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Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
  • Smyrna Council honors local veterans, active military members

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  • Smyrna Town Council members honored several veterans and active military members Monday night at the council meeting.
    Councilman John Embert suggested a couple of months ago that council should honor local veterans every year in the month of November in honor of Veteran's Day on Nov. 11. Each member chose one veteran or active military member to honor and read aloud a resolution at the meeting.
    Embert chose Duane R. Young, of the United States Army. The resolution states Young's service included assignments and special operations in Germany, including check points at the Berlin Wall; he also served in Vietnam.
    Councilman Jeff Flairty honored Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class John E. Bucalo, of the United States Navy. Bucalo is a Vietnam War veteran, who began his military service in 1974 and was honorably discharged in 1980. During his tenure, Bucalo participated in several special operations including the 1976 Beirut Crisis and the Turkish invasion of Cyprus of 1976.
    Flairty noted before reading the resolution how it seems that a lot of times veterans go unrecognized.
    "I'm pleased to see the town is doing this," Flairty said.
    Councilman Robert Johnson chose to honor Chaplain Al Kraft of the United States Navy and United States Marines. Kraft is a 20-year service member of the Navy and Marines. Chaplain Kraft is currently the chaplain of the Wilmington VA Medical Center Clergy Team and chaplain of the David C. Harrison American Legion Post 14 in Smyrna.
    Mayor Joanne Masten said growing up in Smyrna, she saw no better person to recognize than former Smyrna School District superintendent and veteran Charles V. Williams, of the United States Army. Williams began his military service in 1942 with the United States Army Reserve and was sent to Normandy in 1944 as part of the 83rd Infantry Division during World War II. He was medically discharged in 1945 after being wounded for the second time. He received two Purple Heart medals.
    Vice Mayor Regina Brown honored her husband Col. Kenneth P. Brown, of the Delaware Army National Guard. Brown began his service in the military in 1947 and completed his active reserve service in 1983 with a great number of awards to his credit including a Meritorious Award and a Distinguished Service Award.
    Councilwoman Valerie White honored Master Sgt. Douglas Minner, who serves in the Delaware Air National Guard's 166th Civil Engineering Squadron. He began his military service in 1993 in the United States Air Force. In 2000, Master Sgt. Minner left active duty service and transferred to the Delaware Air National Guard. He completed 20 years of service in April.
    Councilwoman Andrea Rodriguez honored Chief Master Sgt. Derek Rooks, of the United States Air Force Reserves. He began his military career in 1983 and served for 23 years until 2006. Chief Master Sgt. Rooks served in a number of operations including a special assignment in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. One his most challenging and rewarding assignments was working at the Dover Air Force Base Port Mortuary, a 24-hour operation of returning America's fallen heroes home, preparing them for their final resting place, and ensuring their families have the support they need.
    Page 2 of 2 - At the end of the meeting, Embert thanked council members for participating in honoring the veterans.
    Email Jennifer Dailey at jennifer.dailey@doverpost.com.

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