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Local Veterans Honored at First Hall of Fame

CARMEL, N.Y.-- The contributions and sacrifices of all veterans were commended Thursday night, as State Sen. Greg Ball inducted 26 vets into his first Veteran's Hall of Fame . The event, which recognized men from throughout Ball's district, was held to honor the men for their service.

North Salem resident and army Veteran Jim Hauser said the ceremony--and Veteran's Day itself-- is a time to recognize all veterans for all of their work no matter what role they played in protecting freedoms.

"We have to remember that every soldier when they join the service writes a blank check that could be cashed for as much as their life, limb or whatever, and whether they serve as a cook and never get out of the kitchen or whether they are a medal of honor winner, it is because of them that this country has made it as far as it has and as well as it has," Hauser said.

Duke Searls , a Peekskill resident and retired specialist who was inducted Thursday night said the day for him was a time to remember those he knew and didn't know who didn't live to where he was today.

"I always think of all of those who didn't make it back, and of the sacrifices that all of us made when we joined the service, and the rewards of seeing our freedom today," Searls said. "Tonight is an unbelievable honor, I never expected it. We need to keep Veteran's Day sacred to remember all the sacrifices that veterans have made."

Among the many veterans who were honored Thursday, was Lance Corporal John Curtin of Dover who was severely injured and is undergoing extensive rehabilitation. His mother tearfully accepted the proclamation inducting him into Ball's Hall of Fame on his behalf. Also among the inductees Captain Eric A. Jones, whose posthumous induction was accepted by his best friend.

The other inductees included:

?      Amenia, Retired Master Sergeant Joseph Piantino

?      Bedford, Retired Electrician’s Mate Second Class James Thorne

?      Beekman, Retired Technical Sergeant Kenneth H. Mallen

?      Brewster, Retired Specialist E-4 Arthur L. Hanley

?      Buchanan, Retired Shipfitter Third Class Russ Harrison

?      Carmel, Retired Corporal Joseph Tschinkel

?      Philipstown and Cold Springs, Retired Sergeant Joseph Etta

?      Cortlandt, Retired Sergeant Squad Leader Frank L. Campanaro

?      Dover, Lance Corporal John Curtin

?      Kent, Specialist Fifth Class Gilbert W. Tarbox

?      Lewisboro, Retired Private First Class Robert Williams

?      Milan, Retired Private First Class Stanley Zatwarnicki

?      Mount Kisco, Retired First Lieutenant Flavio Benini, posthumously

?      North Salem, Retired Corporal Herbert F. Geller

?      North East, Retired Corpsman Herbert D. Day, Jr.

?      Patterson, Retired Sergeant Joseph J. Morrissey

?      Pawling (Town), Retired E-4 Firefighter Gerard Christiansen

?      Pawling (Village), Retired Sergeant John Claudet

?      Peekskill, Retired Specialist 4 Duke A. Searles

?      Pine Plains, Retired Sergeant Allan Blackmar

?      Pound Ridge, Captain Eric A Jones, posthumously

?      Putnam Valley, Retired Technical Sergeant Robert J. Ulrich, Sr.

?      Somers, Retired Technical Sergeant Stephen M. Moravick, Sr.

?      Southeast, Retired Captain James Ryan

?      Yorktown, Retired Sergeant John T. McQuillan

?      Senator Ball Nominee, Retired Staff Sergeant Bert Gonci

Ball acknowledged some of the veterans' apprehensions at accepting an award for their service to their country.

"You served your country, you're proud to serve your country for no other reason than the very concept of service, and being praised is something that makes many of you feel uncomfortable. That's why you're all great," Ball said. "It is so important to hold events like this and to honor your service...You are our heroes."

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