By Ashley Tarr

Dozens of former service members from across Dutchess, Putnam and Westchester will be recognized Saturday evening during the second annual Veterans Hall of Fame (HOF) for New York’s 40th State Senate District.

The event will be held at Henry H. Wells Middle School, with a start time of 6 p.m. It was originally scheduled for Nov. 1, but organizers were forced to postpone because of Hurricane Sandy.

State Sen. Greg Ball (R, C — Patterson) created the HOF in 2011, when he inducted a first class of 27 veterans. Veterans nominated this year, and last, by municipalities in the district will be acknowledged Saturday.

Katonah officials chose Guy E. Zinser, who is commander of the American Legion. He spent a year in Vietnam as a combat engineer with the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.

Supervisor Lee V.A. Roberts called Zinser “an outstanding veteran of the Vietnam War and worthy of recognition not only for his service to this country but for his local leadership at the Legion.

“I’m sure there are a lot of veterans that are just as qualified as I am,” said Santo Asaro, who was tapped by Mount Kisco.

Asaro, a former commander of the American Legion, is bringing along his son and grandchildren to the ceremony. The 88-year-old served in the Army during World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

“I think about it often sometimes, like this time of the year, where things are a little tougher during the winter,” he said. “A lot of the men suffered during that weather, so there are a lot of times when I see the winter and all of these things sort of come back to memory.”

Robert Palmer, a 92-year-old Southeast resident who was chosen by town officials, said he too thinks about his time in the service often.

“We were in action every single day,” he said, recalling a 10-month stint in Europe during WWII. Palmer—who is known around town for placing hundreds of flags by veterans’ graves in local cemeteries each Memorial Day—spent four years in the Army.

Palmer will be attending with his daughter. He said it’s an honor to have been selected.

“It’s naturally going to be moving,” he said.

Ball commended each municipality’s selection. In addition to the ceremony, a second form of recognition will come in the form of a traveling wall, which will make its way around the district and feature each veteran.

“These men and women have been hand-picked by their communities because they chose a path of courage, honor, integrity and bravery; a path that helped shape America as we know it, protecting our way of life and liberty,” Ball said. “America is not a great country because of its politicians, it’s a great country because of our veterans.”

Tom Bartley contributed to this report. (ARTICLE)

About Greg Ball

Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson) is the Senator for New York State's 40th district. A former Vice President of Exceed International Development Corporation, Ball holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the United States Air Force Academy, is currently completing his Masters Thesis of Liberal Studies in International Affairs at Georgetown University, and received an honorable discharge in 2005 at the rank of Captain after service as an active duty officer in the United States Air Force. View all posts by Greg Ball →
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