SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Saturday, Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara honors local veterans and families during a Memorial Day weekend event. During the event ceremony at the VIAPORT Rotterdam Mall, the Assemblyman unveiled five new additions to the Veterans Memorial.
- Edward Villano joined the U.S. Army on October 22nd, 1953 at the age of 17, as an Infantry Communications Specialist, 10th Special Forces Group. Villano was a decorated soldier, recognized with a number of military awards and decorations, including a National Defense Service Medal and Army of Occupation Medal. He was honorably discharged on July, 26th 1956.
- Dominick Edward Coppola enlisted in the U.S. Army and was sent to the northwestern part of America where he was trained and became a “Timberwolf” in the 104th Division. Coppola worked as an electrician for the General Electric Company. He recently celebrated his 100th birthday.
- Robert Becker honorably served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a supply chief and platoon sergeant in the Second Marine Division from 1960 until 1966. He then joined the USMC Reserve in 1966 and retired as a first sergeant in 1982. He served as the Grand Marshal of the Rotterdam Memorial Day Parade this year.
- Raymond Sarnacki was drafted into the Navy during World War II and was assigned to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, where the USS Enright was undergoing construction. He became one of the ship’s “plank owners” and served aboard the ship throughout the war and throughout his time in the Navy on the USS Enright. Sarnacki was on convoy duty, serving in the Mediterranean and the Pacific, including on Okinawa. He recently celebrated his 100th birthday. Sarnacki worked at both the American Locomotive Company and General Electric Company.
- Joseph Pierce was a US Army scout in the Philippines during World War II. After surviving the 70-mile Battan Death March, Pierce was a prisoner of war for 38 months and received numerous commendations for his service to our country.
“Memorial Day is a time for us to come together and honor the courageous men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of the principles that unite us as Americans. Having served in the nation’s armed services and a member of the Assembly Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I’m proud to host this ceremony that honors all of those, past and present, who have served our great nation,” said Assemblyman Santabarbara.