VETERANS DAY! – This Vietnam Vet Wants Others to Know: ‘You Are Not Alone’

Fox News:

Veteran’s powerful message: ‘I consider it an honor to remember’

As the nation celebrates Veterans Day on Thursday, Nov. 11, Richard Pecci, 75, a member of the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame, says he considers it an honor to remember all the friends he served with in Vietnam. 

Many of those battlefield friends have sadly died by now, he said.  

“I consider it an honor to remember, but to this day I have failed to grieve for the friends I’ve lost because in my mind they still live,” Pecci, of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, told Fox News. 

“I am very proud that I served my country, that I fought to protect our freedom today,” he also said. “I have always felt that way.” 

Born in 1946 in Queens, New York, Pecci was drafted at age 20 and began basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Six months later, he joined the elite 17th Air Cavalry unit at Fort Knox, Kentucky. 

In 1967, he was sent by ship, the USS Walker, to Vietnam as an infantryman. The 3rd Squadron 17th Air Cavalry unit’s main effort was enemy search-and-destroy missions, plus convoy support, he said. He served in reconnaissance and infantry. 

Specialist Fourth Class Pecci possessed such superb skills in weaponry as a young man that he was often assigned to solo missions on the ground in war zones, sometimes for days at a time, according to documents prepared for his nomination to the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame in 2018. 

Today, Pecci serves as commander of his local American Legion post, Admiral Farrugut Post 1195 in Hastings-on-Hudson. After he returned from military service, he worked in food service, mail distribution and production for 38 years at The New York Times, from which he retired. 

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