Ahead of Veterans Day, Rep. John Katko Presents Medals Long Overdue to CNY Veterans, Families

December 2, 2019
Press Release

SOLVAY, NEW YORK – In a ceremony this afternoon at Solvay Public Library, U.S. Rep. John Katko (NY-24) presented medals long overdue to three Central New York veterans and their families.

“It was my honor to work on behalf of these brave veterans, and their families, to secure these missing service awards and to present them today,” said U.S. Rep. John Katko.  “We can never do enough to thank the brave men and women who put their own lives on the line in defense of our freedom and our democracy.  Every day, members of my team work with local veterans to help navigate the VA and to cut through red tape in dealing with other federal agencies, and I will continue to work across party lines in Congress on behalf of our veterans community.”

Rep. Katko presented the following awards today:

  •  Mr. Ralph Contreras Jr., of Syracuse, is a U.S. Air Force Veteran who served in the Vietnam War.  Mr. Contreras served on Active Duty in the U.S. Air Force from November 30th, 1964 until October 10th, 1968, when he was discharged honorably.  Throughout his four years of service, Mr. Contreras attained the rank of Sergeant as an Inventory Management Specialist during the Vietnam War. 

    Today, Rep. Katko presented Mr. Contreras with the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, which is awarded to to Air Force enlisted personnel for exemplary conduct.   In addition, he received the Vietnam Service Medal - 1 Bronze Star, as well as the National Defense Service Medal, which is awarded to all members of the military who serve on active duty in the United States Armed Forces during the Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, or the Global War on Terrorism.
  • Mr. Robert F. Krazmien Jr., of Syracuse, served on Active Duty for the United States Air Force from October 7th, 1961 to October 31st, 1982, when he was discharged honorably. Throughout over 21 years of service in the Air Force, Mr. Krazmien attained the rank of Master Sergeant by working in several capacities, including as an Administration Technician for 16 years and 2 months, a Social Actions Technician for 4 years and 1 month, and as an Apprentice Chapel Management Specialist for 9 months.  He was happy to serve, with responsibilities including base inspection and as a drug and alcohol counselor. His last assignment was working with aspiring Air Force Officers at Syracuse University in the ROTC program. Mr. Krazmien passed away on October 14, 2017, and is survived by his wife, Patricia Monforte-Krazmien.

    In Mr. Krazmien’s memory, today, Rep. Katko presented Mrs. Monforte-Krazmien with the Meritorious Service Medal - 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, which was established as the counterpart of the Bronze Star Medal for the recognition of meritorious noncombatant service. The Meritorious Service Medal may be awarded to any member of the armed forces of the United States who distinguishes themselves by either outstanding achievement or meritorious service to the United States.   

    In addition, he received the Air Force Commendation Medal - 1 Bronze Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Force Good Conduct Medal - 1 Silver Oak Leaf, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon - 2 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon - 4 Bronze Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force NCO PME Graduate Ribbon, the National Defense Service Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.
  • Mr.  Arthur J.L. Walsh, of Auburn, served on Active Duty in the United States Army from July 25th, 1945 to December 2nd, 1946, when he was discharged honorably. Over his service to the United States in World War II, Arthur J.L. Walsh attained the rank of Private First Class.  Mr. Walsh passed away on June 15, 2011, and is survived by his daughter Laurie Scriven, and his son Tim Walsh.

    In Mr. Walsh’s memory, today, Rep. Katko presented his children with the American Campaign Medal, which is granted to personnel who served one year of consecutive duty between December 7, 1941 to March 2, 1946 and within the continental boarders of the U.S., as well as to those who served 30 consecutive or 60 non-consecutive days of duty outside the borders of the U.S. but within the American Theater of Operations, as well as the World War II Victory Medal, which commemorates military service during World War II, and the Honorable Service Lapel Button – WWII.

Rep. Katko was joined today by representatives from the U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force in presenting the awards.