Ralph L. Chinelly
Award: Veterans' Hall of Fame
Ralph L. Chinelly has earned a place among the elite veterans of New York State by faithfully serving his country as a member of the United States Army, as well as devoting nearly two decades of his life to compassionate volunteer service to his fellow veterans.
During WWII, while stationed at the Thomas M. England Army Hospital in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Mr. Chinelly assisted with the care of more than 7,000 paraplegics and amputees. It was during this time in his life that his deep commitment for helping other veterans was fostered. In recognition of his commendable service, Mr. Chinelly was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
For the past 17 years, Mr. Chinelly has tenaciously worked to improve the lives of veterans, despite the fact that he is blind himself. Overcoming his personal challenges, Mr. Chinelly has been instrumental in assisting numerous veterans to obtain basic life necessities, including seeing eye dogs, portable lung machines, walkers and canes, and prescription medications. He has also assisted veterans in obtaining grave markers, flags for caskets, earned medals and other appropriate symbols of their service.
In 1995, Mr. Chinelly was presented with the Merit Award for his faithful service to his fellow veterans. In 2002 he was named the Man of the Year by his peers of the East Rochester Memorial American Legion Post #1917.
In further recognition of his achievements, Mr. Chinelly was presented with two of the nation’s most prestigious service awards on August 15, 2007: the President’s Gold Volunteer Service Award and the President’s Lifetime Call to Service Award. In 2008, this distinguished veteran received the U.S. Army Freedom Team Salute Award.