Major General Greene to be remembered with Route 146 dedication

The Enterprise — Michael Koff

Harold F. Greene of Guilderland, at right, is the father of Major General Harold J. Greene, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2014 in an insider attack by an Afghan soldier.

GUILDERLAND — Over the last two years, several of western Guilderland’s busiest roads have become an interlocking series of routes dedicated to local fallen soldiers.

On Monday, the New York State Assembly passed a bill that would rename part of Route 146 in Guilderland for Major General Harold J. Greene, who grew up in town and was killed in Afghanistan in 2014.

Now all that remains is for Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the bill.

The stretch of road to be dedicated to Greene is Route 146, from Route 20, where the Stewart’s is located, to Ostrander Road.

Originally, Highway Superintendent Steve Oliver explained, the plan was to have Route 20, between Carman Road and the Stewart’s at Route 146, named for Greene. This stretch of Route 20 passes the neighborhood where Greene grew up and where his father still lives, and the Town ’N’ Country Bowling Lanes, where a large mural is painted on the side of the building by artist Scott LoBaido, depicting a rippling American flag with the silhouette of a soldier standing at attention in its center, and Greene’s name at the top.

A bill proposing the dedication of that portion of Route 20 for Major General Greene passed in the Senate, and then went to Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy’s office, where it was discovered that the road was already dedicated.

Fahy’s communication director, Jake Egloff, said that that portion of Route 20 is named as the Disabled American Veterans Highway. “The Senate passed it, not realizing that they had double-dedicated a portion of it,” Egloff said.

Senator George Amedore’s director of communications and operations, Eileen Miller, discovered that in fact the length of Route 20, from Irving, New York to the New York-Massachusetts border, is dedicated as the Disabled American Veterans Highway.

That dedication was made in 1996, at the request of the New York State Association for Disabled American Veterans, Miller said.

The current bill had to be reworked with the new location and resubmitted to the Senate. It passed there, and, on June 19, passed in the Assembly. The bill was sponsored by Amedore and Fahy, both of whom represent Guilderland.

Oliver said that the road dedication for Major General Greene has taken so long because both Route 20 and Route 146 are state roads and require the passage of laws. “If it were a town road,” he said, “we would have just gotten it done.”

Greene was an engineer and much of his work focused on bringing the military up-to-date, his father told The Enterprise earlier. He had been the driving force behind the effort to modernize the Afghan military academy near Kabul that he was touring in August 2014 with other officers and dignitaries when he was killed. The shooter was one of the Afghan soldiers charged with protecting the delegation, his father said.

Oliver said that he had been trying for two years to get a road named for Greene. “Mr. Greene [the major general’s father] is not getting any younger,” he said. “I want to make sure he sees this before his time comes, because he’s one of the sweetest, most humble men I’ve ever met.”

Dedicated roads for dedicated soldiers

Carman Road — which intersects with that portion of Route 20 — is dedicated, from that point to Lydius Street almost three miles northwest, to another fallen soldier: Lieutenant Colonel Todd J. Clark, whose parents still live in Guilderland, not far from the Greene home. Clark was on his fifth combat tour when he and two others were shot and killed in a “green-on-blue” insider attack by an Afghan soldier.

A portion of East Lydius Street was dedicated to Army Specialist Raphael A. Nieves Jr., who was killed in Afghanistan in 2011; the tank he was manning came under enemy fire and he was shot in the chest as he returned fire. He was 22. Nieves’s father lives on East Lydius.

Part of West Lydius Street, on the other side of Carman Road, memorializes First Lieutenant Lanny G. Ladouceur, who was killed in 1970 when the Army helicopter he was piloting was shot down over Vietnam; the woman who was his newlywed wife at the time of his death lives nearby.

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