Joseph A. Cognitore proudly served in Vietnam from April 1969 through March 1971, where he held the ranks of Acting Platoon Sergeant and Acting Platoon Leader. For his valor on the battlefield and for his service to country, Mr. Cognitore earned the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge, as well as the National Defense, Vietnam Service, Vietnam Campaign, and Air Medals.
Mr. Cognitore has been a member of the VFW since 1973 and served as Commander and Quartermaster in VFW Post 6249, Rocky Point. Motivated by the memory of what it is like to serve in an overseas war far from home, he and his Post send care packages to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Locally, he coordinates the VFW’s school activities and Youth Council events and also helped launch a program for senior citizen veterans. Mr. Cognitore is an active member of the Rocky Point Senior Center and was honored as the Rocky Point Civic Association’s Man of the Year.
While volunteering at Ground Zero, a member of Mr. Cognitore’s VFW was asked to properly retire the American flag that was flying above the World Trade Center when the towers collapsed. Mr. Cognitore persuasively lobbied for the flag to be rededicated at a Rocky Point 9/11 community ceremony. Thanks to his diligent efforts, that flag has since been displayed around the world, allowing millions to witness the freedoms it represents.