Westerlo honors Hometown Heroes

The Enterprise — Michael Koff
Thank you for your service: Assemblyman Chris Tague, right, hands one of the Fisher family members an American Flag that was flown over the State Capitol. Four Fishers were honored with Westerlo banners — three fought in Vietnam and one in World War II.

To the Editor:

The Westerlo Hometown Heroes Banner Committee honored 2019’s new banner recipients at its Second Annual Closing Ceremony on Nov. 2 at the First Baptist Church in Westerlo. The event was attended by over 200 residents, family members, and veterans.

Participants in the Westerlo Hometown Heroes Closing Ceremony concludes the 2019 program during which 45 new local veterans and 16 previously displayed veterans were honored with individual banners throughout the town. The ceremony recognized this year’s veterans for their bravery and sacrifice in service to our country.

Veterans and/or their families were formally presented with their banners, a proclamation from Albany County Executive Dan McCoy, and a flag flown over the Capitol from Assemblyman Chris Tague.

The event also included: Presentation of Colors by the Vedder Composite Civil Air Patrol; Pledge of Allegiance by local Boy Scout Troop 1079; singing of the national anthem by a local fourth-grade student, Brody Shaver; bagpipes by Maria-Lee Murdza of the The New York State Corrections Emerald Society Pipe Band; and playing of Taps by local Boy Scout, Keegan Bailey. 

Guest speaker Ken Secor, director Veterans Service Bureau for Albany County, remarked about seeing American flags waving from households and veteran banners in towns like Westerlo, which remind him of his service in the military and why he chose to serve his country.

Assemblyman Chris Tague acknowledged he was humbled by the dedication and service of all who choose to serve this country, “the greatest country on Earth!”

The committee also announced it will begin fundraising efforts to bring the Traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall to Westerlo. To begin the fundraising efforts, 2018 banner recipient and USA Para-Olympian from the Gold Medal Hockey Team, Corporal Luke McDermott has donated some of his Olympic memorabilia to be raffled off. Items include Olympic Ralph Lauren boots, two hockey pucks, and his Olympic participation medal. Raffle tickets are being sold for $10 each and the drawing will be on May 31, 2020.

Those is attendance enjoyed a complimentary buffet that included donations from Casa Mia’s, P&L Deli, M and M Bakery, Hannaford in Cairo, and Shoprite of Slingerlands.

The committee would not have been able to offer this program to the residents and veterans of Westerlo or host such a closing ceremony without the generous donations from our community.

While it is our intention to publicly thank everyone who has been a part of the success of Westerlo’s Hometown Heroes Banner program, if we have inadvertently forgotten to mention anyone by name, we want them to that their contribution has not gone unnoticed by our committee and we will be forever grateful to you for their support. We ask that whenever possible you support these local businesses.

Family and friends who sponsored banners include: The Bishop Family, The Boone Family, JoAnn and Patricia Britton, Cliff J. Fisher Jr., Dot Fisher, Cheryl Guilzon, Marie Haley, Sherley Hannay, Joyce and Phil Homeyer, Linda Irwin, Loretta Langdon and Family, Anna Kuhar, Catherine Latham, Nancy Latham, David and Melody Rebeor and Family, Stephen and Ruth Savino, Cindy Seaburg,  and Wendy Shelburne, Joyce Shortsleeve, Robert Snyder, the Snyder Family, Joyce and Charlie Trenchard Jr., Wilmar Warner, Sandra Willsey, and Keith Wright Sr.

Business and individual sponsors include: Assemblyman Chris Tague, Bank of Greene County, Cottonwood Creek Veterinary Services, Craig Apple, Cypress Creek, Eastern Mutual Insurance, Elma Houck, Energy Solution for Americans, J&L Transport, Leanne Royer, CM Fox Real Estate, M&Bs, Maple on the Lake, McDermott Automotive, and Town Line Auto and Town Line Motor Sports.

Closing ceremony sponsors include: Isabella Adinolfi, Albany Diocesan Cemeteries, Senator George Amedore, William Bishop, Chaplain Richard Brumley, Casa Mia’s, Cypress Creek, Karen Cornell, Clifford Fisher, Laura Gardiner, GNH, Charles and Paula Haley, Marie Haley, Rick and Rachel Haley, Hannaford, Cairo, Janet Houck, Matt Kryzak, Nancy Latham, M and M Bakery, Maple on the Lake, Palma Schloer, ShopRite, Slingerlands, Ned Stevens, Town Line Auto and Tractor Supply.

In addition, the following volunteered to make the ceremony special, Patriot Guard Riders, The First Baptist Church of Westerlo, and the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Town of Westerlo Fire Company.

The committee was honored and privileged to be able to honor these heroes from Westerlo, the 2019 banner recipients:

— Col. Jerry Adinolfi, Air Force, Vietnam, Desert Storm;

—  Capt. Barry Applebee, Air Force, Vietnam,;

— S1c. William Bichteman, Navy, 1943-1946, World War II,;

—  Tech 4 Thurman J. Bishop Jr., Army, 1943-1945, World War II;

—  Walter Blodgett, Navy, World Ar II;

—  S/Sgt. Charles E. Boone, Army Air Corps, 1942-1945, World War II;

—  SSGT. Mark A. Burnside, Air Force, 1981-1992, Desert Storm;

—  SGT. Stephen E. Burnside, Air Force, 1985-1992;

—  EN3. Ralph Conde, Navy, Korea;

— Sgt. Robert Cooper, Army, World War II;

— James Croote, Air Force , 1950-1954, Korea;

— T4. Robert Theodore Deitz, Army, 1945-1946, World War II;

— L/Cpl. Douglas F. Fisher, Marine Corps, 1961-1965, Vietnam;

—  E4. Timothy K. Fisher, Navy, 1969-1973, Vietnam;

—  E4. Clifford J. Fisher III, Navy, 1967-1971, Vietnam;

— S1c. Clifford John Fisher Jr., Navy, 1943-1946, World War II;

—  A1c. A. David Guilzon, Air Force, 1963-1969, Vietnam;

— Pvt 2c. Arnold “Stub” Wilber Haley, Army, 1951-1956, Korea;

— SFC. Charles A Haley, Army, 1977-2005;

— Pvt.  Delbert Haley, Army, 1917-1918, World War I;

—  Elwood Arthur Haley, Navy;

— SFC. Robert Dwight Hannay, Army National Guard, 1963-1969;

— 1st Lt. Roger Hannay, Army, 1965-1969, Vietnam;

—  John Hassell, Army, Civil War;

— John Gould Ives, Army, World War I;

— Sgt. Randolf Everett Johnston, Air Force, 1981-1991;

—  SP3. Paul Klob, Army, 1954-1956, Korea;

—  FN. George E. Langdon, Navy, 1959-1965, Vietnam;

— SSGT. Alvin H. Latham, Air Force, 1952-1960, Korea;

— SPU. Henry C. Latham, Army, 1955-1958, Korea;

— William Loetterle, Navy, 1962-1965, Vietnan;

— AB. Sherman “Yankee” Mallery, Air Force, 1957-1958;

— Pvt. Percival Palmar, Army, World War II;

— Pvt. Edsel R. Quick, Army, 1943, World War II;

— Cmdr. Gordon Rennick, Navy, 1952-1956, Korea;

— SPC. Mark Rennick, Army, 1990-1993;

— T/Sgt. Stephen J. Savino, Air Force, 2001-2016, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom;

— FS2. Jason Seaburg, Coast Guard, 2002-2008;

—  E3 BTFN. James Sill, Navy Reserve, 1969-1975, Vietnam;

— Frederick Snyder, Navy, 1940-1950, World War II and Korea;

— Pvt. Henry F. Snyder, Army, 1952-1954, Korea;

— Cpl.  William E. Therrien, Marine Corps, 1968-1970, Vietnam;

— SP4. Dominic Woodmansee, Army National Guard, 2016- present;

— Burt Woodruff, Air Force, Korea; and

— Mjr. Keith Wright Jr., Air Force, 1996-2017.

If anyone is interested in more information about banners for the 2020 season, would like to be a sponsor, or would like to make a donation, they can email Amie Burnside at or Lisa DeGroff at

God Bless these and all veterans who have and who are serving. You are special to us and we keep you in our hearts daily.

God Bless America.

Amie Burnside


Lisa DeGroff

Betty Filkins

Rick Haley Sr.

Dotty Verch

The Westerlo Hometown

Heroes Banner Committee

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