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Albany County Executive McCoy Honors Local Veterans for Outstanding Service

Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 1:50 PM

Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy today commended three outstanding local veterans who have left a positive impact on their local community upon their retirement after serving in the armed forces at his Honor a Living Veteran Ceremony.

This biannual event was launched by County Executive McCoy in 2013 in order to bring greater awareness to exemplary local residents who have bravely fought in wars from World War II through the present time and come home to serve their local community in unique ways. This year’s event recognized Harvey and Joseph Martel and Burton E. Thorne.

“Each of these heroic individuals left the comfort of their homes, their friends and their families, to answer the call of duty knowing they may not come back,” said County Executive McCoy. “Thankfully, they did return, and when they did, they continued to give back in their own way. Honoring our veterans should not be relegated to a couple days out of the year and today I am continuing my proud tradition of taking more time to thank those who risked their lives to uphold our way of life.”

Master Sergeant Harvey Martel enlisted in the United States Army in February of 1964 during the Vietnam War as a member of the Military Police in various units throughout his twenty-one years of service, including the 3rd Armored Division and the Criminal Investigation Command. After his retirement, he went to work for the United States Postal Service in Albany as a mail handler and union representative for twenty-three years. Harvey also has become deeply involved in the American Legion, serving as Commander for the Albany County American Legion for two years, and Post Commander as well as current President of the Corporation for the Joseph E. Zaloga Post 1520.

First Sergeant Joseph Martel, son of Harvey Martel, followed in his father’s footsteps and joined the New York Army National Guard in September of 1987 and fought with the 206th Military Police Company during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He has been honored with the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Achievement Medal twice, the Army Good Conduct Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, to name just a few. Joe now serves with the Albany County Sheriff’s Office in the canine unit where he patrols Albany County office buildings and keeps residents safe from explosives.

Sergeant Burton E. Thorne was born and raised in Albany and comes from a long lineage of ancestors who fought in the United States armed forces. He enlisted in March of 1965 and was trained as an Explosive Ordinance Technician, serving with the 7th Air Force in South East Asia in the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing during operation Rolling Thunder. Upon his honorable discharge, Burt began his forty-five-year career as an electrician, member of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Locals #724 and #236, superintendent and construction consultant. He has served as President of the Tri-County Council Vietnam Era Veterans and as a mentor with the DWI and Drug Court in Albany County to help fellow veterans struggling with addiction.

A total of 32 veterans have now been honored by the County Executive for their service to our nation and community. County Executive McCoy was joined by Albany County Veterans Service Bureau Director Ken Secor and former Director Joe Pollicino to introduce the honorees. Today’s ceremony comes on the heels of the County Executive’s Honor a Veteran Program that takes place on the first Monday of each month at one of Albany County’s American Legion Posts to recognize a distinguished veteran who is no longer with us.

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Albany County ExecutiveDaniel P. McCoy