Ten Hoosick Falls area veterans honored by commander of New York National Guard
Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York, presented New York state military awards to local veterans on Wednesday, August 28
Hoosick Falls, NY (08/29/2019) — Ten Hoosick Falls area veterans were recognized for their service on Wednesday, August 28, during a ceremony at the former New York State Armory in Hoosick Falls by Major General Ray Shields, the Adjutant General of New York.
Shields presented the nine men and one woman with the New York State Medal for Merit and the New York State Cold War certificate, depending on their service.
The Medal for Merit recognizes New Yorkers who received a high-level military award while serving in uniform. The Cold War certificate recognizes those who served in the military during the Cold War period.
As Adjutant General, Shields commands the 10,000 members of the New York Army National Guard, the 5,600 members of the New York Air National Guard and almost 3,000 people who serve in the state's defense forces, the New York Naval Militia and the New York Guard.
"I think it is so important to recognize veterans and their service to our country and to do this," Shields said. "To take a few hours and drive up here to do this and present these awards is invaluable."
Those honored by Shields were:
• Edward G. Taylor, a World War II Navy veteran who served on the USS Hancock in the Pacific. He was awarded the New York State Medal for Merit with 1 Gold shield and the New York State Cold War Certificate.
• Merton W. Houghton , a Korean War Air Force veteran, who received the New York State Medal for Merit and the New York State Cold War Certificate.
• Elwin S. Bentley, a Korean War Navy veteran, who served in a Navy band and was awarded the NYS Medal for Merit and Cold War Certificate.
• Malcolm R. Brownell, a Korean War Army veteran, who received NYS Medal for Merit with 1 Silver Shield and the NYS Cold War Certificate.
• Max Koch, a Navy veteran of the Korean War, who received the NYS Medal for Merit and the NYS Cold War Certificate.
• Joan Madigan, a Navy Petty Officer Third Class, who was awarded the NYS Cold War Certificate.
• Hubert A. Loretan, a former Air Force bomber pilot in the Strategic Air Command, who received the NYS Cold War Certificate.
• John H. Van Der Kar, a Coast Guardsman, who was awarded the NYS Cold War Certificate.
• Steve G. Lemon, an Army veteran of the Persian Gulf War who received the NYS Medal for Merit, and the NYS Cold War Certificate.
• Charles J. Krawczyk, a veteran of the Vermont Army National Guard and the Navy who served in Afghanistan and Kuwait who received NYS Medal for Merit, and a NYS Cold War Certificate.
The morning ceremony was the idea of Mark Folgert, a Hoosick Falls resident.
Folgert is a veteran of four years in the Air Force and another four years in the Army who is currently serving the in the New York Guard, the state's self-defense force.
He is a member of American Legion Post 40, which sponsors a weekly coffee club for area vets, and he met the ten veterans Shields honored during those gatherings, Folgert said.
The veterans had their federal awards, but he wanted to make sure that they also got the awards from New York they are entitled too, he explained.
"I think it is important that our older veterans, especially World War II and Korea are recognized, not only from the federal government, but it is important that the state of New York cares," Folgert said.The American Legion and the Hoosick Township Historic Society also helped him put together the award packages for the veterans and organize the event.
It was great to be honored, said Joan Madigan, a resident of Johnsonville, N.Y. who served in the Navy from 1952 to 1956. Madigan, who received a New York State Cold War certificate from Shields, handled classified messages during her Navy service.
"When you came home you just went back to your work and your normal life," she said. "Now they are starting to praise veterans more."
Photographs of the veterans receiving their awards can be found here:https://www.flickr.com/photos/nyng/albums/72157710589806471