Thursday, April 16, 2015

WW2 | Maloney Presents Purple Heart (Updated July 8, 2016)

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney presents corrected Purple

Heart to family of late WW2 Veteran Nick Stafanizzi, Sr.
Apr 15, 2015–At the Kings County (New York) American Legion Family Testimonial Dinner on Sunday, March 25th, Rep. Carolyn Maloney presented a corrected Purple Heart Medal to the Family of World War II Veteran, Nick Stefanizzi, Sr. 

The presentation was made to Nick Stefanizzi, Jr.

Nick Sr. was a Past Commander of St. Stanislaus Memorial Post in Greenpoint and a Past Kings County American Legion Commander.

He was wounded in action in the European Theater near the end of the war. The gun battery he was manning was hit by enemy fire and he was seriously injured, eventually losing sight in one eye. On his return home, he spoke little of his combat experiences. As he aged, his son Nick Jr., also a Past Commander of St. Stan’s Post and Past County Commander, asked him about his wartime service, and learned the story of his injury, which was never recognized with the award of a Purple Heart. Nick Jr. brought the matter to the attention of Assemblyman Joe Lentol and then Congressman Stephen Solarz, who arranged a presentation of the award to Nick Sr.

It wasn’t until recently, when Nick Jr. was trying to determine who should be the next person in the family to hold the heirloom, that he examined it and found typographical errors and misspelling of the family name in the engraving on the medal. He once again approached Lentol, who got the office of Maloney involved to secure a corrected medal. Once her office advised that the medal had been received, Nick Jr. explored an opportunity for an appropriate presentation. Current Kings County American Legion Commander Fred Schwally suggested the occasion of the testimonial dinner, and Congresswoman Maloney accepted the invitation.