Senator Jim Tedisco (R,C,I,REF-Glenville) today honored Mayfield resident Daniel Izzo, who is the Fulton County Undersheriff, with the New York State Senate Liberty Medal – the Senate’s highest honor – for his courageous service as a decorated former U.S. Navy SEAL.
“Fulton County Undersheriff Daniel Izzo is the real deal. He’s a true American hero and patriot who time after time put his life on the line as a U.S. Navy Seal in some of the most dangerous places on Earth to keep our nation safe and free and protect our very way of life,” said Tedisco. “I’m proud to recognize Undersheriff Izzo’s valor and courageous service to our country by presenting him with the highest honor I could bestow, the New York State Senate Liberty Medal.”
“Undersheriff Dan Izzo’s education, training and experience are unmatched. The Sheriff’s Office, the residents of the county and myself are very fortunate to have Dan as our Undersheriff,” said Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino.
As an elite U.S. Navy SEAL, Izzo served for 28 years retiring as a Master Chief having completed a dozen major deployments to a variety of countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Liberia. Izzo has earned over 45 combined service awards, most notably two Bronze Star Medals, one with the combat “V” distinction for valor and three separate Combat Action Awards.
Izzo was selected as one of just 22 Navy SEALs to participate in a pilot program that laid the ground work for how the SEALs would fight the Global War on Terror. This program involved sending two-man teams into foreign countries that had a strong Al-Qaeda presence. Many of the missions Izzo participated in remain highly classified to this day.
During a combat deployment in Afghanistan, Izzo’s team came under attack from rocket fire. With total disregard for his own safety, Izzo manned a MK-19 grenade launcher and returned fire in order to suppress the enemy and single-handedly stopped the attack and saved the lives of numerous coalition members. For his courage and selflessness, Izzo received the Bronze Star.
Izzo received a second Bronze Star while serving in Iraq for his leadership of a 236-man Navy SEAL counter insurgency unit and for leading a 23-day-long combat operation in Northern Iraq where his team removed 36 enemy insurgents from the battlefield.
While deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Izzo worked directly with the U.S. Secret Service to provide security for Former President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton when they visited U.S. service members. In 1996, Izzo helped recover the remains of 34 passengers including U.S. Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown when their aircraft crashed into a mountainside in Croatia.
Izzo’s team safely evacuated American personnel and their families from the American Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia, while under continuous exposure from rebels. Izzo was selected as the 1999 Navy SEAL of the Year.