Amenia vet receives medals 66 years after WWII ends
AMENIA — During the Dutchess County Division of Veterans’ Affairs’ sixth Annual Dutchess County Veterans Appreciation Day ceremony, held at the FDR Presidential Library in Hyde Park on Saturday, Nov. 5, Amenia resident Arthur Walsh was awarded six medals for his military service in World War II.New York State Senator Charles Schumer also issued a proclamation to “recognize and offer my most sincere gratitude and congratulations to ... Walsh on his distinction and for his dedication and commitment to New York, his country and fellow veterans.”The event was hosted by Dutchess County Executive William Steinhaus, who described the day as a time “when we come together as a community to say ‘thank you’ to our veterans who have served our country and have sacrificed to preserve our freedoms. ... One of the greatest privileges I have had as county executive is standing before one of our veterans and pinning a medal that represents their service, their sacrifice and their honor.”Dutchess County Executive-elect Marcus Molinaro also attended the ceremony. He said that it was “an overwhelming honor to present those medals.”Molinaro said it was impressive to see the sacrifice and dedication of the veterans and to watch the men receive their medals of recognition. “It was quite a moving ceremony,” he said.Walsh joined the military in 1942 as a paratrooper in the 11th Airborne Division of the United States Army. He was part of the occupation of Japan, and he returned to the United States aboard the Intrepid.“[Walsh] truly embodies the characteristics of a true American: bravery, brotherhood and fraternity,” said Schumer in the proclamation, which also called Walsh a “valiant veteran” with “unwavering dedication and selflessness.”Walsh was one of four veterans to receive medals during the ceremony. Walsh’s decorations included a Purple Heart, an Asiatic medal for campaigning in the Philippines, a Good Conduct Medal and a Marksman Medal.Walsh received some of his decorations when he was discharged from the military, but because his discharge and his return to the United States happened so quickly, he did not receive the rest of his medals until now.“I’m happy about receiving them,” said Walsh, noting that he doesn’t really like to advertise his honors.Walsh plans on framing his medals and passing them on to his grandson, Liam. “He’s the next generation and I think he’ll appreciate it,” Walsh said.