Senator Avella Honors Local Hero

Tony Avella

January 11, 2012

Senator Tony Avella issues a legislative resolution honoring retired combat veteran William D. Costello, this afternoon.

In honor of Memorial Day, Senator Avella, D-Bayside, invited William D. Costello, a retired construction worker from VFW Post 4787, to receive a Legislative Resolution from the State of New York commemorating his service to the country

Costello was drafted at 18, now 86, recalls the morning of the D-Day Invasion of Normandy as a rifleman in the Army’s 4th Infantry 20th Armored Division.

“We woke up at 9 am, put our packs on, and by 10 am we were down the net and into the landing craft,” recalls Costello.

Armed with an M1 Garand rifle, Costello spent 196 days on the line.

The Invasion was a massive struggle, all part of a master operation to retake the beach. We had very little training going down those nets, he said. When we landed on the beach I said to myself, “Ma, I’m here.”

He is the recipient of a Combat Infantry Badge, a WWII Victory Medal, four Campaign Bronze stars, a Euro-East Campaign Medal, a D-Day Medal, and the Purple Heart for wounds he suffered to his skull.

“After two months in the hospital, I wanted to go back, but they wouldn’t let me,” Costello joked.

When asked how he felt about being honored by the Senate, Costello said with a humble tone in his voice, “More people than me should be honored.”

Senator Avella read the Resolution to all who attended and announced that since taking office, the legislative priorities of our Veterans like Costello is a main concern.

“From now on, every Memorial Day and Veterans Day, we will be selecting a vet to honor him or her for their service,” according to Avella.

By Adam Lombardi