Senator Bill Larkin (R,C,I - Cornwall-On-Hudson) inducted Nelson Rivera and Mary E. Cavanagh into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame today in Albany. Mr. Rivera, who recently retired as the Director of the Dutchess County Division of Veterans’ Services, received a special lifetime service award as part of today’s ceremony.
“First Class Petty Officer Nelson Rivera and Senior Chief Petty Officer Mary E. Cavanagh epitomize what it means to serve our country honorably,” said Senator Bill Larkin. “Showing our appreciation to our veterans cannot only be measured by words, we must also act with clear purpose and in service to our mission of bettering our community. Both FCPO Rivera and SCPO Cavanagh have taken their military experience and knowledge and applied it to bettering their community. I salute their efforts and join them in continuing to fight for our mission.”
The New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame honors and recognizes outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life.
First Class Petty Officer, Nelson Eddy Rivera (Plattekill, NY) – is the former Director of the Dutchess County Division of Veterans’ Services. Mr. Rivera enlisted in the United States Navy in 1975. He served in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm during the first Gulf War and remained in Saudi Arabia, working with the Saudi Navy for four years until his military retirement. Mr. Rivera is qualified as an Enlisted Aviation Warfare Specialist. He has received numerous awards and medals, including the Navy Achievement Medal, Battle “E” Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon (4 awards), Kuwait Liberation Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal (3 awards), Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal, Pistol Marksmanship Medal and “Service Officer of the Year 2012” by the American Legion Department of New York.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Mary E. Cavanagh (Pomona, NY) – not only served her country from 1977-2000, since retiring from the Navy, she has devoted the last 18 years educating future military and academic leaders as the Naval Science Instructor for the North Rockland High School Navy Junior Reserve Training Corps. SCPO Cavanagh’s first assignment at sea was as the Leading Petty Officer and Senior Mediterranean Analyst, deployed on board the USS Puget Sound in support of operations following the bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut. Among many noteworthy assignments, SCPO Cavanagh has served in the Office of Navy Intelligence, and her final assignment was as the Non Commissioned Officer in Charge and Senior Enlisted Advisor at the Cryptologic Services Group, National Military Joint Intelligence Center at the Pentagon. SCPO Cavanagh has received numerous awards and medals, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Join Service Achievement Medal, the Navy Achievement Medal with three gold stars, the Good Conduct Award with four bronze stars, Expert Rifle, Expert Pistol and various other campaign medals and ribbons.