Senator Daphne Jordan announces United States Navy Veteran Keith J. Koster as her 2019 inductee into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame for the 43rd Senate District

A three-time cancer survivor, Saratoga Springs resident Keith Koster recently completed the “Centennial Challenge” – hiking and summiting all 46 high peaks in New York State with the American Legion Flag – to celebrate the American Legion’s 100th annivers

For Release: Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Contact: Josh Fitzpatrick, (518) 455-2381, fitzpatr@nysenate.gov 

Albany, NY – Senator Daphne Jordan (R,C,I,Ref-Halfmoon), today proudly announced her selection of United States Navy Veteran Keith J. Koster of Saratoga Springs as her 2019 inductee to the Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame for the 43rd Senate District. The 43rd Senate District includes all of Columbia County, and parts of Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Washington counties.

Launched in 2005, the Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame honors New York State’s outstanding veterans. During a patriotic public recognition ceremony held in Albany earlier today, the heroic service of each distinguished veteran inducted into the Veterans’ Hall of Fame was celebrated and honored. The link to the Keith Koster’s military service biography in the Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame is available at https://www.nysenate.gov/profiles/2019/daphne-jordan/keith-koster

A 1980 Shenendehowa High School graduate, Keith Koster enlisted in the United States Navy, serving from May 1982 to April 1988. He went to boot camp in Great Lakes, Illinois and trained as an Electronic Warfare Technician in Pensacola, Florida, being named “Sailor of the Month” before joining his ship the USS Suribachi (AE-21) at Naval Weapon Station, Earle, New Jersey. Mr. Koster was honorably discharged as a Petty Officer 1st Class (EW1). 

In recognition of his exemplary military service, Koster received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and two-(2) Sea Service Deployment Ribbons.

A three-time cancer survivor, Koster recently completed the Centennial Challenge – hiking and summiting all 46 high peaks in New York State with the American Legion Flag – to celebrate the Legion’s 100th anniversary. In March 2019, the American Legion’s national magazine featured Mr. Koster on its cover in recognition of his incredible accomplishment. 

An American Legion paid-up-for-life member, Koster has served in various positions in the American Legion up to and including 3rd & 4th District Department Vice Commander. Koster is currently the Judge Advocate for the 4th District American Legion, Finance Officer for Saratoga American Legion, Chaplain for Adirondack Post 70 in Saratoga Springs, and is a 2015 graduate of the American Legion College.

Mr. Koster graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science Degree and enjoys mountaineering and ballroom dancing in his spare time.

“From this year’s 75th anniversary of D-Day during World War II, when the Greatest Generation saved the world from evil and tyranny, to the ongoing commitment to protecting America and fighting the war on terror, the men and women of our armed forces are the best, brightest and bravest that our nation has to offer. They protect our freedom, achieve the impossible, move mountains and, in the case of Keith Koster, they even climb them, all 46 of New York’s high peaks, multiple times. Keith Koster is an inspirational three-time cancer survivor who continues finding new challenges to conquer as he serves his fellow Capital Region veterans through his work and leadership in the American Legion. Keith Koster has served our nation with valor and distinction and I am proud to name him as my first inductee to the Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame,” Senator Daphne Jordan said.

“Serving my nation, community and fellow veterans continues to be part of my life’s work. As a three-time cancer survivor, I climbed New York’s 46 high peaks (summer & winter). Recently, I completed all 46 peaks again in one year to honor the Centennial Year of the American Legion by carrying the American Legion Flag up all 46 peaks. This challenge demonstrated that hard work, dedication, discipline and being part of a cause that’s greater than yourself, all of which are valuable life lessons that I learned in the United States Navy and through my ongoing service in the American Legion. I want to thank Senator Jordan for naming me as her very first inductee to the Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame for the 43rd Senate District; it’s wonderful seeing the service of New York’s military veterans being recognized. This is a fantastic honor and one that my family and I genuinely appreciate,” Koster said.

Keith Koster is married to his beautiful wife Cindy and they have two children and one grandchild. Keith and Cindy will be married 34 years in October 2019.

Photo Credit: Schelly Stone/The American Legion. Keith Koster is pictured above taking part in the Centennial Challenge, summiting New York’s 46 high peaks to celebrate the American Legion’s 100th anniversary. Thank you to the American Legion for permission to use this phenomenal photo!

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