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Carmel, N.Y. (11/14/11) Twenty-seven veterans from throughout the Hudson Valley were honored at Senator Greg Ball (R, C – Patterson) Veterans’ Hall of Fame. Among them, was Retired Master Sergeant Joseph Piantino of Town of Amenia. Piantino was unable to attend the ceremony due to an illness. Accepting the award on his behalf was Amenia VFW Post #5444 Commander Bob Langdon.

Serving for ten years, nine months, and thirteen days, Piantino is a veteran of both the Army Air Corp and the United States Air Force, earning the New York State Conspicuous Service Medal, a Bronze Star, a Good Conduct Medal, an American Defense Service Medal, and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 6 bronze service stars.

Piantino’s greatest achievement was the implementation of the G4A Bomb Release System, adapted from British technology before the invasion of France, and applied to P-47 Fighter Planes. He has also been included in two books about the 365th Fighter Group, The History of the Hell Hawks by Charles Johnson and Hell Hawks by Robert F. Dorr and Thomas D. Jones. On May 25, 1996, the P-47 Thunderbolt Pilots Association recognized Ret. MSG Piantino for his efforts and contributions in defense of our country during World War II.

Since retiring from the Air Force, Piantino has worked as a licensed aircraft mechanic, an auto and truck mechanic, an arc welder certified in New York City, and a heavy construction equipment mechanic. He now volunteers at the Fountain Square Veterans Memorial, installing flags on veterans’ graves.

Created and hosted by Senator Ball, the Veterans’ Hall of Fame was designed to honor outstanding veterans from throughout the 40th Senate District. Each veteran that was honored will be included on a traveling wall that will tour local municipalities throughout the 40th district.

During his opening remarks Senator Ball said, “The veterans who are here today were nominated by their communities, hand-picked because they chose a path of courage, honor, integrity and bravery; a path that helped shape America as we know it, protecting our way of life and liberty.”