Yorktown, NY - Many veterans have served our country admirably and are too modest to seek the praise and respect they have earned. Thanks to Senator Terrence Murphy, George Mackey has finally received the recognition he deserves. Senator Murphy and his staff contacted the Minister of Patriots and Veterans Affairs of the Republic of Korea in the hope that George would be recognized for his heroic service. With George's peerless war record, it did not take much convincing. The Korean government awarded George a medal proclaiming him an "Ambassador of Peace." At a ceremony held at his District Office in Shrub Oak, Senator Murphy presented George with his medal. Beekman Town Supervisor Mary Covucci, Peggy Matsuzawa, Secretary to the Supervisor, and George Mackey, Jr. were on hand to congratulate George Sr. for being the first "Ambassador of Peace" recipient in the 40th Senate District.
"Getting this medal for George has helped open the door for other people," said Senator Murphy. "Our veterans are an important part of our history. Anyone who puts on a uniform to defend our country should be welcomed home and thanked for their service. Like George, my Dad served in the Korean War and we will continue to make an effort to recognize other Korean War Veterans."
George recounted a hair-raising experience he had while in the service. "We were in Kaesong, a part of Korea where the weather was sixty below zero. You had to wear three sets of clothes just to almost keep warm. The Chinese outnumbered us ten to one. We were told to blow up our equipment, but drove through two roadblocks in order to save it and received commendations."
In speaking about his Ambassador of Peace Medal, George commented, "There was a period in my life when I did not want to talk about my experiences in Korea. Many veterans feel that way. You do your duty, you see some horrible things and have some great times as well. Thank you, Senator Murphy, for all that you do for us veterans."
George is from a family that has proudly served our nation since the Civil War when his great, great grandfather served in the Union Army. Another member of his family served in both the World War I and World War II. A native of Mount Kisco, George served in the Army during the Korean War, attaining the rank of Sergeant First Class at the age of 21. He served in the Artillery and Ballistics unit and later was part of an eight-member elite intelligence team. While he was at Camp Carson in Colorado in charge of the barracks, George was approached to play on the baseball team, continuing yet another family tradition.
George was cited by the Secretary of the Army for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding service in support of combat operations in Korea between October 1950 and July 1953. For his actions in four battles during the war, George was awarded the Korean Service Medal with four bronze service stars. In addition, George was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and United Nations Service Medal.
George worked for New York Telephone (now Verizon) for 50 years as a Third Line Manager. He was an auditor during his last 10 years with the company, ensuring productivity and quality. In this role, he traveled across New York State from Riverhead to Buffalo.
George's family were long-time members of the Mt. Kisco American Legion. In 1970, George moved to the Town of Beekman in Dutchess County where he and his three children enjoyed raising horses on 50 acres of land.