Veterans History Project ---  The Veterans of Saugerties tell their Stories

The Veterans History Project of the American Folklife Center collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war.
The United States Congress created the Veterans History Project in 2000. The authorizing legislation (Public Law 106-380), sponsored by Representatives Ron Kind, Amo Houghton, and Steny Hoyer in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senators Max Cleland and Chuck Hagel in the U.S. Senate, received unanimous support and was signed into law by President William Jefferson Clinton on October 27, 2000.
Interviewer:William Payne                             Affiliation/Organization:American Legion, Lamouree-Hackett Post 72

Lucy J Smith Abbott

War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: WAC (Women's Army Corps)
Service Location: United States
Rank: Technician Five

Karl Gordon Ostberg

War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: Navy
Unit: 3rd Battalion, 27th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division
Service Location: Great Lakes, Illinois; Portsmouth, Virginia; Camp Lejeune, North Carolina; Camp Pendleton, California; Vietnam
Rank: E-4

Claudia A Balay

War: Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Branch: WAC (Women's Army Corps)
Service Location: Fort McClellan, Alabama; Fort Sam Houston, Texas; Virginia
Rank: Specialist Five

Dominick A Giarraputo

War: World War, 1939-1945; Korean War, 1950-1953
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Hornet (CV 12); USS Corregidor (CVE 58); USS Block Island (CVE 106); USS LST (Landing Ship, Tank) 519
Service Location: Pacific Theater; also: Atlantic
Rank: Quartermaster Third Class

Richard K Butler

War: Korean War, 1950-1953
Branch: Army
Unit: 17th Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division; USS General John Pope (AP 110)
Service Location: Fort Dix, New Jersey; Fort Story, Virginia; Fort Eustis, Virginia; Fort Lewis, Washington; Hawaii; Hiroshima, Japan; Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands); Pusan, Korea; Inchon, Korea; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Oakland, California
Rank: Corporal

Arthur J DeCelle

War: Korean War, 1950-1953
Branch: Army
Unit: General Headquarters, Far East Command
Service Location: Georgia; Michigan; Tokyo, Japan
Rank: Private First Class

Robert Francis Gardner

War: Korean War, 1950-1953
Branch: Army
Service Location: Fort Devens, Massachusetts; Camp Chaffee, Arkansas; Fort Lawton, Washington; Japan; Camp Kilmer, New Jersey
Rank: Private First Class

Richard Jason Butler

War: Afghan War, 2001-; Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Navy; Army
Unit: USS Wasp (LHD 1); D Company, 1st Battalion, 101st Cavalry Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team; New York Army National Guard
Service Location: Indian Ocean; also: Baghdad, Iraq
Rank: Sergeant

William Freer

War: World War, 1939-1945
Branch: Navy
Unit: USS Arkansas (BB 33)
Service Location: France; Iwo Jima; Okinawa Island (Ryukyu Islands)
Rank: Electrician's Mate Second Class

Mark Robert Warnecke

Having enlisted in the regular Army just as the Vietnam War was coming to an end, Mark Warnecke would not see his first combat until Operation Iraqi Freedom. As the commander of a New York National Guard Infantry Battalion, Warnecke is able to compare and contrast the role of the National Guard to that of the active duty Army. Some experiences, such as seeing boys become men in the face of combat, are universal. Warnecke saw the greatest difference in the skill sets which those in his battalion brought to their National Guard duty from their civilian life. He could draw on their diverse occupations, from prison guards to mechanics and electricians, to get the job done. Warnecke finds great satisfaction in knowing that the current conflict has demonstrated the ability of the National Guard to perform just as well, if not better, than their active duty counterparts.
War: Iraq War, 2003-2011
Branch: Army
Unit: 2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 1st Infantry Division; Army National Guard
Service Location: Alaska; Colorado; Honduras; Iceland; England; Germany; Iraq
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel