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    By Rasheed Oluwa

    Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in Verplanck hosted a ceremony accepting local five veterans into the second annual Veteran’s Hall of Fame Thursday.

    Senator Greg Ball, R-Patterson, attended accepted William Nazario as the Town of Cortlandt’s nominee, Emanuel Uva as the Village of Buchanan’s nominee, Vincent Matero as the Village of Croton On Hudson’s nominee, Brendon Fitzgerald and George Ondek as the City of Peekskill’s nominees.

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

    Fitzgerald was unable to attend Thursday’s ceremony.

    Here’s a brief bio of this year’s nominees:

    Brendon Fitzgerald— A resident of the City of Peekskill, he served in the U.S. Marines from 2003 to 2007 during operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

    Fitzgerald earned the Combat Action Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Navy and U.S. Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, the Iraq Campaign Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, and teh Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.

    George Ondek—A Peekskill resident and U.S. Army veteran, Ondek obtained the rank of specialist fifth class and served as company clerk from 1967 to 1968 at the medical evacuation field hospital in the central highland of Vietnam. He served until he was injured during the Tet Offensive.

    Ondek earned the Vietnam Service Medal, the Marksman Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

    Emanuel Uva—A Buchanan resident and a veteran of the U.S. Army’s 178th Field Artillery Battalion, Uva served in WWII’s European Theater from July 24, 1941 to Aug. 25, 1945 and obtained the rank of corporal, technician fifth grade.

    Uva earned the Purple Heart, the Meritorious Service Unit Plaque, the Bronze Star with two oak leaf clusters, the American Defense Service Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, the Croix DeGuerre with Silver Star, the WWII Victory Medal and the Good Conduct Medal.

    William Nazario—Nazario, a resident of the Town of Cortlandt and commander of Chapter 21 of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, served on the U.S. Marines and did an 18-month in Vietnam, obtaining the rank of lance corporal.

    Nazario earned the Purple heart, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Vietnam Service Medal with four Bronze Stars, the Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with palm and frame, and the Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation.

    Vincent A. Matero—Matera, Croton-on-Hudson resident, served in WWII’s Pacific Theater for three years and three months in the U.S. Navy as a gunners mate second class.

    Matero earned the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the American Campaign Medal and the WWII Victory Medal. (ARTICLE)