Award: Honoring Our Veterans
Mike LaNassa was born in Syracuse, NY, and enlisted in the Army in 1970. He served for six years, obtaining the rank of E-6 Staff Sergeant. In 1976, he graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, and subsequently held various command and staff positions at the brigade through the company levels. He served as Lieutenant in the 10th Mountain Infantry Division from 1985 to 1995 and retired as Lieutenant Colonel in 1996 from the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Army National Guard located at Hancock Air Base in Syracuse.
Mr. LaNassa has spent many years working to ensure many veterans projects and remembrances come to fruition in Central New York. He is one of the founding fathers of the Veterans Memorial at the New York State Fair, which attracts thousands of visitors each year. In addition, Mr. LaNassa was instrumental in bringing the Vietnam Moving Wall to Central New York; forming the Eagle Association of CNY, which assists in Veterans Affairs; and establishing a 9-11 Remembrance site, a law enforcement and fire fighters memorial, and a fallen soldier memorial at the New York State Fair.
Mr. LaNassa currently serves as chairman of the Onondaga County Veterans Day celebration, and has also assisted with the On CenterVeterans Advisory Board, UAW Veterans Committee, Battle of the Bulge Veterans organization, and Vietnam Veterans Chapter #103.
In his non-military career, he worked at New Process Gear for 34 years as a Plant Engineer and was an active member of UAW Local 2149. He lives in Canastota with his wife of 42 years, Ann. They have two children and four grandchildren.