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    BREWSTER — State Sen. Greg Ball, R-Patterson, recently inducted the second class of more than 30 Hudson Valley veterans into the 40th Senate District Veterans’ Hall of Fame at Henry H. Wells Middle School.

    “These men and women have been hand-picked by their communities 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,” Ball said.

    “America is not a great country because of its politicians, it’s a great country because of our veterans,” he said.

    Each inducted veteran will be individually honored on a traveling wall that will tour local municipalities throughout the 40th district.

    Carmel Town Supervisor Ken Schmitt said he was happy to nominate Carmel resident Joseph Toleno.

    “This is a very well-deserved honor for Joe Toleno. He served this country with distinction and honor during the Vietnam War. Joe is a community-oriented person that is very involved in many civic groups,” Carmel Town Supervisor Ken Schmit said.

    “It feels good, but I personally don’t think I am as deserving as some other veterans. I don’t feel that I have done anything spectacular; I did my job and came home,” Toleno said. “When I am able to help a veteran secure benefits, it puts a big smile on my face.”

    Somers Town Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy thanked Ball for the opportunity to nominate two Somers veterans into the Hall of Fame.

    “The Somers Town Board is proud to nominate Jack Lederman, a U.S. Army Purple Heart recipient, and Richard Bertram, a U.S. Navy gunner’s mate,” Somers Supervisor Mary Beth Murphy said. “We sincerely appreciate the senator providing this opportunity to honor these and other veterans for their extraordinary service to our country.”

    “I am surprised that they nominated me. This is a great honor and it feels very nice,” Bertram said.

    “I was very honored that the village of Pawling has selected me to represent them in Senator Greg Ball’s Veterans’ Hall of Fame,” said Stan Mersand.

    “I was honored to serve our country and I am always honored to be in the presence of other veterans,” he said. (ARTICLE)