Veterans Honored at Medal Ceremony

February 29, 2004

As thousands of U.S. servicemen and women continued to be deployed to Iraq and elsewhere around the globe, New York State's highest military honors were presented to veterans of earlier conflicts this afternoon (Sunday, February 29) at a ceremony entitled "In the Company of Heroes" held at the historic Riviera Theatre in North Tonawanda. Assemblyman Robin Schimminger presented the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross, Conspicuous Service Star and Medal for Merit to veterans who served in the armed forces in World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm.

The medals are awarded by the State of New York in recognition of exceptional bravery, outstanding service or other special accomplishments. Several federal and foreign military honors were also awarded.

In his remarks to the veterans and their families, Assemblyman Schimminger said, "We owe a great debt of gratitude to those who serve in defense of our nation. Our freedom is preserved by their commitment, dedication and courage, and they deserve our unending support and heartfelt appreciation. Our thoughts and our prayers go out to them all, and we look forward to the safe return of those who are now serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and other perilous regions of the globe.

"The veterans before us today are being honored for their service to our nation in earlier times of conflict. These extraordinary individuals are being recognized for exceptional bravery, outstanding service or other special accomplishment in the performance of their duties as members of the United States armed forces. They are, indeed, heroes.

"In the course of their collective service in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps and the Coast Guard, in conflicts ranging from World War II to Korea to Vietnam to Desert Storm, they have earned two Silver Stars, a Gold Star, a Distinguished Flying Cross, seven Bronze Stars, three Purple Hearts, a Meritorious Service award, an Air Medal, four Presidential Unit Citations, three Distinguished Unit citations, and a host of other medals. We are gathered here to honor the truly outstanding service these individuals have given our nation. Their families, their friends and their communities should be very proud."

The medal recipients are as follows:

ARMY: Richard J. Canfield, David N. Davignon, Janet L. Derbish, Roger F. Fremming, William J. Fuller, Jr. (posthumous), Joseph M. Giermek, Benjamin H. Glenn (posthumous), John Gojmerac, William E. Hambridge, Elwood J. Hammond, Jr., Steven S. Heeb, James W. Hooper, Albert J. Lombard (posthumous), Peter Meagher, Frank A. Nemeth (posthumous), Gerald W. Nolan, Mark A. Onesi, Martin Roman (posthumous), Arden Scanandoah, Frank C. Schulz, Henry F. Staffi , William P. Sullivan, Richard Tomasini, Jr., Edward H. Walkowski, Victor E. Wiatrowski, Bert Wydysh (posthumous)

NAVY: Julius Carozzi, Roy Doane (posthumous), Mark Hebert, Joseph A. Toth

AIR FORCE: James L. Widrig

MARINE CORPS: Leonard C. Gademsky, Jr.

COAST GUARD: Marie B. Shaffer