Anthony J. “Tony” Specchio

May 17, 2014



Corporal Anthony J. Specchio

Award: Honoring Our Veterans

Year: 2014

Anthony J. “Tony” Specchio, Sr. proudly served his nation upon being drafted into the United States Army in January 1953. A distinguished Korean War veteran, he has dedicated a lifetime of commitment and service to his country, his state and to the community of Watkins Glen, New York. 

In 1953, Tony completed his U.S. Army training at Camp Pickett in Virginia with the 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment. He was among a select contingent of soldiers who continued training at Camp Desert Rock in Nevada where he witnessed the detonation of an atomic bomb from a distance of less than 10,000 feet, thereby earning him the rare distinction of being called an “Atomic Veteran.” 

He went on to serve with distinction in Korea on the combat line at the 38th Parallel (DMZ) as a Tank Commander and Squad Leader with the rank of Corporal. 

Following his discharge from the Army in December 1954, Tony returned to his native Watkins Glen where he and his wife, Annabelle, raised seven children. The couple has 11 grandsons. Tony has served in local government and remained an active, admired and widely respected member of the community – in particular for his dedication and devotion to veterans affairs. 

He is especially known as the driving force and main organizer for the annual Veterans’ Day, Memorial Day and Flag Day observances. For over 50 years, he has been a member of BPOE Elks Lodge No. 1546; the Watkins Glen Fire Department, where he has held the rank of Chief and currently serves as Chaplain; and American Legion Post 555, where he is a Past Commander and has served as Adjutant since 1984. He is a Life Member of the VFW, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and the 2nd Indian Head Division. For over 20 years, he has been the Veterans Service Representative at the VA Hospital in Bath, New York. 

Over the course of the past six decades, Anthony J. “Tony” Specchio, Sr. has become a living symbol of patriotism and honor for veterans in Watkins Glen, our state and our nation.