In June 1968, Steve Neftleberg graduated high school at the age of 17. Knowing that college was not affordable for his parents, he decided to join the United States Air Force.
Mr. Neftleberg took his oath at Ft. Hamilton in Brooklyn on September 11, 1968, and his duty stations were Texas, Oklahoma, Korea and New Jersey. He was honorably discharged on September 10, 1972. In recognition of his dedication to his country, Mr. Neftleberg received the following medals: National Defense; Good Conduct with 2 oak leaf clusters; Armed Forces Expeditionary; and many years later, the Korean Defense. His story starts thirty years later after retiring from work.
Due to his young age, he was not sent to Vietnam with the rest of his Flight. He was very upset that he was unable to join his brothers on the battlefield, and decided to do all he could at home for the men and women who did. Mr. Neftleberg volunteered at the Brooklyn Veterans Administration as a Veteran of Foreign Wars Representative. He performed all the duties as a representative and helped with veteran benefits. He was familiar with the processes of the Veteran Benefits Administration and, as many veterans had no idea where to turn or to what they were entitled, Mr. Neftleberg went out of his way to help these veterans acquire the benefits they deserved.
Mr. Neftleberg helped thousands of veterans and widows receive their benefits. He did this for 12 years as a volunteer, with no regard for the hour of the day. He was at the VA before sun up and left at sun down. He was so good at assisting veterans that the VA employees would send him people in need of assistance.
As a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Mr. Neftleberg served as Post Commander, County Commander and District Commander. He was treasurer and adjutant for the Vietnam Veterans of America, and he is a member of the Korean Veterans, American Legion and Catholic War Veterans.
Mr. Neftleberg will never forget those who went to Vietnam in his place.