Undersheriff honored with Liberty Medal

May 04, 2018 12:55 PM

JOHNSTOWN – He had three older sisters who did what older siblings would do to the youngest, test or torture them. But Daniel Izzo fared just fine.

Now the Undersheriff of Fulton County – it took four dinners and some wooing by Sheriff Richard Giardino – Izzo received the New York State Senate’s Liberty Medal at a breakfast at the Holiday Inn this morning. It was for courageous service as a decorated former U.S. Navy SEAL.

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Izzo served 28 years, retiring as a Master Chief. He completed a dozen major deployments to a variety of countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Kuwait, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Liberia. Izzo earned over 45 combined service awards, most notably two Bronze Star Medals, one with the combat “V” distinction for valor and three separate Combat Action Awards.

I tried to relate what I did overseas and the teams to what the guys are doing everyday in the street back here as police officers,” Izzo said. “And I firmly believe at the end of the day everybody deserves to come home and believes they should come home at the end of the day."

Many of Izzo’s missions remain highly classified to this day. In one case, during a combat deployment in Afghanistan, Izzo’s team came under attack from rocket fire. He manned an MK-19 grenade launcher and returned fire in order to suppress the enemy and single-handedly stopped the attack and saved the lives of numerous coalition members. That was one Bronze Star.

The second Bronze Star came after serving in Iraq for his leadership of a 236-man Navy SEAL counter insurgency unit and for leading a 23-day-long combat operation in Northern Iraq where his team removed 36 enemy insurgents from the battlefield.

“When we say to you ‘thank you for everything,’ we actually mean thank you for everything,” said Sen. James Tedisco (49th Dist.). “There's nothing we hold dear in this state, in this community, in this nation, in all parts of the world that you haven't sustained for us, freedom and liberty."

His family, including his wife, his parents, his three older sisters, his in-laws, were all on hand and shared “growing-up in Mayfield” stories, joking that they prepared him for SEAL training.

"The way we grew up, you know, back in the 70's, toys were outside and they were trees, baseball bats, your mother kicked you out so Danny had three sisters he had to deal with outside, we took control and some of the things we made Danny do we think we primed him for it he's at today,” said sister Suzanne Louer.


John Craig

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