Earlier thsi week, Senator Robach inducted Ray Melens of Hilton into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame. This honor is designed to pay tribute to New Yorkers whose gallantry in the U.S. Armed Forces is complimented by their service to the community and their accomplishments as a civilian.
Melens enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after graduating from Greece Arcadia High School in 1968 and was sent to serve in South Vietnam. For his outstanding service while enlisted, he has earned numerous medals and honors which include: the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Unit citations and the New York State Medal for Merit.
After his service, Melens devoted his time to helping and honoring his fellow veterans. He is the Chairperson of Vietnam Veterans of America and was elected to be part of the Rochester Chapter’s Board of Directors. Also, as a Marching Unit Commander, Melens formed an Honor Guard for funerals and for various ceremonies. This effort has become nationally recognized. In addition to these many duties, Melens spends much of his spare time giving tours and helping with the upkeep of the Greater Rochester Vietnam Veterans Memorial.