Remembering Verona’s Vietnam Veterans

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Today, March 29, is Vietnam War Veterans Day. It was created in 2012 to mark the day when the last American troops left Vietnam, which was March 29, 1973. On Monday, the Verona Town Council approved a proclamation recognizing the Veronans who served and died in the conflict.

One hundred and twenty-three men and women from Verona served during the Vietnam War, and they are remembered on a plaque in Town Hall. Six of them never returned home: Colonel Lewis H. Abrams1st Lieutenant Gerald Daly Geoghegan, Corporal Anthony Hein, Lance Corporal Robert A. McCloskey, and Major Eugene Pabst died in Vietnam in combat. Specialist Alan K. Taylor was a Vietnam-era serviceman who died in Germany.

Others suffered serious injuries. Thomas N. Towne was gravely wounded as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. After a long recovery, he returned to Verona and was able to build a career in real estate. Towne was later recognized for his service, something that has eluded many veterans of what was a very polarizing war. He ws the grand marshal of Verona’s Memorial Day in 1984 and was frequently on the podium for Verona’s Veterans Day commemorations. Towne passed away at 78 on Veterans Day in 2019.

Vietnam veterans have served Verona in many ways over the decades.  Sanford “Sandy” Weinberg, whose name appears on the Town Hall plaque, put in 50 years with the Verona Fire Department after serving as a combat adviser from 1963 to 1965. Doug Huber wasn’t a resident before his time in Vietnam, but he moved here and joined the Verona Police Department, eventually becoming chief of police. Kevin Ryan also moved to Verona and served on the Town Council from 2011 to 2021, including four years as mayor. When Mayor Christopher Tamburro read the proclamation on Monday, he noted that Verona’s current town manager, Joseph D’Arco, is also a Vietnam veteran.

Here are the names on Verona’s Vietnam Veterans plaque; an asterisk denotes those who died in service:

Leon Stuart Abbey, Lewis H. Abrams*, Robert T. Adams, James D. Aitken Jr., William C. Amidon, Richard Ast, Richard Barnes, Robert W. Barone, Henry J. Bator, Joseph M. Baum Jr., Paul V. Bennett, Lawrence Bergstresser, Glenn Bisignani, Ted G. Bogusz, David Bollenback, Robert C. Bowker, Frederick Brochu, John Brogan Jr., John Bruno, Leroy Buczynski

Raymond J. Caprio, Donald N. Cerefice Jr., Walter Christa, James P. Citrano, Charles R. Coad, Richard G. Coad, Barry Cost, Jack L. Cost, Jeffrey David Cost, Charles F. Covello, Charles Cruger

Gerard Vincent D’Alessio Jr., Paul G. Davenport, Robert J. Dietze, Herbert C. Disbrow, William Falconer Jr., Richard E. Ferguson, David X. Flohn, James M. Foster, Thomas Fox, Wayne R. Friedman

Donald J. Galgano, Gerald D. Geoghegan*, David F. Gesin, Charles R. Gould, James Haas, George D. Hansen Jr., William C. Hansen, Gregory Hayes, James F. Hayes, Anthony Hein*, Sigfried Higgins III, James J. Hilton, James E. Holler, Frederick Ingram

James E. Jacobs, F. Thomas Jacobs Jr., Armand Charles Jacobsen III, Dan Jeffreys, Edward L. Kleme, James Klindt, Loring Knodle, Robert A. Laucks, Richard J. Limpert, Woodrow W. Litwhiler Jr., Donald G. Locrasto, Frank C. Locrasto, John J. Locrasto Jr., Alden B. Long, Christopher E. Love

James D. Mather, Patricia Jane McClaskey, Robert A. McCloskey*, Robert D. McKinley, Shawn McNamara, James C. Michael, Joseph Migliara, John S. Miller, Joseph Miller, Sam Mongiovi, Russell Morris, Gregory Munning

Peter E. Nugent, Stephen Ong, Eugene Pabst*, Robert W. Pabst, Robert Peer, Samuel J. Picker, Harry W. Pryde Jr., John Dev. Rawcliffe, Donald Reid, Thomas Rock, Gary A. Roe, William Roos, John Roosma, William Roosma, Alfred W. Ruete, Robert Ruoto, Stephen M. Russell

David G. Schoeller, Robert A. Shaw, Elizabeth Shields, James H. Skwirut, Arthur D. Smith, David Smith, Gregory Smith, John B. Smith, Gary Sprague, George E. Switzer

Alan Taylor*, Robert J. Tebo, Harry Theobald Jr., Thomas N. Towne, Roger D. Trimmer, Robert C. Turner, Robert Vincelette Jr., Joseph A. Wannemacher, Robert Watkins, Ronald C. Watson, Sanford I. Weinberg, Leslie A. White, William Wilks, Edward S. Wojtal III, William Zukosky

Photos of Corporal Anthony Hein, Major Eugene Pabst, 1st Lieutenant Gerald Daly Geoghegan and Lance Corporal Robert A. McCloskey courtesy of Rob Caruso, creator of Verona Heroes. Photo of Specialist Alan K. Taylor courtesy of his family.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Clarification, I served in the Army during the Vietnam War era but I was never stationed in Vietnam. I just wanted to clear up any confusion regarding my service in the military.
    Regards
    Kevin Ryan

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