Sep 19, 2011 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
For town of Manlius assessor Pat Duffy, father of Army Sgt. Matthew Duffy, supporting the troops is about more than being proud of his son.
“It’s just being proud of all the soldiers and the sailors, the marines, the airmen,” said Duffy, who himself is a Cold War era Army veteran. “I think, unfortunately, a lot of people just don’t know what it is that we have in this country in terms of freedom.”
“Anyone who puts on the uniform is, in my opinion, a true hero,” Duffy added.
Duffy is working with an informal committee of town employees on a “Hometown Heroes” initiative, which is being run through the town clerk’s office. The goal is to have families of soldiers serving active duty, overseas or stateside, to submit framed five-by-seven-inch photos of their sons and daughters in uniform. The photos will be displayed prominently on a wall in town hall.
“I’m hoping that people will take pause and take a look at the wall, and take a moment to reflect on just what it is that these young men and women are doing,” Duffy said. “They put just a whole lot on the line.”
Duffy’s son, Matt, 23, is a combat engineer in the Army and is currently stationed at Fort Brag, N.C. He served overseas in Afghanistan for a year from December 2009 to December 2010, returning home just in time for Christmas.
Duffy said soldiers who return from serving overseas are usually kept out of the rotation for a year.
“After that, all bets are off,” he said. “And even then, there’s no guarantees that they’ll be stateside for a year.”
Town Clerk Allison Edsall is heading up the Hometown Heroes initiative. She said the photos will be unveiled during an event at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, at town hall that will promote the town’s division of Onondaga County’s Find and Assist Veterans of Record card program.
“Veterans come here, they bring their DD214, sign up for a card and they can go to area businesses and get a discount,” Edsall explained.
The goal of the event, which is being hosted by the town of Manlius in conjunction with the Manlius Chamber of Commerce, is to spark interest in the FAVOR card program among both Fayetteville-Manlius area businesses and local veterans.
“I had spoken with Judy Dardzinski from the Manlius Chamber of Commerce because we didn’t have a lot of F-M area business signed up for the [FAVOR card program],” Edsall said.
The town and chamber will be encouraging businesses to sign up for the FAVOR card program, and the event will give veterans a chance to sign up for a FAVOR card, and meet face-to-face with business owners who offer the discount.
Edsall hopes to have a collection of framed photos to display by then. For a photo to be displayed in town hall, either the soldier or the soldier’s family must be residents of Manlius. Town of Manlius employees are also being encouraged to participate.
Families of active duty soldiers are encouraged to call the clerk’s office at 637-3521 or email deputy clerk Paulette Weber at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a framed photo registration form.