Troy man honored with Four Chaplains Brotherhood veterans’ award

Schenectady County
Bill Schaaf

Bill Schaaf, 2020 Four Chaplains Brotherhood Award honoree. (Source: Bill Schaaf)

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Bill Schaaf, 73, of Troy will receive the Four Chaplains Brotherhood Award at a ceremony this Sunday.

Schaaf is a devoted supporter of veterans groups, programs, and services. He serves as the New York captain of the Patriot Guard Riders and president of its board of directors. The Patriot Guard Riders go to military and first responder funerals to guard family members of the deceased from protesters or activists trying to disrupt the service.

Capital District veterans will gather alongside the Jewish War Veterans of the United States and Rep. Paul Tonko to honor Schaaf.

The ceremony is scheduled from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the First Reformed Church on North Church Street in Schenectady. Clark Poling—one of the namesake Four Chaplains—was a First Reformed Church parishioner before his sacrifice in WWII.

Poling and the rest of the Four Chaplains—religious figures embedded in the armed forces to administer to soldiers—died in group prayer on Feb. 3, 1943 when the troopship Dorchester sank. The Brotherhood Award recognizes Capital Region residents like Schaaf with the same selfless and humanitarian attitude.

This is the 55th Annual Four Chaplains Brotherhood Award ceremony. Beginning in 1966, Albany Post 105—the local chapter of the Jewish War Veterans—led the effort to honor civic leaders, community organizers, educators, healthcare providers, and clergy.

Last year’s award went to the Rev. Charlene Robbins.

Iraq War veteran Richard Goldenberg and Cold War veteran Fred Altman will present the award at the event.

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