Ronny Ymbras (right) was awarded with medals he earned 40 years prior. Here is the article, originally from the Poughkeepsie Journal (2010) that can no longer be found online.
HYDE PARK- The awarding of medals of valor to several local veterans years after they were in military uniforms has brought sense of closure to one.
Ronald James Ymbras of the Town of Poughkeepsie was one of the four veterans who were presented with numerous medals Saturday in a Veterans Day ceremony at the Henry A. Wallace Center at the Franklin D. Roosevelt museum and library. He was among the more than 150 veterans and family member who attended Dutchess’ fifth annual Veterans Appreciation Day.
County Executive William Steinhaus and Nelson Eddy Rivera, dir for of the county veterans service agency, presented the medals to the four veterans. “Our veterans are truly America’s greatest citizens,” Rivera said.
Ymbras was presented with two Purple Hearts for combat wounds he sustained in Vietnam in 1968, as well as the Bronze Star and a slew of other medals. He said that recur being the medals, as well as all the attention and standing ovation, was a big help in helping him deal with painful memories of combat.
“It’s great,” he said. “It’s a homecoming.”
Following the Pledge of Allegiance and signing of the national anthem, Rivera Asked the gathering to observe “a moment of remembrance for those we have lost since our last gathering.” Steinhaus said the appreciation day was the county’s way of thanking its residents who have defended the nation by serving in the military. He said his thoughts on Veterans Day, which his Thursday, always go back to his father, who served in World War II as a navy pilot.
“Honestly, what we’re here for is to give you a collective jug,” Steinhaus said. The delay in the four veterans receiving their medals years after combat was due in some cases to them leaving the military before they received them; or it was to replace medals they lost, Rivera said.
He said that’s the “legacy of America’s veterans” is something all its citizens share.
“The spirit of selflessness is what makes America a great and superior nation—the spirit of the American veteran,” Rivera said.
Kenny Costanzo, 80, of the Town of Poughkeepsie, was an Army engineer serving in Germany from 1952-54. He said he found Saturday’s ceremony moving.
“It’s wonderful,” he said. “It’s brings back a lot of memories.”
The for veterans presented Saturday with medals for their military service and valor in combat:
RICHARD JAMES IRELAND OF PINE PLANES: Serves in U.S. Army 1993-96 during the Persian Gulf War era. Awarded Army Achievement Medal, Good Conduct Medal, another medal, two ribbons and an Army Lapel Button.
JASON PAUL HENNESSY OF POUGHKEEPSIE: Machinist’s Mate 2nd class in U.S. Navy. Servers 1998-2004 during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Awarded Navy Achievement Medal and Navy Good Conduct Medal and five others.
RONALD JAMES YMBRAS OF POUGHKEEPSIE: Sergeant in Army. Served 1966-69, including Vietnam War. Awarded Bronze Star Medal, two Purple Hearts, Air Medal and six other medals and five citations.
FRANCIS WILLIAM LAMERE OF MILLERTON: Specialist 3rd class in Army. Served 1952-54, 1956-58, including Korean Conflict. Awarded Bronze Star, Purple Heart, three other medals and a badge.