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September 22, 2018

Community Honors Distinguished Veterans During Ceremony in Clay


SYRACUSE, NY – On June 1 the Thank a Service Member charity in partnership with Macy’s paid tribute to local veterans during a public ceremony at Great Northern Mall in Clay.

Pictured from left in the second row are: Luana Lovenguth – Macy’s VP store manager, Peter Allen – executive director of Thank a Service Member. In front from left are: Richard Scott, Ralph Hodson, Bill Russell, Irene Dennison, Herbert Emerson.

Pictured from left in the second row are: Luana Lovenguth – Macy’s VP store manager, Peter Allen – executive director of Thank a Service Member. In front from left are: Richard Scott, Ralph Hodson, Bill Russell, Irene Dennison, Herbert Emerson.

During the event Peter Allen, founder and executive director of Thank a Service Member, Inc., a locally based organization whose mission is to “honor the service and support the needs” of military veterans, presented each of the veterans with a special medallion intended to honor their service and serve as a lasting reminder of the appreciation of a grateful community.

Before each presentation, those in attendance heard the incredible stories of the careers of these veterans.

“Each of these veterans is a member of a long line of service men and women who have protected and served our nation in times of peace and war. I am honored to have the privilege to meet and shake the hands of these amazing individuals,” said Allen.

The honorees included Herbert Emerson, a World War II veteran who served in the U.S. Army.

Herbert was injured in battle and spent a period of time recovering in England before returning home. Shortly after arriving in Europe, Herbert and his team of less than a dozen soldiers were able to tactfully surround and successfully capture over three dozen German soldiers without firing a shot.

98 year-old Lt. Col. (Ret) Ralph Hodson served in the US Army Corps of Engineers during WWII and saw duty in the Aleutian Islands.  William (Bill) Russell served in the US Navy from 1944 to 1946 and was assigned to duty in Japan and the Aleutian Islands.  Richard Scott served in the US Army and helped prepare for Operation Desert Storm.

Also honored was Air Force Colonel (Ret) Irene Dennison. Irene served from 1958 to 1982 and was instrumental in helping to negotiate the release of John McCain who was a POW held by the North Vietnamese from 1967 to 1973.

“We are incredibly proud of these veterans and remained humbled by the service and sacrifice of all who have so proudly served this nation,” said Luana Lovenguth, VP store manager, Macy’s Great Northern.

Thank a Service Member is a non-profit organization based in Central, New York. It was founded in 2006 as a grass roots initiative. Thank a Service Member’s mission is to educate the public and to support and show appreciation to the men and women who have served the country. Their programs provide creative solutions to the problems faced by active duty military members, veterans, and their families, through their non-political and non-partisan campaigns.

To learn more about Thank a Service Member visit their website at www.tasm.us or call (315) 402-5915.

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