On Monday, May 15, 2006, the Erie County Veterans Task Force presented a proclamation to Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) recognizing his advocacy for Iraq War veteran Sergeant Jason Lyon.
Sergeant Lyon, a member of the National Guard who served in Iraq for the U.S. Army, was previously denied an appointment to serve as a mail carrier in Western New York because of a sprained ankle he received while serving in Iraq; an injury which has subsequently healed. While the U.S. military deemed Jason fit for service, the USPS initially did not. Sgt. Lyon contacted Congressman Higgins who pushed for a third party medical review in which Jason was given a clean bill of health and ultimately approved to serve as a mail carrier in Hamburg, New York.
“Sergeant Lyon’s case is one example of many which demonstrates Congressman Higgins’ continued commitment to serving the needs of veterans across Western New York,” said Veterans Task Force Chairman Raymond K. Dusza, a veteran paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army.
Congressman Higgins was present to accept the award along with Sergeant Lyon’s wife Sarah.
“It is Jason and all of our fine service members past and present who truly deserve the recognition and gratitude,” said Congressman Higgins. “It was an honor to assist Sgt. Lyon and I am pleased that Jason’s hard work has resulted in the outcome that he truly deserves.”
Other items on the agenda for the third meeting of the Erie County Veterans Task Force included discussions on Assemblyman Mark Schroeder’s legislation establishing a county veterans’ service agency and the Town of Cheektowaga’s plans for the War of 1812 parade.
In addition to Chairman Dusza, members of the task force include: Erie County Legislator and US Navy veteran Daniel M. Kozub; Michael Kogutek, Former American Legion National Commander; Louis R. Palma, Erie County Veterans Services Director; Helen Jacob, Erie County American Legion Women’s Post 1586; Joe Amenta, American Legion County Commander; Karyn Porempski, Erie County American Legion Secretary; Stanley Kazmierski, AM-Vets County Commander; Albert “Jack” Smith, VFW County Commander; Patrick Welch, Viet Nam Veterans Of America Post 77 President; Roscoe C. Henderson, Jr., Korea and Viet Nam Medic; Joe Porempski, Legislative Liaison County American Legion. Geoffrey Szymanski, a Gulf War era veteran with the US Navy, serves as the Veterans Task Force Clerk.