American Legion members lauded by state group

Published Jul 30, 2018 at 4:00pm

American Legion posts in our region continue to excel in the service they provide to their friends and neighbors.

The American Legion Department of New York bestowed top honors on three members from Oneida and Madison counties during its 100th Annual Convention, held July 19-21 in Rochester.

The Legionnaires named Oriskany Fire Chief Thomas Edwin Rothdiener as New York State American Legion Firefighter of the Year.

They singled out Paul Wojcik of Utica Post 229 for his long-time efforts to honor police offers and firefighters in the City of Utica, and designated Utica Post 229 as Outstanding Post of the Year.

Then, Kimberly Haley, who works out of the Working Solutions Career Center in Wampsville, was named Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist of the Year.

-- Firefighter of the Year:  Rothdiener, chief of Oriskany Independent Fire & Hose Company in Oneida County. A 40-year member of the fire company, Rothdiener is past president of both the Oneida County Volunteer Firemen’s Association and the Central New York Firemen’s Association and has served in many capacities. Rothdiener is a wartime military veteran, and is a member of Oriskany American Legion Post 1448.

-- Outstanding Post of the Year: Utica Post 229 located on Herkimer Road in North Utica. Under the guidance of long-time Law-and-Order Chairman Paul Wojcik, Post 229 conducts recognition dinners twice a year to honor outstanding first responders in the Utica Police Department and the Utica Fire Department.

-- Disabled Veterans Outreach Program Specialist of the Year: Kimberly Haley, who is assigned to the Working Solutions Career Center as part of the State Labor Department’s Veterans Program. She was cited for being “selflessly dedicated to all veterans” and for placing 43 disabled veterans in full-time employment in Oneida, Madison and Herkimer counties last year. She is a wartime veteran herself and is a member of Oneida American Legion Post 169.

We all should thank these individuals and groups for their dedication, hard work and endurance.