Albany County
VETERANS SERVICE BUREAU
162 Washington Avenue | Albany, NY 12210
Phone: (518) 447-7710 | Fax: (518) 447-7714
Email: veteransbureau@albanycountyny.gov
Hours: Mon - Fri, 8:30am - 4:30pm
Ken Secor, Director

2015 Honorees

HAV - 2015

Joseph E. Persico, US Navy

1930-2014

Joseph E. Persico was born on July 19, 1930 in Gloversville, NY. He entered active duty on December 22, 1952 and served two years as an Executive officer/Communications Duty Officer aboard the USS Wheatier AM390, was a mine sweeper, was station with NATO Allied Forces Southern Europe in Italy, decoded messages and went to Naval Justice School after which he provided defense to sailors.

Joseph received numerous medals including the National Defense Medal, European Occupation Medal and the WWII American Battle Monument Commission Medal for Distinguished Service.

When Joseph returned home, he was a writer for Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and Later wrote books on history and biographies including co-authoring a book with Colin Powell called “My American Journey.” He was appointed to serve on the American Battle Monuments Commission by President George W. Bush and served on the commission charged with the design and creation of the World War II Memorial on The Mall in Washington DC.

Joseph E. Persico: 1930-2014

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Joseph E. DeGeorge, US Navy

1927-1997

Joseph Edward DeGeorge was born on March 13, 1927 in Albany, NY. He joined the US Navy on March 14, 1944 and served two years as a plumber aboard the USS Missouri.

Joseph served as a Seaman 2nd Class. He received several medals including the American Theater Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal with 3 stars and the Victory Medal.

When Joseph returned home, he was a plumber and steamfitter for Local 105 and Local 7.

Joseph E. DeGeorge: 1927-1997

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Louis J. & Edna M. DiNuzzo

Louis J. DiNuzzo (1920-2003)
Edna M. DiNuzzo (1922-2011)

Louis J. DiNuzzo was born on October 8, 1920 in Watervliet, NY. Edna M. Purcell was born on January 2, 1922 in Troy, NY. Louis entered active duty on July 3, 1943 and served two years, four months and twenty days in the US Army Air Corps. 

Louis served as a navigator during WWII. He was honored with the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon with three battle stars, ETO Ribbon and the American Theatre Ribbon.

Edna entered her active duty service on February 28, 1943 and served two years, eight months and two days. She served her country as a Master Sergeant for the U.S. Army during WWII as a member of the Women's Army Corps where she was stationed in England and France as a clerk typist. Edna received the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the Women’s Army Corps Service Medal. 

The couple got married on June 22, 1946 at St. Joseph's Church in South Troy.


Louis J. & Edna M. DiNuzzo

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Blasé A. Regina Jr., US Marine Corps

1963-2013

Blasé A. Regina was born on March 3, 1963 in Albany, NY. Blasé was in the US Marine Corps for four years. He spent time in Okinawa, Japan with the 3rd Maintenance Battalion, Third Force Service Support Group, and Fleet Marine Force Pacific in Support of US Marine Forces throughout the Western Pacific.

Blasé earned several medals and commendations while in services. He received the Good Conduct Medal, Expert Rifleman Badge, Pistol Marksmanship Badge, several Letters of Commendation and Appreciation, a Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, a Meritorious Mast and a Navy Unit Commendation.

Blasé returned home and was working on an assignment in Shanghai, China when he suddenly passed away on June 13, 2013. He was buried with honors at Saratoga National Cemetery.

Blasé A. Regina Jr: 1963-2013

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John Ruff, US Army

1933-2010

John Ruff was born in Albany, NY in June of 1933. John was a US Army Sergeant who was in combat in Korea. He was honored with several awards for his service including the Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and United Service Medal. 

When John returned home, he worked at the New York Power & Light Co. in Albany. He was also employed as a Sergeant in the East Greenbush Police Department and was an Ironworker in Local #12.

John was involved with many veteran groups and community activities acting as Marshall of the North Albany Limerick Parade and awarded a lifetime membership to North Albany Post #1610. He was also the Post’s Past Commander.

John Ruff, 1933-2010

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John J. Swedick, US Army

1914-1944

John J. Swedick was born in Troy, NY on February 23, 1914. John served in Europe with the US Army during WWII until his life was sadly taken in combat. John displayed bravery from the minute he was involved in combat, for he lost his life fighting with the enemy in bitter hand to hand combat. John was killed in action December 17, 1944.

He was honored with numerous awards for his service including the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Presidential Unit Citation, Purple Heart, Combat Infantry Badge, Belgin Fourragdere. EAME Campaign Medal with 2 Service Stars. WWII Victory Medal, and an Honorary Service Lapel Pin.

John is remembered as a loving husband, father, and friend. Although his life is was cut short and much too soon, he was a man to look up to based on his heroic and self-sacrificing fight for his family and our country. John will always be remembered as the brave man that he was.

John J. Swedick, 1914-1944

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Francis A. Futia, US Navy

1924-2010

Francis A. (Frank) Futia was born in Albany NY on April 11, 1924. Frank served in the South Pacific with the US Navy during WWII as an aviation Machinist. He was responsible for Keeping the Navy planes prepared for battle.

Frank's unit was honored with various citations. After his service, he continued to work in maintenance and repairs as a plumper and mechanical contractor. He and his brothers ran J.N. Futia Co., whose projects included work on the Justice Building at Empire State Plaza, and they also operated the Coliseum (Starlite) Theatre in Latham, NY.

Frank remained a long-time member of the Nationiel Adams Blanchard American Legion Post 1040, as well as the Bethlehem VFW. He is survived by his children. He and wife, the former Anna Schwab of Albany, are buried at Bethlehem Cemetery.

Francis A. Futia: 1924-2010

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Helen A. Vartigian, US Army

1941-2014

Helen A. Vartigian was born in Troy, NY on July 6, 1941. She served as a medical surgery nurse at the 12th Evacuation Hospital in Cu Chi, South Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Following her year of combat there, Helen continued to serve as an army nurse around the world. Her service totaled 14 years.

For her service, Helen received the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the VN Services Medal, the RVN Campaign Medal, and two Overseas Bars. She became a board member of the Tri-County Council Vietnam Era Veterans. She also was a member of the 12th Evacuation Hospital and the Army Nurses Corps.

Helen was honored with the creation of a medical education scholarship in her name, the Vartigian/LaLiberte Endowment Fund, at the Sage Colleges.

Helen A. Vartigian: 1941-2014

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Edward A. Finlay, US Army

1948– 1967

Edward A. Finlay was born in Albany, NY on February 4, 1948.  He served in the 25th Infantry Division of the US Army as a Fourth Class Specialist. In  June of 1967, he began his tour in Vietnam. In December of that year, at the age of nineteen, he was killed in combat in the Tay Ninh Province of South Vietnam.

 For his service, Edward received a Combat Infantryman Badge, a Purple Heart, a National Defense Vietnam Service Medal, and a Vietnam Service Medal.

Edward’s name can be found on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, Panel 32E, Line 9.

Edward A. Finlay: 1948– 1967

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George E. Nealon, USMC

1947-2014

George E. Nealon was born in Albany, NY on November 19.1947. He served as a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps and was awarded a Purple Heart after being wounded in combat during his service in the Vietnam War.

In addition to the Purple Heart, George also received a Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four bronze stars, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Color), and a Republic Vietnam Campaign Medal.

After his service, George earned his Bachelor’s Degree from the University at Albany, and then his Master’s Degree from the Lally School of Management at RPI. George continued his service to the community serving as Commissioner of Public Works for the City of Albany, and later as Commissioner for Public Works for Albany County. He is survived by his two children, Matthew and Mary as well as his wife, Cyra Nealon.

George E. Nealon: 1947– 201

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy