United States Military Pfc. Armand "Chico" Daversa and Cpl. Peter Carlo were awarded medals by state Sen. Cathy Young on Thursday at City Hall in Jamestown to acknowledge their service to the country, and to the community.
Daversa, a Jamestown native who passed away in 2011, was represented by his son David, who said that the event helped patch an empty hole in his life.
"I'm most proud of his service in the military," said Daversa. "But, there is a little problem - I never got to tell him that. So, today fills an empty hole in my life. Thank you Sen. Cathy Young for helping patch that hole."
Dunkirk native Cpl. Peter Carlo and family are pictured at an awards ceremony hosted by Sen. Cathy Young to recognize his service in the Korean War.
P-J photos by Dusten Rader
Daversa was presented with three commendations including the Korean War Service Medal, the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross and the Cold War Recognition Certificate.
Daversa's father Armand was born in Jamestown in 1932, and graduated from Jamestown High School in 1951. He served in the U.S. Army from 1952-54 in the Korean War. During that time he was a lead combat medic with the 25th Infantry. He left the army as a private first class carrying with him several medals including: the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star, the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Republic of Korea Korean War Service Medal, the Combat Medic Badge, and the Cold War Recognition Certificate.
After returning home he earned an associate degree from Jamestown Community College in 1971, and also attended Fredonia State College and Buffalo State College. He worked as a detective with the Jamestown Police Department, as captain of security guards for Pri-Det Security Service and as a client counselor for the Southern Tier Environment for the Living.
"How wonderful it is to be here today," said Sen. Young. "I know this must be a bittersweet moment as we remember your dad, but we should celebrate his many accomplishments because what he did for this country is phenomenal. ... It's my personal mission to make sure that every single person who served in the military and did service to our country should get the honor and respect that they deserve."
Daversa's story was brought to Sen. Young's attention when his son, David, was putting together a memorial display of his father's medals, but some were missing or lost.
Armand Daversa, who was also very active in his community, supported groups such as War Vets, American Legion, VFW, Disabled American Veterans, Jamestown Boys and Girls Club, and the YMCA. He was the past president of the Jamestown Area Jaycees, past commissioner of the Jamestown Midget Football League in 1966, past president of the Gowanda Psychiatric Center and past president and board member for the Jamestown Housing Authority, where he served from 1990-2000. He was appointed by the county executive to serve on the Chautauqua County Youth Board and was an accomplished musician where he played drums for many local Western New York bands and clubs. He also played for the Glen Miller band, the Army Drum Corps. and the Jamestown Municipal Band. He was a recipient of the "Man of the year" award by the National Conference of Christian and Jews and received the Tom Trusso Award in 1993.
"He was also active in his community, which is not surprising because people who stand up to serve their country, often times always come back to serve their community," said Sen. Young. "We thank him so much for what he has done for us."
Carlo, a Dunkirk native, who was present to receive his awards, was given the Korean War Service Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Cold War Recognition Certificate.
"Receiving these medals today means an awful lot to me," said Carlo. "I feel honored to be recognized by Sen. Cathy Young ... Events like this help all veterans and raise awareness about veterans issues throughout the community."
Carlo was born in Dunkirk in 1931, and served in the Army from 1952-54 in the Korean War with Company C, 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He left the army as a corporal carrying with him several awards including the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, the Korean Service Medal with Three Bronze Stars, the United Nations Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Purple Heart, the Navy Infantryman Badge, and the Cold War Recognition Certificate.
When Carlo returned home he began working at his father's fruit market business in Jamestown. When his father passed away, he inherited the business and grew it to consist of six stores named Boniwood Plaza on Foote Avenue.
Carlo has also been actively involved in the community by being past commander of the Disabled American Veterans, past chairman of Boy Scouts of New York State, played Santa Claus for the Moose Club for 20 years, VFW, and American Legion. He donated American flags to local schools, municipalities, fire departments, hospitals, youth groups and veteran organizations. And, he recently donated a 600-pound boulder with a plaque for the new veterans park in Jamestown in memory of all of the deceased veterans on behalf of the Disabled American Veterans.
Carlo first came to Sen. Young's office to discuss surplus property in Jamestown for the new Veterans Park. In subsequent conversations with staff, it came up that his Army records were destroyed. After months of communications with Veterans Affairs staff, Sen. Young's office was able to attain the medals to which Cpl. Carlo was entitled.
According to Mayor Sam Teresi, who was present to make a speech in honor of Daversa and Carlo, the activity was the perfect use for the City Hall of Jamestown, which he called the "people's house."
"This is truly a wonderful day for our city," said Teresi. "I get to stand here in an official capacity to recognize our honorees today, but also more importantly I'm standing here in a personal capacity. These are and were two of my favorite people. They were friends and supporters ... And I've always regarded these two gentlemen as uncles, friends and family.
Assemblyman Andy Goodell was also present to make a statement about the service that Daversa and Carlo had done for the community and their country.
"What I find astounding is that both men served in Korea, both men were wounded in Korea, both men put their lives on the line for us," said Goodell. "But, what I find particularly amazing is that neither man stopped at Korea - their service just began. Ultimately they have been true heroes, not just on the battlefield, but with their families and in their community."