Corporal Stanley Thomas Hencinski
Robert Stanley Hencinski
On Friday, December 7, 2018, at the American Legion post in Oaklyn, New Jersey, 67 years after being honorably discharged from the United States Army, he was awarded the Korean War Veterans Medal and the Camden Veterans Medal. He is a 28-year member of American Legion Post 777 in Crum Lynn, Pa.
In January 2019, I got help from Bill Dondero of the Delaware County Dept. of Veterans Affairs, about the U.S. Army Review Board and potential medals for my father. The completed forms were sent to U.S. Army Personnel Records. The Army agreed.
On May 30, 2019, the medals were presented by PA Senator Patrick Toomey. On June 3, Stanley Thomas Hencinski had those medals pinned on him by U.S. Army Major Michael Repasky, a professor of military history and a ROTC leader at Widener University and Villanova University in Pennsylvania. U.S. Army Major Michael Repasky came in uniform, spoke with veterans and agreed to all photo requests. He provided a history lesson for each of the medals he pinned on Dad. He provided my father a keepsake military coin as well. He saluted my 90-year-old father.
Stanley Thomas Hencinski was born on January 4, 1929 in Camden, New Jersey. Upon graduation in 1947, Stanley signed up for the Air Force. His scores on the military service written test placed dad in Army Intelligence. Promoted to corporal, he served as a Signal Corps radio operator for the Army Security Agency - the CIA predecessor in the Europe - until 1951 when he was honorably discharged.
For 4 years, 12-hour shifts daily, he listened to Soviet troop movements at the start of the Cold War. After every shift, he placed the papers from his note-taking into an attaché case, handcuffed to his wrist, with a pistol at his side, and was driven in a jeep to deliver his day’s collections. Dad was proud of the fact he never fired a gun, especially after boot camp at Fort Dix in New Jersey. Dad had bazooka practice in Fort Dix, New Jersey. Dad pulled the trigger and the gun did not fire. Sergeant yells to my father to throw the gun over the ridge and into the ditch. Seconds after tossing it, it exploded.
For a man who started out in Camden, NJ, went through Europe and ended up in Ridley Park, PA, your travels have brought you life’s simple’s rewards such as marriage, children, grandchildren, friends and neighbors, service to your community, service to your church and service to your country. Thanks, Dad.