Joe Robach and Local Veterans Honor Memorial Day

Memorial Day marks a time of remembering the brave men and women who have served our country and protected our rights as American Citizens. This Memorial Day weekend, Senator Joe Robach had the honor of attending a number of events around the community to demonstrate my appreciation for all that these courageous veterans have done and continue to do for us every day.

Senator Robach spent the holiday at events around the area such as those at the Town of Gates, Town of Parma, United States Post Office headquarters in Henrietta and Greece Olympia High School. He met with local heroes who served in the past and are here to share their valiant stories today as well as paying tribute to those who have fallen to insure the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for us all.

At each event he made sure to let them know how proud he way to have been given the opportunity to speak at some these events and share my appreciation for the veterans and soldiers fighting to protect our rights. As a State Senator, it is extremely gratifying to see the community come together to celebrate this holiday. Although the recent weather has been uncharacteristic of the summer season, the sun seemed to shine a little brighter on Monday in honor of such a special occasion.

He felt blessed to have been given such a beautiful day to honor such extraordinary individuals in our community and throughout the country and could not have asked for a better way to honor the brave men and women who have fought and continue to fight for our freedom.


State Senator Joe Robach announces the induction of Ray Melens, an active member in the Rochester veteran community, to the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame on Tuesday May 21st. This honor is designed to pay tribute to New Yorkers whose gallantry in the U.S. Armed Forces is complimented by their service to the community and their accomplishments as a civilian.

“The New York State Senate Veteran’s Hall of Fame gives special recognition to distinguished individuals as a way to express our deep gratitude and admiration” says Senator Robach. “Ray has dedicated his life to serving this nation and his counterparts and he is most deserving of this great honor.”

Melens enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after graduating from Greece Arcadia High School in 1968 and was sent to serve in South Vietnam. For his outstanding service while enlisted, he has earned numerous medals and honors which include:  the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Unit citations and the New York State Medal for Merit.

After his service, Melens devoted his time to helping and honoring his fellow veterans. He is the Chairperson of Vietnam Veterans of America and was elected to be part of the Rochester Chapter’s Board of Directors. Also, as a Marching Unit Commander, Melens formed an Honor Guard for funerals and for various ceremonies. This effort has become nationally recognized. In addition to these many duties, Melens spends much of his spare time giving tours and helping with the upkeep of the Greater Rochester Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Melens will be inducted into the New York State Veteran’s Hall of Fame during a ceremony on Tuesday May, 21, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. in the Legislative Office Building. Each honoree’s photograph and biography will become part of a special on-line exhibit proclaiming the contributions of these exemplary New York Veterans.

For more information about this or any other veterans initiative, contact the office of Joe Robach.



Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has directed that flags on state government buildings be flown at half-staff Thursday, May 9t, 2013 in honor of a Warwick Marine who died in Farah Province, Afghanistan on May 4, 2013. Staff Sgt. Eric D. Christian died while conducting combat operations. He was assigned to the 2nd Marine Special Operations Battalion based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

“I join with all New Yorkers in mourning the loss of Staff Sgt. Christian,” Governor Cuomo said. “I extend my deepest sympathy to his family, his friends and his fellow Marines. We will honor his service and sacrifice and his dedication to our nation.”

Governor Cuomo has directed that the flags on all state buildings be lowered to half-staff in honor of and in tribute to our state’s service members and those stationed in New York who are killed in action or die in a combat zone.

For more information about this or other veterans issues, contact the office of Joe Robach.