George “Lee” Penney of Apalachin, New York was a member of the US Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP) and later served in the 9th Bomb Group during World War II. During the war he was a proud member of the 99th Squadron, which descended from the 99th Aero Squadron of WW I fame.
At the peak of World War II, Lee Penney and his Squadron were based on the island of Tinian, made famous by the heroic assault and capture by United States Marines during the summer of 1944. Tinian later became a launching point for US Army Air Corps B-29 heavy bombers commencing their attacks on the Japanese home islands.
Janice Barto has been a committed educator at Tioga Central School for the past 25 years. Over that time, she has taught, coached, advised and nurtured the minds of thousands of students in her community.
Ms. Barto has devoted much of her career toward substance abuse education and prevention, serving as an advisor for Students Against Drunk Driving and YES! LEADS, a unique youth leadership program focused on drug and alcohol prevention. She has worked with SADD for 25 years and with YES! since its inception in 1989.
Ray and Barbara Beebe served on active duty in the United States Air Force, with combined service of 28 years. They met at McGuire AFB, New Jersey, in 1964, and have spent decades together in the service and volunteering partnerships throughout their now 50+ years of marriage.
During Ray’s second assignment in Turkey, Barbara was the recipient of the USAFE award for her volunteer service as a Red Cross Chair of Volunteers and Caseworker.
Bettye Canestaro is the Hospice Volunteer Coordinator at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, and has dedicated more than twenty years to providing Hospice care. She truly exemplifies the expression, “find your passion and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
During the Vietnam War, US Army Special Forces recruited, trained and funded Special Guerilla Units (SGUs) composed of soldiers from The Kingdom of Laos.
The SGUs’ primary missions were to rescue US military pilots shot down over Vietnamese and Laotian airspace, to defend US Air Force radar installations and to interdict incursions by North Vietnamese Army units along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.
Col. Viengkham’s military expertise, language skills and organizational abilities led him to play a key role in training US military personnel about jungle survival skills and to handle many other medical, intelligence and communications duties.
Mary Jo Thorn has served since 2005 as Chief Executive Offi cer at ACHIEVE, a not-for-profi t agency serving hundreds of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, in Broome and Tioga Counties.
Born and raised in rural Pennsylvania, Ms. Thorn attended Bloomsburg State College and Marywood University where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Social Work.
Through her over 30 years in human services, including extensive work in mental health, developmental disabilities, crisis intervention, and children and family services, Ms. Thorn has devoted her life to helping those who may be less fortunate.
In his 23 years of service as a United States Marine starting in 1985, Joseph G. Angelino achieved the Corp’s highest enlisted rank of Sergeant Major.
In August 2008 Sergeant Major Angelino retired from the Marine Corps but not before valiantly serving three combat tours in the Middle East and twice earning the Purple Heart medal, America’s oldest military decoration still awarded to members of the Armed Forces.