Senator Valesky Inducts Canastota Man to NYS Senate Veterans Hall of Fame

David J. Valesky

May 22, 2013

ALBANY, N.Y.--Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) today announced the induction of Mike LaNasa into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in honor of his service to the nation and his efforts to establish numerous veterans projects and memorials in Central New York.

“Mike LaNasa became a distinguished leader in the military during his years of service,” Senator Valesky said. “When he retired, he used those skills to lead the development of projects that honor his fellow veterans by ensuring that their service would always be remembered through public sites and memorials.”

“I am honored to be included with the other veterans in this Hall of Fame, but the real honor was serving with my fellow soldiers and then being able to memorialize their service in many ways throughout Central New York,” LaNasa said. “I couldn’t have accomplished any of this without the support of my family, especially my wife, Ann.”

LaNasa was born in Syracuse, N.Y., and enlisted in the Army in 1970. He served for six years, obtaining the rank of E-6 Staff Sergeant. In 1976, he graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, and subsequently held various command and staff positions at the brigade through the company levels. He served as lieutenant in the 10th Mountain Infantry Division from 1985 to 1995 and retired as lieutenant colonel in 1996 from the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Army National Guard located at Hancock Air Base in Syracuse.

LaNasa has spent many years working on various projects and remembrances for fellow veterans. He is one of the founding fathers of the Veterans Memorial at the New York State Fair, which attracts thousands of visitors each year. In addition, LaNasa was instrumental in bringing the Vietnam Moving Wall to Central New York; forming the Eagle Association of CNY, which assists in Veterans Affairs; and establishing a 9-11 Remembrance site, a law enforcement and firefighters memorial, and a fallen soldier memorial at the New York State Fair.

LaNasa currently serves as chairman of the Onondaga County Veterans Day celebration, and has also assisted with the OnCenter Veterans Advisory Board, UAW Veterans Committee, Battle of the Bulge Veterans organization and Vietnam Veterans Chapter #103.

In his non-military career, he worked at New Process Gear for 34 years as a plant engineer and was an active member of UAW Local 2149. He lives in Canastota with his wife of 42 years, Ann. They have two children and four grandchildren.

The New York State Senate Veterans' Hall of Fame was created in 2005 to honor and recognize outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life. Their meritorious service to our nation deserves the special recognition that only a Hall of Fame can provide, as a fitting expression of our gratitude and admiration.