2008 Honor a Veteran Archives

HAV - 2008

Donald R. Leque and John J. Leque, US Navy

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, Congressman Michael McNulty and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated veterans Donald R. Leque and John J. Leque at a ceremony on Monday, December 1, 2008, in the Cahill Room of the Albany County Office Building.

Brothers Donald R. and John J. Leque were born and raised in the City of Cohoes. Donald was born on April 13, 1920 and John on April 22, 1923. Both joined the United States Navy in the 1940s, John in 1942 and Donald in 1945.

John served aboard the USS Parker in World War II and saw combat at Sicily, Salerno and Normandy. He was awarded four Battle Stars and a World War II Victory Medal. Donald was on active duty for six months from 1945 to 1946 and also received a World War II Victory Medal.

After his military service, John owned and operated Leque's Grocery in West Crescent while Donald worked as a self-employed contractor. Both ended their careers working as masons at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute until their retirement in the early 1990s.

John also worked as a volunteer firefighter for the West Crescent Volunteer Fire Department and was a member of the American Legion Mohawk Post 145 in Halfmoon and the American Legion Seven Springs Post 343 in Florida where he retired. Donald was a member of the E.T. Ruane American Legion Post in Cohoes and the All Troy Athletic Club.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held every first Monday of the month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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Raymond G. Bucci, US Army

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, Congressman Michael McNulty and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated veteran Raymond G. Bucci at a ceremony on Monday, October 6, 2008, in the Cahill Room of the County Office Building at 112 State St. in Albany.

Bucci was born on March 10, 1929 in Troy. He was active in Boy Scouts and attained the rank of Eagle Scout. After graduating from Christian Brothers Academy, Bucci joined the United States Army, where he served from November 19, 1947 to December 6, 1951. He was stationed in Korea as part of the 581st Unit and fought in the Battle of the Chosen Reservoir.

He was honored for his service with a Korean Service Medal with four Bronze Service Stars.

After his military career, Bucci attended St. Lawrence University, where he met his wife Bonnie. He went on to work for the New York Telephone Company for 33 years.

Bucci remained active in his community throughout his life, serving as a charter member of the Colonie Elks, the Chosen Few, the Joseph E. Zaloga American Legion Post No. 1520 and the Korean War Veterans Association of Lansingburgh, New York, and as the first president of the Colonie Girls Softball League.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held every first Monday of the month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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Cavan J. Kelsey, Jr., US Marine Corps

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, Congressman Michael McNulty and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated veteran Cavan J. Kelsey, Jr. at a ceremony at the Albany County Office Building on Tuesday, September 2, 2008.

Kelsey was born on April 29, 1930 in Albany. After graduating from Christian Brothers Academy, he joined the United States Marine Corps in 1950. During his two-year enlistment, Kelsey served in the Seventh Tank Battalion during the Korean War and was drill instructor at Camp Pendleton. He was discharged as a Sergeant.

After his military career, Kelsey worked as a service technician for Pitney Bowes for thirty-two years and then as a courier for Albany Cardio Thoracic Surgeons.

He also maintained a life-long involvement in veterans' affairs. He was a Commandant of the Captain William Dale O'Brien Detachment of the Marine Corps League and a member of the American Legion and the Korean War Veterans Association. 

Kelsey served as parade adjutant of the Albany Memorial and Veterans Day parades for more than twenty years and was a fifty-year member of the Albany Joint Veterans Committee. He remained a dedicated alumnus of Christian Brothers Academy throughout his life, serving as an Alumni Association President and participating in the Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held every first Monday of the month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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Hal M. Silverstein, US Navy

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, Congressman Michael McNulty and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated veteran Hal M. Silverstein at a ceremony held in the Albany County Office Building on Monday, August 4, 2008.

Silverstein was born in Syracuse on February 5, 1944. Upon graduating from Syracuse University, he joined the United States Navy. He attended Defense Information School before being deployed to Vietnam as a combat photojournalist with the Navy Seals. He served from July 8, 1966 to June 24, 1970.

He was the recipient of various accolades for his service including the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Following his naval service, Silverstein took a position as the director of Albany Housing for Homeless Veterans. He later served as the director of the New York State Vietnam Memorial. He was also a painter who used his gift of artistic expression to depict the character and stories of fellow veterans. His works were displayed at an exhibition at the Vietnam Memorial Gallery in the late 1990s.

Silverstein was an active member of the Tri-County Council of Vietnam Veterans, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held every first Monday of the month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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Joseph F. O'Connor, US Army

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, Congressman Michael McNulty and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated veteran Joseph F. O'Connor at a ceremony on July 7, in Albany.

Joseph F. O'Connor was born in Schenectady, NY on July 7, 1915. Joseph attended Cathedral Academy where he played football. Upon graduation Joseph went to work as a firefighter at the Voorheesville Army Depot. Joseph worked there until November 27, 1945 when he joined the United States Army.

Joseph F. O'Conner was a staff sergeant for the Medical Detachment Unit of the 228th Field Artillery Battalion. He served in the Army for three years and saw combat in the European Theater. He worked evacuating wounded soldiers during the advance on Germany. After receiving an honorable discharge from the United States Army in October of 1945, Joseph came back to Albany and began working as a fireman once again. In addition to working as a fireman he worked as a plumber for John Doyle Plumbing which his father owned. He worked there as a Master plumber until he retired.

For his service Joseph received a Bronze Star, a Good Conduct Medal, and a European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal. In addition to his awards for good military service Joseph developed a strong post-service resume. He worked as a fire captain, a licensed plumber, and a steamfitter/boilermaker. He was a member of the Ambrose J. Scully Post #1019 and the Mansion Neighborhood Association.

Joseph is survived by his sister, his two daughters, his son, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

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Louis E. LeFevre Sr., US Army

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, Congressman Michael McNulty and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated veteran Louis E. LeFevre Sr. at a ceremony on June 2, 2008, in Albany.

Louis E. LeFevre Sr. was born in Albany, NY on July 19, 1928. A lifelong resident of Albany County, Louis graduated from St. Anne’s Academy. Upon graduation, Louis returned home to help his widowed mother raise his two sisters. His first job was with the Railroad Company. He worked for the railroad until 1948 when he began working for Pepsi Cola where he worked from 1948-1996, his employment was only interrupted by his service from 1951-1952.

Louis joined the United States Army in 1951. He served in Korea where he was wounded in combat prompting him to return home in 1952. For his service Louis was awarded a Purple Heart, a Korean Service Medal with a Bronze Star, a UN Service Medal, and a Combat Infantry Badge. Following his service Louis was engaged in numerous veterans groups including: the NYS Guard, Disabled American Veterans, Korean War Veterans’ Association, The Military Order of the Purple Heart in North Troy, the Boyd Hilton VFW Post 7062 in Altamont, the Joseph E. Zaloga American Legion Post No. 1520,the Deceased Veteran Program, the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery Support Committee, the Hudson Valley Little League and the American Babe Ruth Organization.

Beyond his service with many veterans’ organizations, Louis was also involved with the VA Hospital as a volunteer serving over 11years and over 8,850 hrs, the Polish American Citizens club, the Troy Lodge of Elks, the National Rifle Association, Teamsters Local 669 and various bowling leagues. Louis is survived by his wife June, his sons Louis Jr. and Anthony and his daughter Dorothy.

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Vincent J. Egan, Sr., US Naval Reserve

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, Congressman Michael McNulty and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated veteran John Vincent J. Egan, Sr. at a ceremony on May 5, 2007, in Albany.

Vincent J. Egan Sr. was born in Albany on July 23, 1933. A lifelong resident of Albany County, Vincent graduated from Cathedral High School and went on to work for Niagara Mohawk Power Company. In 1955 he joined the United States Naval Reserve. Vincent saw combat in Korea before returning home to Albany in 1959.

For his service, Vincent received a Good Conduct Medal and a National Defense Service Medal.

Upon returning home Vincent worked for New York Telephone where he stayed for nearly 30 years. After retiring he went to work at the VA Medical Hospital.

In addition to demonstrating his commitment to his country via his service in the Navy, Vincent was heavily engaged in many community activities. He was a member of the North Albany Legion Post No. 1610 where he acted as the Legion Chaplain; he was the past commander, secretary, and adjunct at the Big T Veterans Association, and he was the secretary for the USS Ticonderoga.

Through his engagement in the community Vincent received the Lions Club Award for the hard of hearing/deaf and was the administrative employee-of-the-year at the Veterans Administration in 1990.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of each month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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John and Paul Lyngard, US Army

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, Congressman Michael McNulty and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated World War II veterans John and Paul Lyngard at a ceremony on April 7, 2007, in Albany.

Paul J. Lyngard was born on May 16, 1918 and enlisted in the military on January 13, 1938 and served until September 28, 1945. Paul served in the United States Army as a PFC in Company D 106th Infantry, and fought during the Eastern Mandates, Ryukyus and in the Western Pacific.

For his distinguished service, Paul received the American Defense Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal and a Silver Star. Paul worked with the United States Postal Service for 25 years and was a member of the United States Postal Workers Union.

John W. Lyngard was born on September 25, 1919 and enlisted in the army in July 1938 as a Private in the 106th Infantry. John served at Fort Hancock and at Fort Ethan Allen before being killed in action in Sicily in July of 1943.

For his service, John received the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of each month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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William 'Joe' Ryan, US Army

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, Congressman Michael McNulty and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated veteran William "Joe" Ryan at a ceremony on March 4, 2008, in Albany.

Ryan was born in Albany on December 28, 1914. Ryan lived and worked in Albany until he was drafted during a time of peace, one month prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Ryan served in the 16th Armored Engineer Battalion. After receiving injuries during the Battle of Anzio, off the coast of Italy, he was honorably discharged.

Ryan returned home and worked for the Pittsburg Plate Glass company and went on to work at the Watervliet Arsenal until his retirement in 1977.

Ryan was a member of the Disabled American Veterans Association, The North Albany American Legion Post, The Ancient Order of Hibernians, Church of the Holy Name Society and the Elks Lodge B.O.P.E. No. 49.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of each month to honor a deceased veteran of the community. 

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Samuel Praylor, US Army National Guard

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, Congressman Michael McNulty and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated Staff Sergeant Samuel Praylor at a ceremony on February 4, 2007, in Albany.

Samuel Praylor was born in Brooklyn, NY on February 24, 1929. Samuel's family was originally from West Virginia but moved to Brooklyn, NY right before he was born. After completing high school Samuel went to work for the US Postal Service. In 1968 Samuel left the Postal Service and moved to Albany. Soon after, Samuel enlisted in the US Army National Guard where he served for many years as a staff sergeant before he was honorably discharged in 1978.

After his service Samuel went on to marry his wife Carol. He worked for the Capitol Police on the Governor's detail for a few years and then in 1994 went to work as a Rail Engineer Inspector for the NYS Department of Transportation. After retiring from the Department of Transportation he became a partner of C and P Security and Investigation Service of Albany.

Besides his professional pursuits Samuel Praylor was heavily involved in his community. He volunteered with the Westmere volunteer fire department, was a member of 100 Black Men, was part of the 369th Veterans National and Local Albany District, served on the ACES board and was the Chair of Bethel Baptist Church's Trustee Board.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of each month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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George H. Fincke, US Army

Albany County Executive Mike Breslin, Congressman Michael McNulty and the Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated World War II veteran George H. Fincke at a ceremony on January 7, 2008, in Albany.

Fincke was born in Brooklyn, NY on October 17, 1917. After graduating high school, he played semi-professional baseball. Finke joined the Army and served in World War II from 1940 until 1945.

Fincke worked for 27 years with the New York State Department of Corrections before going into the insurance business. He passed away on May 27, 2007 in Glenmont.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held every first Monday of the month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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