Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel addresses veterans.


County executive exclaims "Welcome Home"

Mayville, NY

Mayville, N.Y.: In a complete reversal of climate and 50 years in the future, Vietnam and other veterans of Chautauqua County met with County Executive Paul M. Wendel Jr. (PJ) on the steps of the county courthouse. They were summoned by the top county leader to pay respect to all veterans who had served in the Vietnam War or during that era. Jan. 27 was chosen by Wendel to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Paris Peace Accord that ended U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.

As veterans, who were mostly Legionnaires, gathered at the county seat, the grumblings of weather were far different this day than the times they spent in the hot and humid jungles of Southeast Asia. Today’s experience would be from bitter cold temperatures that sliced through their parkas in the gentlest of breeze. Bravery was shown again by these men and women as they stood in unison to hear the acknowledgement of their service from the county executive. Wendel spoke of his desire to welcome home the airmen, Marines, sailors and soldiers who gave sacrifice to their country and received little reward upon returning to the USA. He spoke of his relationship to this cause, stating that he himself was a son of a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
The presentation moved on and the county’s chief read the names of all those who were killed in Vietnam from Chautauqua County. Acknowledgement was made of the women who served and the 12 who were memorialized in Washington, D.C., for making the ultimate sacrifice. And a moment of silence was made for those still missing in action.

Other officials present were County Legion Commander Steve Cybart, and representatives from the offices of State Sen. George Borrello and Congressman Nick Langworthy of the 23rd District.

Prayers were read by 8th District Chaplain Stanley Kawski, and remarks given from 8th District Commander Henry Link. A salute was given by Legionnaires with a rifle volley and bugle call. The event was completed with gifts given to veterans by the county executive.

Chaplain Stanley Kawski offers prayer.

8th District Commander Henry Link and Wendel present proclamation with Vietnam veterans Marty Schroeder (seated) and Paul Wendel Sr.

Vietnam veterans gather at county courthouse.

Rifle squad pays respect.
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