In Memorial Day Tribute, Senator Arranges to Preserve 11 Vets’ War Stories in State Collection

Eleven veterans from Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties will become a part of history, after Senator Patty Ritchie arranged for their videotaped wartime memories to be included as part of a statewide collection.

“Many people only read or hear about veterans’ experiences that are written by someone else,” said Senator Ritchie. “But these are the firsthand memories of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen who were there on the beaches, in the jungles and traversing oceans and skies to defend freedom, and they will be a permanent part of New York’s military history.”

Senator Ritchie arranged the interviews with each of the veterans in her offices in Watertown, Oswego and Ogdensburg. The interviews are being submitted to the New York State Veteran Oral History Program, based at the New York State Military Museum and Veterans Research Center, located in Saratoga Springs. 

The program was created in 2000 to capture the stories of New York’s WWII veterans, but it has been expanded to include veterans of military service both during war and peacetime.

“The Oral History Program was created as a way of preserving the individual stories and recollections of the Greatest Generation of veterans who served in a war that ended 67 years ago, but was expanded to capture the thoughts of all of America’s heroes,” said Senator Ritchie.

“I am very pleased to be able to help with this effort, and to help give these soldiers and service men and women a rightful place in our state’s history.”

Senator Ritchie said she will continue to collect veterans’ remembrances, and has already arranged to record interviews with Battle of the Bulge WWII veterans from Oswego County that also will be submitted to the Museum.

Senator Ritchie will announce future dates for interested veterans to record their own remembrances for submission to the Museum.

Veterans’ interviews being submitted to the Museum include the following:

Oswego County

Rev. Moritz Fuchs, Army, WWII

Francis Kehoe, Marines, Navy Reserve

John McGraw, Army, WWII

Jack Rucynski, Marines, Army, Vietnam

Jefferson County

Timothy Ambrose, Air Force, Vietnam War

Gerald “Jerry” Tighe, Navy, Cold War

Edward Wallace, Army, Afghanistan

Judy Gonzalez-Wallace, Army

James Williams Jr., Army

St. Lawrence County

Thomas Morrison, Army, Cold War


Ronald Sakonyi, Navy, Army, Vietnam