SOMERS, N.Y. - Senator Greg Ball created the New York State Veterans Hall of Fame to honor men and women who have distinguished themselves in both military and civilian life. Thus it comes as no surprise that Stephen Moravick was honored Thursday night at the induction ceremony in Carmel.
Moravick recalled arriving in France just after D-Day. On his first day of combat, I looked over a hedgerow and saw six German soldiers standing around a mortar position. I took careful aim and fired from one to another. They didnt return fire, so I may have shot every one.
About a month later, Moravick himself was shot by a German sniper. The bullet ripped into his abdomen, missing his femoral artery by ¼ inch. He was saved by a field surgeon, hailing from Chicago, and a first aid manual, tucked into his own side pocket. He still has the manual, bullet hole, blood and all.
Moravick has been awarded the Purple Heart with Cluster, the Silver Star and the Bronze Star, as well as a Good Conduct Medal, a World War II Victory Medal and a European Theater of Operations Medal. He is listed in the Purple Heart Hall of Honor in Vails Gate, NY, and has contributed his story to the Living History Museum in Patterson.
After the war, Moravick went to work for the New York Telephone Company (later Verizon) in the cable maintenance department and married Rose DePaoli. They have been married for 59 years. Though he is retired, he still spends nearly every day working on his more than four acres in Somers.
When Moravick heard he had been nominated to the Hall of Fame, he said, I am humbled and honored to be nominated into the District 40 Veteran's Hall of Fame. Through the Somers Veterans of Foreign War, I have had the opportunity to share my story with people of all ages. However, there are almost 1,000 veterans in the Town of Somers, and most do not get a chance to tell their story nor get the recognition they deserve. I believe all veterans deserve to have their story be told and the honor that I am receiving. If veterans do not tell their stories, history will die with them. Future generations need to know that their freedom was purchased by the blood of our brave soldiers."
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