Vietnam vet receives overdue medal

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 February 2016 at 12:00 am

Gerald Harter’s medal was found in filing cabinet at Veterans Service Agency

Photo by Tom Rivers

ALBION – Earl Schmidt, director of the Orleans County Veterans Service Agency, presents the New York State Medal of Merit to Gerald Harter of Holley this morning.

The medal was approved for Harter in December 2000 but was stashed away in a filing cabinet at the Veterans Service Agency. Schmidt started as the new director in December. He was going through the files when he discovered the medal for Harter.

“My job is making sure the veterans get what they deserve,” Schmidt said.

Harter served two years in the U.S. Army, including a year in Vietnam from 1967-68, which included the Tet Offensive. He missed the birth of his daughter when he was in Vietnam. He met his daughter Buffie when she was 6 months old. She is now Buffie Gleason.

Harter worked for Kodak and retired about two decades ago. For the past 19 years he has worked part-time as a school bus driver for Spencerport.

He also has served as a past American Legion commander for the Holley post, and was a past VFW Post commander in Holley and for Orleans County.

He thanked Schmidt for finding the medal.

“This is wonderful,” he said. “It will go in my Man Cave.”