On Thursday, August 23rd 2012, United War Veterans Council hosted members of the FDNY veteran’s community at Citifield. Thanks to a generous donation from one of New York’s own, the honored veterans were able to watch the Mets take on the Colorado Rockies from an anonymous donor’s personal suite.
Presiding over the FDNY veterans was the President of the FDNY Marine Corps Association, John Newman. John’s dedication to service is evident through his incredible career that began in August of 1966, when he joined the United States Marine Corps. Only two years later John found himself in Vietnam, and when he made it home and was honorably discharged from the Corps, he chose to continue his service to country with twenty-seven years in the Marine Corps Reserve, after which he retired a full-bird Colonel. If that weren’t enough John also dedicated thirty years to the FDNY.
The veterans of the FDNY have a proud tradition of giving back to the veteran community and honoring the memory of those lost in the service to their country. They routinely partner with Wounded Warriors and other veteran service organizations to raise money and awareness for veterans living with permanent injuries due to their service.
Frank Ancona, a communications specialist in the Marine Corps from 63’-69’ had this to say of their efforts, “Our goal is to keep the spirit of the Marine Corps and Fire Department alive.” Frank, a twenty-five year veteran of the FDNY, also drives the famous Engine 343 in Veterans Day Parade. The name comes from the 343 firefighters that the FDNY lost on 9/11.
In addition to all their volunteer work these amazing men are also spearheading an initiative to have a memorial built at the National Marine Corps Museum to honor the seventeen Marines lost in the Twin Towers on 9/11. The purpose is to not only honor their service as dedicated firefighters but also to acknowledge that they were the first Marine casualties of the Afghanistan war.