Thomas Cannuli of Wheatfield Is This Week’s WNY Hometown Hero
March 07, 2016 Thomas signed for the army in 2007 to be an avenger missile system repair tech. He was deployed to Iraq from 2010-11. Unfortunately while he was in Iraq, he lost a brother who was also deployed to Afghanistan at the same time (SPC. Alan Dikcis).
He then switched to army reserve in 2012 and was assigned to the Niagara falls air reserve base. He is still there today.
Gunnery Sgt. Dave Celej Is This Week’s Hometown Hero
February 29, 2016 Dave Celej graduated Lancaster High School in June 1992. He reported to Marine Corps Recruit Training, Parris Island on Aug. 11 1992 and proceeded to Marine Corps Communications School in 29 Palms CA. Upon completion, Lance Corporal Celej was assigned to India Battery 3rd BN, 10thMarine Regiment, MCB Camp Lejeune as a Field Radio Operator. From 1993 through 1997, he served as a radio operator, forward observer, radio chief, and battery communications chief. He deployed twice, serving with 3rd BN 12th Marine Regiment in Okinawa Japan, as well as the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard ship in the Mediterranean Sea. Sgt. Celej participated in operations in Bosnia and Albania.
February 22, 2016 This Week’s Hometown Hero is 25 year old Sgt. Zachary Knorr!
Zachary graduated from Hamburg High School with the class of 2009 and joined the army the following January.
He married his wife Jillian on November 23, 2010 and then left for his first duty station a month later. He was stationed there in South Korea for a year until December 2011 when he returned to Ft. Bragg in North Carolina.
Every month, Try-It Distributing and Anheuser-Busch, in conjunction with WNY Heroes, Inc. will be naming a local veteran our “WNY Hero of the Month.” This is our way of saying thank you to those who serve and our small way of recognizing those outstanding individuals who put their life on the line for us. Please join us in thanking these outstanding men and women for their tremendous service and sacrifice.
September 2015 WNY Hero of the Month – Sgt. Jason Arlington
105th Military Police, 53rd Troop Command
Jason joined the U.S Army in 1997 at the age of 19. He joined the 105th Military Police Co. out of Buffalo NY. His first mission to be handed was right here on our own homeland called “Operation Golden Cargo” where Jason and his unit were tasked to assist in escorting munitions across country to the vaults in the Sierra Madre Mountains in 1998. Shortly thereafter, Jason was called to duty again, serving our country in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999. The 105th MP Co. was attached to the 10thMountain were they served in “Operation Joint Forge.” Their mission was a peace keeping mission under NATO forces where they also did security protection for the discovery of mass grave sites.
April of 2000, Jason and his unit returned home where he was working for United Air. Sgt. Arlington one year later was called to action again on September 11, 2001 (911). The bombing of the World Trade Center landed Sgt. Arlington at Ground Zero. To see destruction in another country was far different than destruction on our own soil. Sgt. Arlington remembers being placed at the Jacob Javits Center where they slept on the floor and ran all their missions.
Moving forward, Sgt. Arlington and the 105th MP Co. were called up by the President (George Bush) for “Operation Iraqi Freedom” on February 10, 2003, only to leave four days later, Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2003. A lot of uncertainty weighed upon the shoulders of many. Sgt. Arlington remembers the speech from the Col. of the 53rd Troop Command echoing in his mind. Look to the right, now look to the left, the person standing next to you, might not return with you. Maybe that is when the fears started to set in, but Sgt. Arlington knew he needed to complete this task that his country was asking him to carry out and carry it out without fear. The 105th Military Police Co. left Buffalo NY and headed to Ft. Drum where they began getting ready for the war they were about to endure. The unit was flown into Kuwait, Camp Wolf, where they unloaded their equipment from the ships and started to head for the boarder of Iraq with Kuwaiti Police Escort. Once Sgt. Arlington and his company moved into Iraq, they made their way up north into Baghdad, setting up camp, also known as “FOB Kalsu” in a bombed out radio center. They called the camp “Camp Kalsu” after the former Buffalo Bills player and soldier who was killed in Vietnam Robert Kalsu. During Sgt. Arlington’s time in Iraq, his unit suffered two losses due to roadside bombs (IED). The primary mission of the 105th was a frontline combat unit also tasked to do house to house searches, convoy escorts, main supply route (MSR) clearing of IED’s, and more. Like every other unit going into war, they encountered many attacks by insurgents. “War is war, just on different grounds. We wear the same uniform, bleed the same color, cry the same tears and sweat the same sweat. The bigger picture you see is this; we NEVER come home the same as we left” stated Sgt. Arlington.
Sgt. Arlington was awarded the Bronze Star, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserved Medal w/ “M” Device (2nd award), Army Service Ribbon, NATO Medal,
Currently Sgt. Arlington has a wife Melissa and three children, two girls and one boy.
July WNY Hero of the Month - SSG Richard D. Brydalski III
July 01, 2015 I never really saw myself as a soldier. I did not grow up in a military household. As a kid my grandfathers both served in the Army. One served as a pilot for the Army Air Corps during the war in the Pacific, the other served in Germany post World War II. Their time in service was never really spoken about, meaning they did not share many stories as I was growing up. During my years in elementary school and throughout high school, I began to fall in love with the idea of democracy and freedom. My extensive studies on American History and our government took me to college at the University of Buffalo. There, I began to further my education in World War II and the Cold War through our present time. I had made many friends in my classes that were returning veterans from our current conflicts. Many of them talked about their service overseas to help them readjust to civilian life. Hearing many of their stories, a common theme had developed. It was the same love of freedom that I had acquired in my many years of studying. When I graduated from college in August of 2006, I enlisted in the United States Army Reserve. I questioned my decision, but as time went on, especially in Basic Training, I realized I had found a new calling. I graduated from Basic Training in Fort Jackson, South Carolina and went to Advanced Technical Training (AIT) in Fort Lee, Virginia. I graduated AIT in May of 2007 in the MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) of 92F, petroleum supply specialist, and was assigned to my first unit: The 277th Quartermaster Company in Niagara Falls, New York. I quickly became a go-to soldier for my leaders. I was quickly promoted to Sergeant (E-5) in 2009. The only thing I wanted the most was to be deployed so that I could serve our nation in its time of need. Little did I realize, it was very hard to get a deployment in the Army Reserve. I earned a second MOS of 88N, Traffic Management Coordinator, thinking I would be more deployable with a second MOS. Finally I was deployed in June of 2012 with the 316th ESC (Expeditionary Support Command) in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. I served in several countries in the Middle East: Afghanistan, Qatar, Kuwait, and Jordan. While deployed, I was promoted to Staff Sergeant (E-6) in March of 2013. My awards include 2 ARCOMs (Army Accommodation Medals), 2 AAM (Army Achievement Medals), Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal with M Device. I returned Home from deployment in April of 2013 and reported back to my original unit. I have since transferred to a new unit and am currently serving with the 1/390 C. Company Drill Sergeants in Amherst, New York and am currently preparing myself for Drill Sergeant School. - See more at: http://tryitdist.com/media/blog/july-2015-wny-hero-month/#sthash.QHYEWhR9.dpuf
LTC. Patrick Pascall - May 2015 WNY Hero of the Month
May 01, 2015 Born in Buffalo, NY, LTC. Patrick Pascall enlisted in the New York Army National Guard in January, 1991. He currently serves as Battalion Commander with the 445th Civil Affairs Battalion in Mountain View, California and also as the Buffalo Police Chief, with the New York Police Department.
LTC. Pascall graduated from Hilbert College in 1993 with a degree in Criminal Justice, Houghton College in 1996 with a degree in Organizational Management and in 2009 from the School of Advanced Military Studies with his Masters in Strategic Studies. LTC. Pascall also has an extensive Military education. Some of his numerous courses include; Civil Disturbance Planning and Civil Disturbance Operations, Civil Affairs Advance Course, Psychological Operations Advance Course, Emergency Preparedness, Engineer Officer Advance Course, Combat Life Saver Course, Public Affairs Correspondent Course, Information Operations Course, Advanced Joint Professional Military Education, Basic Strategic Arts Program and Senior Leaders Legal Orientation Course.- See more at: http://tryitdist.com/media/blog/may-2015-wny-hero-month/#sthash.AU4P4SKJ.dpuf
Sgt. Patrick Hahn - April 2015 WNY Hero of the Month
April 01, 2015 Sgt. Patrick Hahn lives in Grand Island with his wife Samantha and their two sons Cole and Adam. Born in Tonawanda, Sgt. Hahn enlisted in 2007 and currently serves with C Troop 2-101 Cavalry (RSTA) as a Supply Sergeant. From January 2012 – February 2013 Sgt. Hahn was deployed to Kuwait as Military Police TL and from June 2009 – July 2010 was deployed to Iraq as a Military Police Gunner. - See more at: http://tryitdist.com/media/blog/april-2015-wny-hero-month/#sthash.OV0IGhI3.dpuf
Earl was an Infantry soldier in the active army from 2003-2006 with the 2/6 Infantry, 1st Armored Division (Germany) and then served as an Infantryman in the Army National Guard from 2008-2012. He deployed to Southeast Afghanistan (Paktika province) from 2008-2009 with the 69th Infantry Division and after Afghanistan he was with the 2/101 Cavalry. This hero survived an IED blast in Afghanistan that broke his back and he received a Purple Heart for it. His most prominent awards are: Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, Army Commendation, and Air Assault Badge. Earl says there is “no need to list all of his other gimmie medals." He also served in the Army Honor Guard from 2010-2012, performing military funeral honors for our veterans. His responsibilities included folding and presenting the first flag to the next of kin, conducting rifle salutes, playing taps, escorting the body, etc.
Earl has really taken a lot of pride in serving in the Honor Guard and paying last respects to our fallen heroes. He says “it was a very big honor to have had this experience.”
- See more at: http://www.tryitdist.com/media/blog/march-2015-wny-hero-month/#sthash.ZCyWTvMo.dpuf