Senator Jim Alesi (R,C-Perinton), in coordination with the East Rochester American Legion, today announced a special ceremony to celebrate local veteran Ralph Chinelly and his induction into the New York State Senate "Veterans Hall of Fame". Despite his blindness, Mr. Chinelly has continued to be an vigorous advocate on behalf of the veterans of New York State.
The first-of-its-kind online Hall of Fame was designed to pay tribute to New Yorkers whose courage in the U.S Armed Forces is complimented by their service to the community and significant accomplishments as a civilian. The Veterans Hall of Fame tribute may be accessed through Senator Alesi's website: http://www.senatoralesi.com
"I am always humbled by the brave veterans who selflessly served our country in order to protect the freedoms that we as a nation enjoy today." said Senator Alesi. "The Senate Veterans Hall of Fame was created to stress the importance of what these veterans have done not only in times of war, but also the significant positive impact they have had on our local communities. Mr. Chinelly served our Nation, our State, and our local community with great honor and bravery, and for that we are eternally grateful."
While serving in the Army during World War II, Mr. Chinelly was assigned to Medical Depot, at Thomson General Hospital. His duties were to assist in the rehabilitation of amputees and paraplegics, along with fitting them with prosthesis to improve their quality of life. After his discharge in 1946, Ralph joined the American Legion at his local post and now holds the office of Veterans Affairs Officer and Post Trustee. He is an active member of the Blind Veterans Association.
Although the war ended, Mr. Chinelly's deep commitment for helping other veterans carried on for nearly two decades where he dedicated a majority of his time to volunteer service aiding his fellow veterans. Mr. Chinelly, a disabled blind veteran himself, 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.
Ralph Chinelly is a recipient of the Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. Along with being recognized as the first inductee to the NYS Senate "Veterans Hall of Fame" Mr. Chinelly was also be awarded the American Legion East Rochester Post "Humanitarian of the Year" in November of 2005 and will be the Monroe County and District 7 American Legion "Humanitarian of the Year" at conventions scheduled for June of 2006.
Since first elected as a State Legislator, Senator Alesi has championed many Veteran causes including regularly securing State funds for every VFW and American Legion Post in his district, renaming a portion of Macedon Center Road as the POW-MIA Memorial Highway, renaming a large portion of Route 441 as the Korean War Memorial Highway, and securing State funds, used locally to build the Vietnam Memorial, the WWII Memorial, and the Korean War Memorial.
The ceremony to honor Ralph Chinelly is being hosted by the East Rochester Memorial American Legion Post 1917 on Thursday, May 18th 2006 at the Lodge in Eyer Park.