HONESDALE—Vietnam War veteran Thomas Bremer entered the Wayne County Board of Commissioners meeting on June 1 to thank them as well as “bring the new commissioner up to date” on his enduring tale.
Three years ago, Bremer was finally awarded his service medals after waiting 40 years thank to efforts by Congressman Tom Marino and the commissioners.
“Your kindness is overwhelming,” said Bremer, “and I want to say thank you very much … if it wasn't for you guys doing what you did probably the event never would have taken place.”
Commissioner Brian Smith stated that they all take pride in honoring veterans for their service and do their best to see that they receive the proper accolades.
“We were delighted ourselves to see someone with such honors get their medals finally,” said Smith.
The chairman read aloud some of Bremer's accolades which noted key roles he played during the conflict.
“You're the one that deserves our thanks,” said Smith.
Commissioner Joseph Adams added that the page Smith read was only one of a ten-page document of achievement.
These included a Declaration of Honor from the Borough of Queens, Conspicuous Service Honors from the state of New York, a citation for the Air Medal given by the President of the United States and an award from Major General Thomas Barkley.
Bremer was also recognized as a valued member of the 407th Chemical Detachment and received a certificate of bravery and outstanding courage and valor, as well as a Cold War victory commemorative service medal.
“Thank you so much for all the great things that you have done and continue to do in taking care of the safety, security and democracy of our nation,” said Adams.
“We're thrilled to be able to have a little part in helping you get the honors you have earned and deserved, but all of that is due to your service to our country,” he added.
Commissioner Wendell Kay mentioned the work put in by the county office of Veterans' Affairs to aid those like Bremer who are missing recognition of their accomplishments.
Kay urged any veterans in search of missing benefits or recognition to contact the office “so that we can cut down on these oversights and make sure that anyone who is entitled to recognition receives it, not solely for the sake of the recognition itself, but because it's our duty as a society to make sure that we fulfill our part of the contract,” said Kay.