Veterans speak of love for ‘military family’

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 November 2017 at 12:54 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

ALBION – David Kusmierczak of Medina stands with the color guard during the Veterans Day observance at the County Veterans Service Agency, 13996 Route 31 West. Veterans and community members stood in the freezing cold to remember and honor the sacrifices of veterans.

The program today included short speeches by veterans who have served in wars since World War II. This photo shows Vietnam War veteran Ray Smeal at the podium.

The 105 mm howitzer in front of the Veterans Service Agency office was used in the Korean War. That cannon was dedicated at the site on July 27, 2003, the 50th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

Nancy Traxler of Waterport served 27 years in the Air Force, including a tour of duty in Afghanistan. She said she enjoyed working with other soldiers on missions.  She works as a veterans service officer in Orleans County. Traxler said her current role keeps her active with veterans and connected to the “military family.”

Steve Goodrich, commander of the American Legion Post in Lyndonville, also served 10 years with the U.S. Navy as a corpsman. During Desert Storm he worked out of a Naval Hospital in South Carolina, and collected and sent 2,400 units of blood to the battlefield.

Joshua Fleck of Holley served 20 years in the military including a tour in Iraq. He said soldiers and veterans look out for each other.

“I miss it everyday,” he said about his time in the military.

Matt Passarell, right, and Mike Donahue were part of the Honor Guard at today’s ceremony in Albion.

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