(BINGHAMTON, NY) Senator Fred Akshar inducted local veteran and and World War II hero Albert W. Rood into the New York State Senate Veterans' Hall of Fame Class of 2022.
Each year, the New York State Senate honors veterans who have distinguished themselves in both their military and community service.
Following the path of many of his generation anxious to serve his country, Albert (Al) Rood left high school as soon as he received his draft card mid-way through his senior year and entered the service of his choice, the US Marine Corps in February 1944. As part of the newly created 5th Marine Division, he served in the communications unit, coordinating naval gunfire units.
Serving in the 5th assault wave on the beach at the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945, Rood was charged with setting up and maintaining beach communications during the heat of battle, coordinating gunfire with the naval ships behind. He vividly recalls taking fire from every direction as he made his way farther onto the island. In addition to engaging the enemy, Rood would often have to repair and splice broken communication lines together in the dead of night under enemy fire. Over half his unit lost their lives at Iwo Jima. Amazingly, he personally witnessed the original first raising of the US flag on Mt. Surabachi. He was on the island for 36 days and eventually became part of the occupational force in Japan.
Rood achieved the rank of Corporal and returned to his hometown of Binghamton after his 2 ½ years of service at the age of 21. He married his high school sweetheart Audrey Jones. Together they raised 4 children and now have 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
Putting his military skills to good use, he worked 40 years for the New York Telephone Company as a lineman and repairer.
At 96 years old, he continues his service to this day as part of the Marine Corp League funeral honor guard where he can be heard playing taps for his departed brethren. He was and remains, a true American hero.
“Nearly 80 years later, the kind of heroism and dedication to service displayed by Cpl. Albert Rood remains woven into the fabric of what makes our country great. Like so many veterans, when Cpl. Rood’s service abroad ended, he continued to serve his country back at home, where he was able to live the American dream that so many have fought and died for. It’s my honor induct a true American hero, Cpl. Albert W. Rood, into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.
You can read more about Corporal Albert Rood here.