it difficult to not be involved in some way. Like so many before her,
understanding the importance of helping her fellow veterans once they come
home from war, she became involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars. She
was Adjutant and then Commander of the Valley Veterans of Foreign Wars
in Syracuse, and is to this day, a charter member of the Women in Military
Service for America Memorial in Washington, D.C.. Ms. Mills Creamer is now
94 years of age.

PHYLLIS MILLS CREAMER IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR DAVID J. VALESKY.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

RICHARD WARREN
As an original member of the Montford Point Marines, a segregated unit of
the U.S. Marines during World War II, Richard Warren knows a thing or two
about struggle and determination.
When he returned home from the war, Mr. Warren dedicated himself to
helping others, ensuring that all veterans were awarded the opportunities
he never had.
Recently, Mr. Warren has helped dozens of veterans obtain their security
officer licenses through a training and certification program he runs at the
Roosevelt American Legion, where he is a Past Commander. Mr. Warren
also inspired the construction of a new monument at the Brigadier General
George A. Jones Triangle, bearing the names of 39 war veterans currently
living in Roosevelt.
Given his humble demeanor, you would never suspect just how much Mr.
Warren has done for the veteran community. In fact, he and his fellow
Montford Point Marines inspired the historic integration of the U.S. Marines
and paved the way for thousands of African Americans to serve their country.
Mr. Warren was honored in Washington, D.C., as he and his fellow Montford
Marines were presented with the Congressional Gold Medal. He was
also presented with the 2013 Veterans Service Award from the Town of
Hempstead.

RICHARD WARREN IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE


VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR MICHAEL VENDITTO.

N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E

VETERANS
H A L L O F FA M E

JOHN B. SAMPSON
John B. Sampson bravely joined the United States Navy when he was just
a young man. He served honorably from August 1967 to February 1972
with assignments on the USS Freemont, APA 44 and at Randolph Air Force
Base in San Antonio, Texas, as part of a joint military command. He was
honorably discharged with the rank 2d Class Personnel Man (E5). Due to his
dedication, courage, sacrifice and hard work, he was recognized with many
awards, including an Air Force Commendation, a Navy Good Conduct medal,
a National Defense Service Ribbon, and following his service, a New York
State Conspicuous Service Medal.
Mr. Sampson made his mark as an accredited Veteran Service Officer
for Cattaraugus County. He held this position for 22 years, during which
time he developed protocol and procedures that are now used statewide.
He has been active within the American Legion, holding positions at the
national, department, county and post levels. In addition, Mr. Sampson
has held positions within the American Legion as the National Chairman
Veterans Education, Other Benefits and Homeless, National Vice Chairman
Americanism, Department Chairman of the Rehabilitation Committee,
Department Chairman Resolutions Committee, Dean American Legion
College of New York and past Department Service Officer of the Year.
Mr. Sampson is a past-president of the NYS Veterans Service Officer
Association and founder of the Cattaraugus-Allegany Joint Veterans
Council volunteer van service. He serves on the Board of Directors for the
World War II Museum, and is a member of Local Draft Board #90 Selective
Service. In addition to being a member of the American Legion, Mr. Sampson
is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Sons of the
American Legion.
Mr. Sampson has proven time and time again that the work does not end
with the end of service. His dedication to his country and to the veterans who
served goes above and beyond the call of duty.
JOHN B. SAMPSON IS NAMED TO THE NEW YORK STATE
VETERANS HALL OF FAME BY SENATOR CATHARINE YOUNG.

Why Veterans are Important


to our Nations History and Future
By Elizabeth Claire Palmer

It is a blustery fall day, the air cool and crisp, the otherwise desolate city

landscape punctuated by the occasional splash of vibrant foliage. I sit in the

passenger seat of the car, the effervescent autumn light ltering across my lap

through the open window. As the car comes to a rest before a red light, I catch

a glimpse of the vehicle in front of me. An old station wagon, the paint chipped
liberally and covered in rust, the bumper is adorned with three weather-worn

stickers. The rst, barely visible through years of wear, states that the driver had

valiantly served in Vietnam. The second, less dilapidated adhesive establishes that

he is also the proud parent of a Marine. The third one succinctly proclaims, If you
love your freedom, thank a veteran.

A profound statementa catalyst for thought.

If not for Americas veterans, we all would be living a vastly different reality.
For over two centuries, our veterans have fought tirelessly to protect and
preserve the democratic ideals upon which our nation was founded.
William Shakespeare once mused, What is past is prologue.

That statement is echoed through the many incarnations of America previous

decades have seen. As aptly expressed by those patriotic bumper stickers, one

era of veterans protects our liberty and passes the torch of service to succeeding
generations.

From the young marine in Normandy to the tanker in Kuwait, the ensign at

Leyte Gulf to the transport pilot at Khe Sanh, veterans have unfailingly defended

our honor, meeting every crisis with poise and perseverance. As the Air Force motto
declares, The difcult we do immediately; the impossible takes a little longer.
Veterans are the authors of our past, the defenders of our present, and the

architects of our future. They serve both for those that they hold dear to their

hearts, and for those that they have never met. It is a testament to our republic that,

according to a national poll, 89 percent of the 2.5 million Iraqi and Afghani veterans
would willingly serve again.

Our veterans are directly accountable for the fate of this great nation. By

defending our country against adversaries, they help foster an environment conducive
to the thinkers and leaders of today and tomorrow. We owe them our rights to vote,

express opinions without fear of retribution, pursue educational goals, and practice our
faith of choice.

Be it curing cancer, AIDS, and other global health epidemics, or nding solutions

to hunger and poverty, we can build a better tomorrow, thanks to the seless sacrices
of previous generations.

While the past requires reection, the future entails hope, belief, and courage.

Through the course of history, Americas veterans have united an ongoing legacy with
optimism and immutable valor, spurring our nations promises to new heights.

Every day an American soldier renounces the guarantee of physical safety, and

eschews the comforts of home, to preserve the rights and protect the lives of current
and future generations alike.

In the moving words of the late Father Denis Edward OBrien, United States

Marine,

It is the soldier, not the reporter, Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the soldier, not the poet, Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the organizer, Who gave us the freedom to demonstrate.
It is the soldier, who salutes the ag, Who serves beneath the ag,

and whose cofn is draped by the ag, Who allows the protester to burn the ag.
The veterans experience is like a prism; the soldiers dedication and sacrice like

a shaft of light refracted back to us in the form of our democratic character. Veterans
do not serve for recognition or praise; they wear the uniform because they love
America and are proud of what it stands for.

Thanks to them, our nation was created on a rm foundation of freedom and

equality. Our present day world, while challenged amid global instability, nonetheless
remains steadfastly free.

As for the future? There are no guarantees. But if our legacy is any indication, the

likelihood is that America will remain the land of the free, because it has always been
the home of the brave.

SPONSORED BY
N E W YO R K S TAT E S E N AT E