New York State Assemblyman Colin Schmitt (R-New Windsor) honored Richard Grabowski of Goshen at the inaugural 99th Assembly District Veterans’ Hall of Fame event held Nov. 18 at the Orange County Emergency Services Center.
Grabowski is a U.S. Army Vietnam combat veteran who volunteered to push up his draft and enlist on Nov. 29, 1965, at age 19. After basic training at Fort Hood, Texas, he was assigned to the 9th Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas.
From September 1966 until his discharge on September 24, 1967, he served with the 15th Engineering Battalion in Vietnam. He is a disabled veteran suffering from Agent Orange-related exposure.
Grabowski graduated early, at age 16, from St. John's Prep in Brooklyn. He continued his education and received a bachelor’s in criminal justice from the New York Institute of Technology using his VA benefits. Upon his safe return home from Vietnam, he continued his life of service with the New York City Police Department.
48 years in Goshen
He moved to Goshen with his wife, Margaret, in 1971. Margaret died on Sept. 3, 1991, after 20 years of marriage.
Grabowski has been a Goshen resident for 48 years and raised his three children in Goshen. He retired from the NYPD and soon after married Beverly, his wife of 22 years.
He was president of the Goshen Youth League for six years in the 1980s. He coached girls’ softball and soccer and boy’s baseball and soccer. He received the Disabled Veteran of the Year Award from Chapter 212 in the Town of Goshen.
“I am so proud of all of the Veterans’ Hall of Fame inductees," said Schmitt. "Richard is well-deserving of this recognition. Richard has dedicated his life to giving back to his community, state and country. I commend you for your service to our nation and thank you on behalf of all residents of the 99th Assembly District."
Grabowski said, “I’d like to thank Assemblyman Schmitt for the wonderful honor this evening inducting me into the 99th Assembly District Veterans Hall of Fame. I am honored. Honor, duty, country. Three words famously said by General McArthur that represent the room during the inaugural Veterans Hall of Fame ceremony.”
Schmitt founded the wall of honor to highlight the sacrifices made by veterans throughout the 99th district. He is a member of the U.S. Army National Guard. The 99th NYS Assembly District includes the Town of Stony Point in Rockland County and the towns of Wawayanda, Goshen, Hamptonburgh, Chester, Blooming Grove, New Windsor, Cornwall, Highlands and Woodbury in Orange County.
"Honor, duty, country. Three words famously said by General McArthur that represent the room during the inaugural Veterans Hall of Fame ceremony.” --Richard Grabowski