Veteran in town neighboring Williston Park recognized for service

December 21, 2012 by  

After nearly 70 years, Ray Vaz, a veteran of World War II and a Mineola resident, has finally received the awards and recognition he earned for his service and sacrifice for his country.

The 88-year-old veteran lives in a town that is next to the village of Williston Park, on Long Island. During a ceremony in early December, he was finally awarded the Purple Heart, the European-African-Middle Eastern bronze service medal, the Bronze Star, the WWII victory medal, and the combat infantryman badge. The ceremony was conducted by representative Carolyn McCarthy. Vaz’s wife Ann and daughter Suzanne attended the ceremony.

Vaz was wounded twice during his service in the war. He spent 11 months on the front line as part of the 90th Infantry Division with General George Patton’s 3rd Army. He was shot in the leg by a German sniped on only his second day of combat. He did receive a Purple Heart for that wound while recuperating in a hospital in England.

After he was officially discharged, all Vaz wanted to do was return home. His discharge included a 10%disability. For the next seven decades, he did not try to increase the disability, until a discussion with fellow veterans at the end of the summer this year. That was when he decided to seek the awards and citations he had earned. His disability was also increased to 50%.

Williston Park stationery printing could have been made use of by officials to produce a certificate to recognize and award the Army veteran after all of these years.