Schenectady veteran gets long-overdue recognition for his service

May 27, 2019 02:18 PM

SCHENECTADY – Sullivan Alois is a former principal at Schenectady High School, but that's some of the lives he touched. Alois, 78, received the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts in combat in the Dominican Republic and Vietnam as a member of U.S. Army Special Forces.

Alois was inducted into the New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame last Tuesday, May 21, by Sen. Jim Tedisco (R – Glenville).

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Alois is a former Captain in the U.S. Army who saw combat during the Vietnam War and Dominican Republic.

"Sullivan Alois is a true American hero who served our country with honor and courage and then came home and inspired future generations of young people as a caring and dedicated educator and high school principal in Schenectady," Tedisco said. "The Vietnam War was not a popular conflict at the time and those that served did not get the parades, thanks and grateful recognition they deserved. The heartfelt recognition for the service of all those who fought in Vietnam, like Sullivan Alois, is long overdue."

Alois served as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division and was wounded in 1965 while fighting in the Dominican Republic revolution during Operation Power Pack, receiving his first Purple Heart.

"It was really amazing considering our welcome home when we came home from Vietnam to baby killers and druggies and all that to now there's been a whole turnaround in the nation," said Alois. "To have it go from there to being recognized by the Senate and the Hall of Fame and the recognition you get from friends and citizens alike, it's very rewarding."

Alois also received the Combat Infantryman Badge, Air Medal for Valor, the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, New York State Cross for Conspicuous Service and Gallantry, and the Vietnam Veterans' Presidential Citation for Outstanding Community Service from President Jimmy Carter.

A lifelong resident of Schenectady, after the Vietnam War, Alois returned home to a career as a science teacher in the Schenectady City School District and served as a principal at Schenectady High School.

Alois is married and has three daughters, with a grandchild on the way.


WNYT Staff

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