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Brewster Veterans Among 17 Heroes Inducted into Veteran's Hall of Fame

Seventeen Heroes Who Served With Distinction Inducted Into Senator Murphy's Veterans' Hall Of Fame

A full house of appreciative veterans and their families were on hand at the Moses Taylor Jr. American Legion Post 136 in Mt. Kisco on November 20 when Senator Terrence Murphy inducted 17 former enlisted men into his Veterans' Hall of Fame. The honorees ranged from spry World War II heroes in their 90's to battle-tested combatants who served in Iraq.

"Our veterans should never be forgotten. We should thank them for their service as often as we can," said Senator Murphy. "The sacrifices our veterans have made and the hardships they endured in times of conflict helped preserve our freedom. Many paid the ultimate price so that we can remain free. Without their bravery and unwavering dedication to duty, none of us would be here."

Mt. Kisco Mayor Michael Cindrich made a special presentation in honor of Reverend Steven Clark, recognizing his resolve in the service of his country and tireless dedication to benefit his adopted community of Mount Kisco. Ron Tocci, Director of the Veteran Service Agency for Westchester County, gave a rousing speech about patriotism and the pride he takes in being a veteran. William "Willy" Nazario, Chairman of the Cortlandt Hudson Valley Veteran's Committee and Senior Vice Commander of the Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), said he was honored to be in a room with his fellow serviceman and proud to step up to represent Cortlandt Supervisor Linda Puglisi "Because that's what Marines do. When we're called upon, we step up."

Among the distinguished guests at the ceremony were: Westchester County Legislator Francis Corcoran, Village of Pawling Mayor Robert Liffland, Mt. Kisco Deputy Mayor Anthony Markus, Mt. Pleasant Town Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi, Beekman Town Supervisor Barbara Zulauf, Carmel Town Supervisor Kenneth Schmitt, Lewisboro Town Supervisor Peter Parsons, Yorktown Town Councilman Ed Lachterman, and Mt Kisco Trustees Jean Farber, Peter Grunthal and Karen Schleimer.

The new members inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans' Hall of Fame are:

John Bourges (Carmel). John was a New York City Police Office from July 1981 to August 2001. After his retirement, he earned a nursing degree and worked at the emergency room at Putnam Hospital and intensive care unit at White Plains Hospital. He was hired by the Army at age 50, serving two deployments in Iraq, before transitioning to the Army Reserves in 2007. John is currently the Program Coordinator for the PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Vet to Vet Program of Putnam County. He was elected a County Coroner in 2015, is on the Board of Directors of the Prevention Council of Putnam and is a member of the Putnam County Suicide Prevention Task Force.

Denis Castelli (Brewster). Drafted into the Army in 1967, Denis served as an infantryman with the First Cavalry Division during the Tet Offensive. He received the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, Purple Heart, Bronze Star Medal, and Army Commendation Medal with "V" device. When he returned to the U.S., Denis became Assistant Manager in the Accounting Department of the Bank of Commerce and a computer programmer for a Wall Street Bank. He was involved with the Southeast Museum in Brewster, Putnam County Land Trust, Brewster Southeast Veterans Honor Roll Committee, and was a member of VFW Post 672 and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. Denis passed away in 2014.

Steven Clark (Mount Kisco). Steven received a NROTC scholarship to Villanova University and was appointed a Midshipman to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1972. He graduated in 1976 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps. Designated as Naval Aviator and helicopter pilot in 1978, he was a flight instructor in Milton, Florida, from 1982 to 1985. Steven resigned his commission in 1986 as Captain USMC and was recommissioned a Captain USMCR (Reserves) to begin seminary training at Joseph's Seminary in Dunwoodie, Yonkers. Promoted to Major USMCR, in 1988, he was ordained to the priesthood in May 1990. He is now the Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Mt. Kisco, New York.

Taren T. Cummings (Pawling). A lifelong resident of Pawling, Taren was drafted in the Army in 1965. After completing his basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, Taren went to Fort Devens in Massachusetts. He served in Vietnam until June 1967, attaining the rank was SP-4. Taren received the Vietnam Service Medal, Army Recommendation Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Sharpshooter - Rile M-14. After his discharge, Taren joined the Pawling Police Department and shortly thereafter the New York State Police. He retired after 35 years of service with the rank of Lieutenant and is currently Village Justice for the Village of Pawling.

Montgomery Delaney (Lewisboro). Montgomery enlisted in the Marine Corps before finishing college, traveling the world as an Electronics Technician. When he returned home, he earned his BA and joined the NYPD. A serious injury led to his leaving the NYPD, but also led to his attending law school. Montgomery was a school teacher at Salesian High School in New Rochelle for seven years and coached baseball and basketball, leading his teams to City and State Championships. He has been a lawyer for 20 years, focusing on civil rights cases and injury from serious accidents. He started his own practice in 2012. In his spare time is an accomplished singer-songwriter.

Eric Diamond (New Castle). Eric served in the Army as an Infantryman in C Company 1st of the 27th Infantry Battalion from 1991 to 1994. He held numerous positions, including rifleman, M203 gunner, M60 gunner and Radio Telephone Operator for the platoon leader, serving in Japan and Hawaii. He received the Air Assault Badge, Army Achievement Medal and Overseas Ribbon. Currently, Eric is a Senior Vice President for Marshall & Sterling, a 150-year old insurance brokerage company based in Poughkeepsie with an office in Mt. Kisco.

Thomas Einwich (Yorktown). Undeterred by his 92 years of age, Tom often joins his fellow American Legion members when they visit schools, nursing homes, and provide the rites at veteran's funerals. He was an accomplished musician at the age of five, eventually playing with the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and Cab Calloway. Tom purposely did not tell the Army of his musical talent when he enlisted in 1943 for fear of being assigned to a band. Instead, Tom became an Army medic and was assigned to the Supreme Headquarters of Allied Expeditionary Forces in London to the Office of the Chief Surgeon. Tom suffered an illness during the D-Day campaign, which led to long-term hospitalization until the war ended. He received the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze star; the World War II Victory Medal; the Good Conduct Medal; and a Certificate of Merit. Following the war, Tom resumed his career as a professional musician at night and worked during for the Hertz Corporation during the day for 39 years. Tom is a Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) organization and the Post Chaplain of Yorktown American Legion Post #1009.

Doug Ferguson (Peekskill). Doug enlisted in the Air Force in 1972, serving in England, Germany, and throughout the United States. Doug was a military policeman, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant. Honorably discharged in January 1987, Doug has continued to work to improve veteran's lives. He works at the Montrose VA, and is particularly proud of the work that he has done with Breaking Ground and Patriot Housing to find housing for veterans who have fallen on hard times. Doug is a member of the Valhalla American Legion, Post 1038.

Martin Galvin (Pawling). Martin enlisted in the Marine Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor, reporting to Camp Pendleton in California for paratrooper training. He was awarded a medal as an Expert Rifleman. When the Paratroopers were disbanded, he was sent to the Pacific Theater with the 1st Marine Division, where he fought at Vella Lavelle, Bougainville and Iwo Jima. After the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Martin was sent to Sasebo to join the army of occupation. After his discharge as a PFC, Martin joined the NYC Fire Department, retiring as a Lieutenant. At 94 years of age, Martin is presently a member of the American Legion Hassler Kemp post 251 in Pawling.

George Mackey (Beekman). George served in Army in the Korean War for three years with the Artillery and Ballistics unit and later as part of an elite intelligence team. For his actions in four battles during the war, George was awarded the Korean Service Medal with 4 bronze service stars. In addition, George was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and United Nations Service Medal. He worked for New York Telephone for 50 years as a Third Line Manager and as an auditor. George, his father, and other family members were proud members of the Mt. Kisco American Legion.

John Mahoney (Carmel). John served in the Vietnam War with the Marine Corps in D Company from 1968 to 1970. He received the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry, Vietnam Civic Action Unit Medal, NY State Conspicuous Service Star, NY State Medal for Merit, and Marksman Rifle Badge. John is a life member of the Mahopac VFW Post 5491, Marine Corps League, Disabled American Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of America, and American Legion Post 1080. He was VFW 5491 Post Commander from 2001 to 2002, Putnam County VFW Commander from 2005 to 2006 and was a member of the Croton Falls Fire Department for 52 years.

Drew McFadden (Pleasantville). A graduate of the US Naval Academy in 1961, Drew served four years in the Marine Corps as an Artillery Officer. He served as the Executive Officer of the India Batter, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines, and was stationed in Quantico, Virginia and Kaneohe, Hawaii. After his discharge in 1965, Drew was employed by IBM for 25 years, Lexmark for 25 years, and is now a part-time employee Parking Enforcement Officer for the New Castle Police Department. He is actively involved at the American Legion Gilbert Rauh Post 1574, and is currently Post Commander. He has received the Legionnaire of the Year Award and is a member of the Westchester County Marine Corps League. Drew is an active member of St. John's Episcopal Church in Pleasantville and has been a member of the Golden Re-Triever Rescue in New Jersey for 21 years, fostering golden retrievers from Turkey. He has also volunteered at the SPCA of Westchester for 20 years.

Charles Chester Moshier Jr. (Peekskill). Charles' family history of military service dates back to the American Revolutionary War when his great, great Uncle, John Peterson, served in the Van Cortlandt 3rd Westchester Militia. Since that time, all of the Moshier men have served in the United States Military. Charles was inducted into the Army in 1942. After completing his basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, he was trained as a Quartermaster at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi, where he achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant and was a Quartermaster Platoon Sergeant. Charles' unit was deployed to Central Europe, where he was attached to the Army trucking unit famously known as the "Red Ball Express" that saw action at Normandy, in Northern France and the Rhineland. He received the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, American Service Medal and World War II Victory Medal. Honorable discharged in December 1945 and worked at the VA Hospital in Montrose, retiring after 25 years. Charles passed away peacefully on February 10, 1999.

Ralph Nicoletti (Mount Pleasant). A lifelong Valhalla resident, Ralph served in the Army from 1942 to 1946 in New Guinea and the Philippines. Returning home, he became a dispatcher for the Valhalla Fire Department before joining the Mt. Pleasant Police Department. He retired from the Police Department in 1986 as a Lieutenant. After his retirement, Ralph began driving the van for seniors for the Mt. Pleasant Recreation Department and was a bus driver for the Valhalla School District. As a member of the Mt. Pleasant Recreation and Parks Commission, Ralph was instrumental in the construction of the town's swimming pool complex.

Edmond O'Connor (Patterson). Edmond served in the Air Force in Germany and England from 1963 to 1967, where attaining the rank of Sergeant with the Air Police. He worked for the NYCDEP from 1975 to 2001 and became a leader in his community serving with the Knights of Columbus, Sacred Heart Church and as a CCD instructor. He has served as Patterson Town Assessor, on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and on the Patterson Town Board. Edmond's wife, Mary Ann, was previously honored as a New York State 40th Senate District Woman of Distinction.

Francis Palmer (Brewster). Francis enlisted in the Navy in 1943 at the age of 17, serving as a Signalman Third Class aboard the heavy cruiser U.S.S. Augusta and the destroyer U.S.S. Lang. His service took him to Europe, through the Panama Canal, and to London. Between tours, he was stationed at naval bases in New York, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and California. He was the recipient of a Victory Medal, an American Theatre Medal, and a European Theatre Medal. After his discharge in 1946, Francis founded Palmer Plumbing, Palmer-Macomber Fuel Oil, Southeast Builders and Palmer Bros. Ace Hardware.

Tommy Rodriguez (Cortlandt). Tommy served in the Marine Corps in Iraq as a Combat Engineer from 1999 to 2003, earning the rank of corporal. He was responsible for constructing and repairing buildings and structures, as well as using explosives for breaching and land mine warfare. He was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon (Iraq), Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation, Presidential Unit Citation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Letter of Appreciation, Meritorious Mast, Certificate of Appreciation and Rifle Qualification Badge (Expert). After earning his Associate's Degree in Electrical Engineering, Tommy became a New York City DEP Police Officer, serving as an academy general topics instructor and firearms instructor. 

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