Writers Honoring Veterans outlines experiences

Published Nov 8, 2018 at 4:00pm

NEW HARTFORD — Nine books written by volunteer writers in tribute to area veterans and Gold Star families were presented to the tributees in a ceremony Wednesday at New Hartford American Legion Post 1376.

Among those recognized was Russel C. Fielding, a U.S. Army veteran of World War II and the Korean War who worked at the Rome Daily Sentinel for 39 years including as general manager.

The Writers Honoring Veterans event, in its second year, included presenting nine soft-cover books that outline the stories of veterans’ experiences during their military service and also honor a Gold Star mother.

In addition, the tributes were collected into a large anthology book, said Bob Sblendorio, co-administrator of Writers Honoring Veterans 2018 and also one of the volunteer writers.

The printing of the books was through funding from the Carbone Auto Group and the Carbone family.

Fielding, who was profiled by Sblendorio, was an officer who served in the WWII European theater where he earned a Silver Star for bravery, plus he served in the Korean War.

His story also includes witnessing trials of Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg after WWII. In addition to his work at the Daily Sentinel after his military service, he has served on numerous boards and committees of community organizations.

The title of the book about him is “Russel Fielding served
Country & Community.”

Others who were recognized: the late Thomas Blanchfield; Joseph Cuda; Mary Wheeler, whose son was killed in action in Vietnam and who became president of the Gold Star Mothers; John Scarfo; the Loin family, which had four brothers who served in the armed forces including two now deceased; Phil Capraro; Leonard Dziekowicz; John (Jack) Hensel.

The veterans’ stories include D-Day bravery; naval warfare in the Pacific theater; island combat on Iwo Jima and Saipan; the Battle of the Bulge; liberating the Dachua concentration camp; witnessing the Nuremberg trials; Korean War gallantry.

Veterans’ stories “should be preserved and they should be honored,” said Brian Miga, co-administrator of Writers Honoring Veterans 2018 and a volunteer writer. He also noted “I believe I can speak for all the writers that we are honored to play a part in recognizing and honoring these gallant men and women and recording their stories for all time. We work with the families so the stories of sacrifice and bravery will be known by all for many years to come.”