State Sen. Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C-Corning) welcomed distinguished area veteran and Schuyler County resident Philip J. Swaney, Sr. to the State Capitol on Wednesday, February 25.
Swaney was saluted by the State Legislature for establishing a statewide program, now known as the “Honor Our Heroes Program,” to recognize veterans who have been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross, Coast Guard Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star, and Silver Star. Legislators paying tribute included Assemblyman Marc Butler of Herkimer County, who worked closely with Swaney to develop Honor Our Heroes.
Swaney, a Vietnam War veteran, is a recipient of the Silver Star, the military’s third-highest decoration for valor. On October 14, 1967, during his third tour of duty in Vietnam, he risked his life to rescue eight of his fellow, wounded soldiers from the battlefield. He is a past Commander of the Schuyler County American Legion and remains active in American Legion Post 676 in Odessa, New York.
O’Mara, Palmesano and Butler sponsored an official Legislative Resolution honoring Swaney’s service, his courage and sacrifice, and lifelong commitment to veterans. The resolution was recently given unanimous approval by the Senate and Assembly and reads, in part, “Having exhibited his patriotism both at home and abroad, Philip J. Swaney, Sr. demonstrates his love for his country and merits, forevermore, the highest respect of his State and Nation.”