Five Tioga County (NY) residents recognized for decades of Legion membership

Owego, NY

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Photo: From left to right, American Legion Post 401 members from Owego, N.Y., Harold Bidwell, Bernie Schumacher, Robert Cornwell, Commander Ken Gillette, Charlie Russell and Ken Brinkman, gathered to celebrate their continuous membership in the organization in May 2017; Commander Gillette presented each member with a certificate signed by National Headquarters.

Five Tioga County (NY) residents, all members of American Legion Post 401 located at 263 Front Street in Owego, N.Y., were recognized in May 2017 for their longtime dedication and contributions to American Legion programs.
Honored for 70 years of continuous membership was Robert Cornwell of Newark Valley, and for 50 years of continuous membership, Ken Brinkman of Apalachin and Bernie Schumacher, Harold Bidwell and Charlie Russell, all of Owego. Each member received a signed "Certificate of Continuous Membership” from American Legion National Headquarters, presented by Commander Ken Gillette.
For Ken Brinkman, a U.S. Navy veteran, his service aboard USS Mindoro CVE-120 took him to Korea during the war, and for Bernie Schumacher, a radio mechanic in the U.S. Army where he spent time in both Germany and stateside, receiving a blessing from the then-Pope remains a fond memory.
World War II Army veteran Robert Cornwell of Newark Valley served in the Philippines and postwar Japan. One of Cornwell's memories is guarding the only standing hotel in a bombed-out Japanese city when General MacArthur worked out of the top floor.
For Bidwell, who served in the Air Force, he said he was fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel and will always remember Germany and Turkey, among other stops. Russell, a Navy veteran, said his stepfather was the commander of Post 401 when he first joined five decades ago.

Submitted by:
JoAnn R. Walter

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