Hudson Valley Honor Flight’s ‘Mission 9’ includes 12 area vets

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  • This photo, provided by U.S. Latino and Latina WWII Oral History Project, was taken in the Philippines in February 1945.

STEWART AIRPORT — Twelve area veterans will be on board Hudson Valley Honor Flight’s “Mission 9” to Washington, D.C. tomorrow, Oct. 10.

The 12 men are part of group of 85 veterans who will be accompanied by a personal guardian to the nation’s capital as part of a one-day, all-expense-paid journey that include visits to the World War II and Iwo Jima memorials, as well as attendance at the Changing of the Guard at Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Making the trip are:
• Lawrence Varick of Tuxedo Park, who served during World War II as an Air Corps corporal;

• John Gore of Monroe, who served as an Army CPL-E-4 in the Korean War;

• James Walsh of Highland Mills, who was a master sergeant for the Navy, Army and Air Force in World War II and the Korean War;

• Angelo Defazio of Greenwood Lake, who served as a World War II Army Air Corps sergeant and crew chief;

• Robert Sanford of Warwick, who served an Army private first class during the Korean War.

Also making the trip are these Chester residents:

• Elmer Coates, who was an Army buck sergeant during World War II;

• Dominic Kelly, a corporal with both the Army and the British Royal Air Force during World War II and the Korean War;

• William Pardonek, who was a Marine Corps private first class in the Korean War.

Goshen residents making the trip are:

• Robert Jones, who was an Army staff sergeant in the Korean War;

• Ignatius Palmeri, who served as an Army E-4 during World War II and the Korean War;

• Loretta Winkler, who was a Navy Waves 3rd Class during World War II.

Hudson Valley Honor Flight (HVHF) is a nonprofit organization which “honors American veterans” for all their sacrifices. HVHF takes veterans to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials at no cost to them. It is the local hub of the National Honor Flight Network, which consists of more than 100 independent non-profit “hubs” across America.

According to the U.S. Veterans Administration, World War II veterans are dying at a rate of 550 per day nationwide.

The Hudson Valley has approximately 113,300 living veterans. Among that number is a declining number of World War II veterans who have never seen the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., which was completed in 2004.

For more information, visit

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