November 11 is Veterans Day, when we honor those who have sacrificed so much for our country. In recognition of the commitment that the business community has to veterans year-round, we asked our team to share some of their stories. Read their stories below.
Isidoro “Charlie” Costa is the grandfather of CMM’s Vinny Costa. Charlie was a WWII veteran and served as Sgt. Tank Commander on the M-18 Hellcat Tank Destroyer. He was stationed in Ft. Hood, Texas, and was part of an experimental program to develop a weapon that could damage tanks. Shortly after that, Charlie was sent to fight in France and was given control of the Hellcat Tank, which he dubbed “Loose Nuts.” Charlie wrote a book about his experiences during combat, which you can find here. Charlie’s memory lives on in Vinny’s newborn son, whose name is Charles Costa.
Paul Weinberg is the father of CMM’s Alan Weinberg. Paul was a Second Lieutenant in the Army during WWII. Today Paul is 99 years old and lives in Great Neck, NY. We thank Paul for his service.
Alan’s grandfather, Jack Herschkowitz, was also a veteran and had a remarkable story to tell. A Private First Class in the Army during WWI, Jack fought in the Battle of the Lost Battalion. In order to obtain ammunition and rations, Jack, with another soldier, accompanied an officer in an effort to reestablish communication between the Lost Battalion and headquarters. As the three men were breaking through the enemy lines, they were detected in the center of an enemy camp, and to protect a fellow officer, Jack deliberately attracted the enemy fire to himself. All three soldiers got back safely to headquarters and Jack was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and the Croix de Guerre for his role in the battle. Jack was an incredible example of bravery and heroism.
Our Managing Partner Joe Campolo served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. In 2018, Joe was honored to serve as the keynote speaker at Stony Brook University’s Veterans Day Ceremony. “This day is not only about gratitude for our veterans, but is also a reminder of all that they still have to give our nation, and our duty as citizens to support them,” Joe remarked during his keynote speech. Join us in reflecting on Joe’s remarks – you can read them here.
H.T. “Larry” Malafi, beloved father of CMM Senior Partner Christine Malafi, served in the Air Force. He was a co-pilot during the Korean War until his plane was shot down, ultimately ending his military career. He attended Syracuse University on the GI Bill and then, instead of returning to Pennsylvania, settled on Long Island, where he met Christine’s mom, and the rest is history! He went on to work as a physicist for AIL, a defense contractor, and raised three girls. “He taught his daughters that girls can do anything boys can do,” says Christine. “He also told us that if you can take care of yourself, you’re always in good hands. I miss him every day.”
A trailblazer, Pearl Burns, grandmother of CMM’s Lauren Kanter Lawrence, served with the Women’s Army Corps (WAC) during World War II. Pearl was a proud first-generation American, born in the Bronx to Jewish Romanian immigrants. Pearl, who served from 1942 to 1945, was one of more than 150,000 American women who served in the WAC, the first women other than nurses to serve within the ranks of the U.S. Army. She completed basic training in Fort Des Moines, Iowa, before serving in Italy and North Africa. When she passed away in 2000, the family donated much of her wartime memorabilia to the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Washington, D.C. We thank Pearl for her service and for paving the way for many generations of women in the military.
Lauren’s father-in-law, Fred Lawrence, also served. A Sergeant in the Infantry, Fred was in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive in 1968. His unit was the 1st Battalion 16th Infantry Regiment, better known as the “Big Red One.” He came home in April 1969. In 2015, his name was added to Eisenhower Veterans Plaza honoring Nassau County residents who served. We thank Fred for his service.
Adolf Albrecht is the grandfather of CMM’s Michelle Toscano. He emigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1954. In 1956, still not fluent in English, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and sent to Korea. He did his basic training at Fort Devens in Massachusetts in the depths of winter and was commissioned as a rifleman and ammunition bearer for the M7 grenade launcher. Michelle shared with us her grandfather’s favorite story from those days: during the first week in basic training, his unit camped overnight in the woods. Early the next morning, the ground covered with frost, they were told to ready themselves for inspection. The water they were given to shave with was completely iced over and they had to break it and rub it on their faces as they tried to shave, essentially ripping the hair out! The lieutenant then came around with the flashlight and inspected each man’s face to make sure they were entirely clean shaven. Today Michelle’s grandfather is 87 years old and lives in Smithtown.
James Kelleher is the father of CMM’s Kathleen Kelleher Johnson. James served in the army in Vietnam and was tasked with the maintenance and repair of Redstone and Pershing ballistic missile guidance and control systems. After that, he was transferred to 1-5 Air Cavalry operating out of An Khe, S. Vietnam.
Jerome N. Fier, father of CMM’s Michelle DiPietro, was 19 and living in Flushing, Queens when he enlisted in the army. A butcher by trade, Jerome relied on his skills with food to run a chow hall north of Seoul, Korea. He was also responsible for organizing the tanks that delivered food to the troops. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Sergeant, and is currently 84 years old and living in Staten Island.
Frederick Glass, father of CMM’s Martin Glass, was a Corporal in the US Army Air Corps in World War II. Though he was originally supposed to complete training on airplane mechanics, the school was shut down just before graduation and Frederick’s skills were applied instead to trucking. Unfortunately, Frederick had never learned how to drive before entering the Army! He learned quickly and was soon handling supply deliveries all over England and Western Europe.
Jack Harrington is a Lieutenant and intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. In 2018, Jack deployed to Afghanistan where he led a team of intelligence analysts at the Combined Joint Intelligence Operations Center-Afghanistan (CJIOC-A). According to Jack, “Serving in Afghanistan was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. You grow accustomed to the long hours and challenges of deployment, but for me the hardest part was spending nine months away from my wife and two young boys.” As a Reservist with young children, Jack understands that the families left behind during a deployment face just as many challenges as the service members themselves. To combat those challenges, Jack serves on the Board of Directors of Our Military Kids, a national nonprofit funding enrichment activities for the children of deployed National Guard or Reserve members. Jack is also very proud of his family’s legacy of service from his father-in-law, a Navy veteran, to his grandfather, a Marine veteran who served in the Pacific theater during WWII.