Congresswomen Claudia Tenney (NY-22), delivered a floor speech recently in the U.S. House of Representatives recognizing the heroic military service of World War II U.S. Army National Guard veteran Kenneth C. Thayer, who is among New York State's most decorated living veterans.
Thayer, 95, is a resident of Brookdale Senior Living in Clinton.
Last month Tenney presented Thayer with a Presidential Unit Citation Medal after her office worked with the Department of the Army to assist Thayer in obtaining the award he and his military unit rightfully earned so many decades ago. The Presidential Unit Citation is one of the highest honors a U.S. military unit can receive.
For his military service, Thayer has also received the Distinguished Service Cross, two Bronze Stars, and three Purple Hearts.
I rise today to recognize the incredible life and military career of one of New York State’s most decorated World War II veterans, U.S. Army National Guard veteran, Private First Class Mr. Kenneth C. Thayer.
Mr. Thayer is part of a distinguished National Guard Unit that displayed heroic and patriotic service in defense of the United States. In recognition of his unwavering service to our Nation, I recently had the opportunity to present Mr. Thayer with the Presidential Unit Citation, one of the highest honors a military unit can receive.
The Army has requested this Presidential Unit Citation for the 30th Infantry Division since 1946. It wasn’t until last year, nearly 75 years later, that President Trump recognized this unit and the well deserving group of men for their selfless acts of bravery and devotion to our country.
Mr. Thayer was a soldier in the National Guard’s 30th Infantry Division, a unit known for their exemplary conduct in both WWI and WWII.
The 30th Division was formed in 1917, soon after the United States had entered World War I. They fought heroically in France against the German army, and once the war ended, they returned to their pre-war status in the National Guard.
Then, on Sept. 1, 1939, Hitler invaded Poland, initiating World War II. The 30th Division was quickly reinstated by 1940 and called upon to fight. They first saw combat on Omaha Beach June 11, 1944.
Mr. Thayer entered active service Dec. 9, 1943, just two years after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. A Utica native, Mr. Thayer was sent…