By Maki Becker BUFFALO NEWS STAFF REPORTER August 21, 2009, 6:43 AM / 0 comments Sylvia Rethmel’s heart fell to the floor when she picked up the phone at 6 a. m. on June 21. It was the Army calling. “Mrs. Rethmel,” they asked the 20-year-old Olean native. “Have you heard from your husband?” Spec. Brandon Rethmel, 22, had been severely injured in a mortar attack on his base in Afghanistan, just two weeks after being deployed. Sylvia Rethmel would later learn that her husband — and father of their year-old daughter Mariah — had been on duty on a guard tower when it was hit by a mortar.
OLEAN - When two Marines involved in a training mission off the coast of South Carolina were forced to eject from their aircraft after an engine failure, it was Olean native and Petty Officer 3rd Class (AMT-3) Andrew Witruke and his Coast Guard crew who were on scene to make the rescue.
Here is a speech delivered on Friday, November 11, 2011 by Jack Bradley, father of Marine Corps Sergeant Mark Bradley of Cuba, NY who was killed in June in Afghanistan. Mr. Bradley gave the speech during a special Veteran’s Day ceremony in honor of his son held at Cuba Park.
BY JACK BRADLEY:
Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen.
On behalf of the family of Sgt Mark Bradley, his wonderful wife, Samantha, and my wife, Sharon, I’d like to thank you for sharing your day with us on this Veteran’s Day and allowing me to share Mark’s story.