NECO was delighted to support the Museum of American Armor, Old Bethpage Village Restoration at their annual gala. This year, New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli was honored for his continued advocacy on behalf of veterans thought out the state and 1993 Ellis Island Recipient Ray Kelly, the former New York City Police Commissioner, was the recipient of the museum’s Military Heritage Award. Also attending was Lieutenant General Michael T. Flynn, a 2013 Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipient.
State Comptroller DiNapoli stated, “I am deeply honored to receive the museum’s Veterans Advocacy Award. New York is home to nearly 900,000 men and women who have served bravely to safeguard our freedom. Across the country and in our state, and from my own family’s experience, I know that we will forever be indebted to our veterans for their service and sacrifices. I will continue to support our military and their families as well as the programs that help them return to civilian life.”
The State Comptroller’s late father, Nicholas DiNapoli, who died this year at the age of 92, was an U.S. Army Air Corps veteran.
A combat veteran of the Vietnam War, former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly led fellow Marines as a First Lieutenant during the bloody, chaotic battles of Operation Harvest Moon which broke the back of a Viet Cong offensive south of Da Nang. Upon returning home, Commissioner Kelly joined the Marine Reserves and retired with the rank of Colonel. He is currently vice chairman of K2 Security and also serves on the Museum’s board. Mr. Kelly explained, “I accept this honor with the understanding that I am representing the hundreds of thousands of Americans who served in Vietnam during that conflict and those men and women who continue to serve in our military today. My experience was not unique, but the courage and valor of those I served with certainly was.”
The museum gala will raise funds for a series of onsite educational programs that have been coordinated through the NYS and Long Island Social Studies Council for the purpose of allowing students to better understand the role of the American citizen soldier and to create an appreciation of the heroes in their families who have served. By supporting the gala, NECO’s donation will allow curriculum to be created that allows students to have a far more meaningful understanding of how a nation of immigrants rescued the Old World from tyranny that is still incomprehensible.
NECO is happy to support education, a legendary Medalist, and especially our Armed Forces.
Top Photo: Former NYPD Commisioner & 1993 #EIMoH Ray Kelly with NECO Executive Director Kate Haas