Senator Young Presents Medals to Two Local Veterans

Catharine Young

February 14, 2013

Dorothy Button and Thomas Threadgill were honored for their dedicated service

SALAMANCA – Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I- Olean) recently awarded service medals to two distinguished veterans at the Cattaraugus County American Legion Family Testimonial Dinner held at Salamanca American Legion Post #535. Yeoman First Class Dorothy Button received the Medal for Merit, which is based on a U.S. Coast Guard Achievement Medal. Technical Sergeant Thomas Threadgill was given the New York State Medal for Merit, the Republic of Korea War Service Medal and a special commemorative medal from the Taiwanese government.

“These two decorated veterans served our country in very different ways, but their commitment and dedication to our nation are equally as impressive and inspiring,” said Senator Young. “Both have made tremendous sacrifices and given years of their lives to spreading freedom and protecting democracy. They have made our country a better place, and I couldn’t be happier to award them the medals they deserved.”

Dorothy is a retired U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Yeoman First Class. She retired Aug. 1, 2009, following a 20-year career with the Coast Guard Reserve at Coast Guard Station Buffalo. During her tour, she was assigned to the Reserve Unit Niagara, then Reserve Unit Buffalo. She was also assigned to Port Security Unit 301, then the Marine Safety Office Buffalo, and finally Coast Guard Sector Buffalo.

Following the September 11, 2001 attack, Dorothy was called to active duty for 24 months under Operations Noble Eagle and Liberty Shield, performing various Homeland Security duties that included harbor patrols. She did an additional tour of active duty -- two weeks -- during Hurricane Katrina. She was deployed to Alexandria, LA, doing inventory management and purchase order requests for Coast Guardsmen deployed for hurricane recovery operations.

Technical Sergeant Threadgill spent most of his time as an Air Force supply specialist/technician and did a tour as an Air Force Recruiter. He retired as a technical sergeant on July 1, 1973 at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. His last assignment was with the 1160th Special Activities Group, a covert unit that worked with the Central Intelligence Agency, and is a precursor to what is now known as the Air Force Special Operations Command.

The actions that the medals are based on relate to Sergeant Threadgill’s service during the Korean War with the 452nd Bomb Wing. That unit flew World War II-era Douglas B-26s, which were twin-engined light bombers, on re-supply, daylight and night close air support, and the planes also flew "lone wolf" interdiction missions for Allied United Nations ground forces.

“It makes me proud to have dedicated veterans like Dorothy and Thomas here in my district,” added Senator Young. “The dinner at the American Legion post in Salamanca was a wonderful way to recognize all of the local veterans in attendance for their service.”