Albany World War Two veteran's grave gets military medallion

December 11, 2017 06:46 PM

COLONIE -- Three siblings gathered in the snow-covered Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Colonie. They've been waiting for this symbolic moment.

"Very moving," said son David Szary.  "The award has been missing from this marker for 60 years and finally it's in place."

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They were very young when their father, Albany native Joseph Szary, died at the age of 35. During World War Two, he was a sergeant in the Army Air Corps.

Daughter Jane Weber noticed her father's grave was missing a military marker.

As she first told NewsChannel 13 last week, she tried for years to get one, but always heard back:  it's too late.

"So I finally kind of gave up and I felt it's just not going to happen," she said.  "I felt terrible about it.  It really hurt that my father's service wasn't marked there and when we're gone, that's it.  Who would ever know?"

Friend and veteran P.J. Higgitt was able to navigate all the paperwork and helped bring home a medallion. Szary's family placed it at his grave.

In some ways, they say, this entire experience has made them feel closer to a father who was gone too soon.

"A lot of good memories, actually," said son Peter Szary.  "We didn't know our dad growing up, so we kind of got to know more about him by reading the articles and researching the information.  So it was very nice, actually."

"Going through all the paperwork and looking at all the facts and figures, things that I hadn't really realized before or had any opportunity to learn about before, it all came home," said daughter Jane Weber.  "It's wonderful."


Kumi Tucker

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