By: ERIC GROSS
Seven residents of Putnam County were among 27 men and women to be inducted into the 40th Senate District’s Third Annual Veterans Hall of Fame.
State Senator Greg Ball created the recognition in 2010 to “honor outstanding individuals who have selflessly served the United States.”
Inductees were nominated by their communities.
Ball lauded the heroes for “pursuing a distinguished path in both their military and civilian lives.”
Putnam’s seven inductees included: Sgt. Steven Mattson of Brewster who left his job on Wall Street in 2001 and joined the Marine Corps, where he served in Iraq.
Yeoman Yvonne Rustico of Carmel was the only woman inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. Rustico served in the Navy from 1944-1945, where she worked in Washington at the Defense Department.
The late Ed Duncan of Mahopac enlisted in the Army at the age of 16 and served in Company C during World War II.
Charles Connor of Kent served in the Air Force from 1950 to 1954 in Franceand Germany while Charles Monte of Putnam Valley who serves as Commander of the Mahopac VFW, was a member of the Army during the Korean conflict.
Laurence Gibbs, also of Putnam Valley, was inducted last week for his service in the Army during the Vietnam War.
Anthony Nacerino of Patterson also served in Vietnam as a member of the Army where he received a Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Vietnam Service Medal.
Senator Ball told a SRO audience of more than 350 gathered at the Mahopac Falls Elementary School last Thursday evening: “America is the greatest country the world has ever known. Many of us take our freedom for granted but by looking into the eyes of these veterans and their family members you observe real sacrifice and pain. It is most fitting that we honor those sacrifices by honoring them for bestowing upon us the greatest country in the universe.” (ARTICLE)