MONTROSE, N.Y. – World War II veteran Frank Campanaro was honored by New York State Sen. Greg Ball (R-Patterson) Tuesday afternoon, his picture and a brief biography hung on Ball’s Veteran’s Wall of Fame in the Hendrick Hudson High School main hallway.
“I was very surprised,” said Campanaro, 88, about being honored. Nearly 70 years passed between the time Campanaro served in the U.S. Army’s 152nd Infantry Division and the time he was honored. He also wrote a detailed autobiography about his experiences in the war.
Campanaro said one of his most biting memories from the war was, “When I was saved by my buddy from a foxhole,” as his friend shot enemy troops. Campanaro served mainly in the Philippines and New Guinea.
“The stories that these men and women have been through would crush most people, including me,” Ball said. Ball served in the U.S. Air Force, although he never saw combat.
Members of the high school student government praised Campanaro and other veterans present for “giving others the freedom to have a better life.” Although the Town of Cortlandt has an active veteran population, and the Veterans Affairs Montrose Hospital campus is less than half a mile from the high school, as few at 2 to 3 percent of Hen Hud graduates join the military, said Dan Callahan, vice principal of the high school.
“This community has a large amount of veterans. A lot of their dads, their granddads are vets,” Callahan said. The sophomore class of Hen Hud will visit the museum at West Point as a field trip for the first time this year.
The Veteran's Wall of Fame will stay in the high school for one week before it moves to another location in the 40th Senate District.