State Senator seeks nominations for Veterans Hall of Fame

State Sen. Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) is seeking nominations for the New York State Senate’s “Veterans Hall of Fame,” an online tribute to the military and civilian lives of distinguished veterans from the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, and throughout New York State.

“So many veterans served our nation courageously and honorably, and then returned home to lift the lives of our local communities.  The Senate Veterans Hall of Fame is just one more way to give a local veteran a well-deserved and well-earned expression of our gratitude and admiration,” said O’Mara, who represents New York’s 58th Senate District encompassing Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, and Yates Counties, and part of Tompkins County (the city and town of Ithaca, and the towns of Enfield, Newfield, and Ulysses).

The Senate established its Veterans Hall of Fame in 2005. It honors New York State veterans whose service in the United States Armed Forces has been accompanied by service to the community and accomplishments as a civilian.  It pays tributes to veterans representing Senate districts statewide.  Senators conduct induction ceremonies within their respective legislative districts and at the Capitol coinciding with veterans-related observances throughout the year.

This year’s Senate Veterans Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Albany is planned for Tuesday, May 15, to coincide with this year’s Memorial Day observances.

O’Mara is accepting nominations for this year’s 58th Senate District inductee until Friday, April 13. Nomination letters, which should include a short biography highlighting the nominee’s military and civilian service awards and achievements, can be e-mailed to omara@nysenate.gov.

O’Mara has inducted the following area veterans into the Senate Veterans Hall of Fame:

• Philip C. Smith, a highly decorated Korean War combat veteran and well-known figure in Schuyler County government and veterans’ affairs as the former director of the Schuyler County Veterans’ Service Agency;

• J. Arthur “Archie” Kieffer, longtime Chemung County historian and a World War II combat veteran;

• Steuben County native, former Painted Post Mayor, and World War II combat veteran Roswell L. “Roz” Crozier Jr.;

• Anthony J. “Tony” Specchio Sr., a lifelong Watkins Glen resident and a fixture in civic and veterans affairs; and

• P. Earle Gleason, a lifelong Yates County resident and the former, longtime Director of the Yates County Veterans’ Service Agency.

Other area veterans who are Hall of Fame members are Frank C. “Fritz” Pesesky, a veteran of World War II and former director of the Chemung County Veterans Service Office (2005); William K. Kastner, a Vietnam veteran and longtime director of the Steuben County Veterans Service Agency (2006); and Robert Laskaris, a highly decorated combat veteran and well-known figure in Chemung County veterans’ affairs (2008).

The online Veterans Hall of Fame can be found on O’Mara’s Senate website, www.omara.nysenate.gov.