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War Hero To Receive Outstanding Veteran Award

November 9, 2018

War Hero To Receive Outstanding Veteran Award

Vietnam War hero and Ashley restaurateur Steve Biernacki has been chosen to receive the inaugural Outstanding Veteran Award by the Wyoming Valley Veterans Day Parade Committee. The parade committee recently notified Biernacki he was selected for the award. He’ll be honored during Sunday’s brunch prior to the Wyoming Valley Veterans Day Parade. “It was quite an honor. I was shocked. All the veterans in the area and I was selected,” Biernacki said. “Being the first one, it’s kind of special.” Biernacki, 68, the owner of Kelsey’s Restaurant in Ashley, earned the Bronze Star for his heroics during the Vietnam War on Aug. 12, 1969. He and his unit were ordered to launch an offensive against a much larger unit to drive the enemy from its position near the top of a hill. They engaged in a 10-hour gunfight. They eventually established a defensive perimeter and heard reports that some wounded soldiers were left behind. They learned all their lieutenants and senior sergeants were wounded or killed. Biernacki and another private went back and rescued a wounded lieutenant. The Army didn’t award Biernacki the medal until May 2012. After an official ceremony at Fort Riley in Kansas, he was surprised by a local ceremony weeks later at the Vietnam War Memorial on the south lawn of the Luzerne County Courthouse. George Brown, vice president of the parade committee, said Biernacki was a great choice because of his heroics on the battlefield and his service to the community. “It’s an honor to recognize him as our outstanding veteran,” Brown said. Contact the writer: bkalinowski@citizensvoice.com 570-821-2055, @cvbobkal PARADE DETAILS The Wyoming Valley Veterans Day Parade steps off Sunday at 2 p.m. on Market Street in Kingston. The parade travels over the Market Street Bridge to Public Square in Wilkes-Barre. COMING SUNDAY A special section dedicated to area veterans will appear inside the Sunday edition of The Citizens’ Voice. The section features stories of female veterans who are taking leadership roles in area American Legions in addition to looking back at a trailblazing nurse from Wilkes-Barre who cared for two presidents. ALSO SUNDAY: Read about a local soldier’s diary he kept in France during World War I.

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