Updated: November 07, 2019 02:37 PM
Created: November 07, 2019 01:23 PM
GUILDERLAND – They sat outside a department store and trendy restaurant inside a mall that has just about everything you need in 2019. At age 94 and 96, respectively, it was the first time Howard J. Fox and Jack Marcil had met. Each joined the U.S. Navy out of high school.
Fox joined when he was 17. Marcil was 18. They were both in Southern France during WWII and joked that they didn't see each other there.
On Thursday, both men were honored by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy as veterans who proudly served their country, and later their communities, during the biannual Honor a Living Veteran ceremony. It was held in the hall outside Lord & Taylor in Crossgates Mall.
"It is important to recognize these servicemen for their valor," McCoy said. "These brave men put their lives at risk for their country without as much as a second thought, and that must be recognized."
Fox enlisted in the U.S. Navy and has served in WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. He went to in North Africa, Italy, France, Russia, Korea, and China. When he wasn't on active duty, he was in the Naval Reserve, worked for the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance for 35 years, and served on former Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings' staff for four terms. He has served in training and recruiting positions to ensure the future of Army men and has worked on troubleshooting computers while in the Navy.
Fox and his wife raised six children, 15 grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren. He is a lifelong member of the American Legion-Joseph E. Zaloga Post, Benevolent Order of the Elks, and the Capital District CPO Association.
Marcil served in the U.S. Navy and participated in the invasion of Southern France in 1944 and was onboard LST 169 headed to Japan when the war ended. He spent time stationed at Norfolk, Boston, Alameda, and Brooklyn. He served in the Operation Dragoon in Southern France and the Pacific Theater Defense. For his heroism, he was presented the Navy Good Conduct Medal, the American Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, and the World War II Victory Medal.
He returned home work at Bayer Manning before attending Siena College to earn his B.S. in Economics and his Master of Science in Business and Education. While going to school he worked as an electrician. He spent the next 26 years working for General Electric. In his retirement he has taught speaking classes to others.
This ceremony was the 13th such event McCoy has hosted since 2013.
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