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Green Island issues honorary diplomas to 11 veterans

Nov. 11, 2020

On Veterans Day (Nov. 11), the Green Island Union Free School district issued honorary diplomas to 11 veterans at a ceremony at the Green Island American Legion. The ceremony recognized the following individuals as the class of 2020 graduates:

  • Donald E. Brazee, Airman First Class, United States Air Force
  • Robert M. Cusack, Gunner’s Mate 3-C, United States Navy
  • John J. Finning, Fireman, United States Navy
  • Thomas E. Fisk Jr., Seaman First Class, United States Navy
  • Gerald T. Hebert, BM Third Class, United States Navy
  • Kenneth A. Hebert, Private, United States Army
  • John T. Hogan, Tec 5, United States Army
  • Francis X. Lacosse, Private First Class, United States Army
  • Paul T. McClure, Master Sergeant, United States Air Force
  • Francis A. Piche, Seaman First Class, United States Navy
  • Richard A. Sheehan, Private First Class, United States Army

The annual ceremony typically takes place each May. Due to the pandemic, the ceremony was postponed and event organizer Tom Mullins thought it was fitting to hold the ceremony on Veterans Day.

“Veterans Day is the perfect day to hold this event and recognize these individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Mullins.

Of the 11 diplomas, nine were issued posthumously. The event also recognized six veterans who received special awards, including Purple Hearts and the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross.

“I would like to thank Mr. Mullins for all his hard work organizing this wonderful event and the Green Island Board of Education for their continued and unwavering support for this program,” said Green Island Superintendent of Schools Kimberly Ross. “Green Island is honored to recognize these veterans and we thank them for their service to our country.”

Learn more about the class of 2020 graduates:

Donald E. Brazee, Airman 1st Class, United States Air Force (1964-1968), Vietnam War (1966-1967)
Mr. Brazee earned the Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Unit Citation, the New York State Medal for Merit and the New York State Conspicuous Service Star.

Robert M. Cusack, Gunner’s Mate, 3rd Class, United States Navy,( 1942-1946) World War II
Mr. Cusack earned the American Theatre Campaign Medal, the Philippine Liberation Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Medal and the New York State Medal for Merit.

John J. Finning, Fireman, United States Navy (1953-1956) Korean War Era
Mr. Finning earned the National Defense Service Medal and the Green Island Veterans Service Medal.

Thomas E. Fisk, Jr., Seaman 1st Class, United States Navy (1945-1946). World War II
Mr. Fisk earned the American Service Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Medal,the World War II Victory Medal and the New York State Medal for Merit.

Gerald T. Hebert, Boatswain Mate 3rd Class, United States Navy, (1962-1966), Vietnam Era
Mr. Hebert earned the National Defense Service Medal and the Green Island Veterans Service Medal.

Kenneth A. Hebert, Private, United States Army (1942-1943) World War II
Mr. Hebert earned the American Service Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the Green Island Veterans Service Medal.

John T. Hogan, Tec-5, United States Army, (1943-1946) World War II
Mr. Hogan earned the American Service Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the New York State Medal for Merit.

Francis X. Lacosse, Private First Class, United States Army (1945-1957), World War II
Mr. Lacosse earned the Army Occupation Medal-Europe, the Army Occupation Medal-Japan, the World War II Victory Medal and the New York State Medal for Merit.

Paul T. Mc Clure, Master Sergeant, United States Air Force (1956-1960)
Mr. Mc Clure earned the National Defense Service Medal.

Francis N. Piche, Seaman 1st Class, United States Navy (1944-1946), World War II
Mr. Piche earned the American Theatre Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and the New York State Medal for Merit.

Richard A. Sheehan, Private First Class, United States Army (1979-1982)
Rick earned the Parachutist Badge, the American Service Ribbon, the Sharpshooter Badge (M-16 Rifle Bar) and the United States Cold War Certificate.