Congressman John Katko presented four Central New York veterans with long- overdue military medals.
The ceremony was held at the Solvay Public Library.
In a statement, Congressman Katko said:
“It was my distinct honor to assist these veterans and their families in acquiring the medals they are rightfully due, and to present them today. Yesterday, our country honored the brave sacrifices of the many men and women who have given their lives for our freedom and our democracy. I’m honored today to pay tribute to these four American heroes, and will continue to fight for our veterans in Congress.”
Some of the honored families expressed small regret that their loved ones couldn’t be there, having passed away.
They hope to inspire other families of veterans to start researching possible medal awards now and the get the process started through Congressman Katko’s Office.
Congressman Katko’s Office provided the following information on the award recipients:
Mr. David Tatich, a Savannah, NY resident, who served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. Mr. Tatich was deployed to Mine Squadrone Eleven Detatchment Alpha Reublic of Vietnam and endured two Tet offensives, plus daily hazards under fire and ambushes by Viet Cong insurgents while patrolling Long Tau and keeping the river open for vital supplies to reach Saigon, Bien Hoa and all airfields in and around Saigon. Upon his return from Vietnam, he was married and had two children, and received his B.A. in Economics at SUNY Binghamton. Today, Rep. Katko awarded Mr. Tatich the Vietnam Service Medal, which he had not received following his service, as well as the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Meritous Unit Commendation, Navy Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Honorable Discharge Button.
Mr. John Greeley, a lifelong LaFayette resident and graduate of LaFayette High School, Cazenovia College and the University of California at Berkeley, who served in the U.S. Navy from 1978 until he was honorably discharged in 1983. Mr. Greeley has been married to his wife, Kathleen, for ten years and has one son, John. Rep. Katko presented Mr. Greeley the Navy Expeditionary Medal he was owed for his service.
Mr. Louis John Donahue, of Camillus, who served in the U.S. Army during World War II. A graduate of Most Holy Rosary High School, Mr. Donahue joined the Army, and served in Germany as a private in Company E in the 2nd Battalion 253rd Infantry Regiment in the 63rdInfantry Division, also known as the “Blood & Fire Division.” Mr. Donahue was injured in The Battle of Buchhof and Stein am Kocher, and awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart Medal. Following his service, Mr. Donahue married his high school sweetheart, Dody Condon. He went on to graduate from Le Moyne College and taught math in the Solvay School District. He and his wife raised six children. Mr. Donahue passed away in early 2017 and is buried at the Onondaga Veteran’s Cemetery. His son, L. Michael Donahue, accepted on his father’s behalf today the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Good Conduct Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with Bronze Star Attachment, World War II Victory Medal, and Combat Infantryman Badge. Rep. Katko was able to assist Mr. Donahue’s family in obtaining these medals following his death.
- Mr. Gordon Foster, of Camillus, who joined the U.S. Army following his graduation from Lansing High School in 1948. Mr. Foster was injured during his service in Korea, when he was struck by a piece of shrapnel during combat. He was honorably discharged after serving three years in the Army. He has previously been awarded the Korean Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the NYS Conspicuous Service Cross by former Governor George Pataki. Not long after his honorable discharge, Mr. Foster was introduced on a blind date to his wife, Corinne. Just three months later they were married, beginning a partnership that would last nearly sixty-four years. Mr. Foster passed away earlier this year in February. His wife, Corinne, son, James, and daughter, Barb, accepted the Purple Heart Medal on his behalf today. Rep. Katko’s office was able to assist Mr. Foster’s family in obtaining a replacement Purple Heart Medal after discovering that his name had previously been printed inaccurately on his medal.