BKW honors fallen Hilltown veterans

At its October 17 meeting, the BKW Board of Education honored fallen Hilltown veterans First Lieutenant Eugene Jerome Curless, Specialist Four Richard John Mosely, Private First Class Glenn Raymond Gilbert, Staff Sergeant Daniel Eugene Nye, and Marine Corporal Robert Bruce Schampier for their sacrifices in military service to the United States.

Members of the Helderberg American Legion Riders Post 977 in Altamont acted as the color guard for the ceremony.

“It is our honor and privilege to commemorate these members of the BKW family who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country,” said BKW Superintendent Dr. Timothy Mundell.

The veterans were also honored with memorial highways throughout the Hilltowns. The highway signs were unveiled by Albany County Executive Dan McCoy.

Additionally, Mosely and Curless received posthumous NYS High School diplomas from the BKW Board of Education.

Specialist Four Richard John Mosely

Specialist Four Richard John Mosely was a Hilltown native who attended Guilderland Central School District. He left high school to join the military.

On August 14, 1966 he began a tour of duty in Binh Dinh province in South Vietnam. On January 27, 1967, while working as a medic attending to the needs of fellow wounded soldiers, he came under enemy sniper fire and lost his life as a result of his sustained wounds.

Specialist Mosely’s bravery and commitment to his comrades are a reflection of the highest tradition of military service in the United States of America.

On behalf of the Guilderland Central School District, and Superintendent Dr. Marie Wiles, we are proud to present a high school diploma to Special Four Richard John Mosely. Receiving the diploma on behalf of Specialist Mosely is his brother Stewart Mosely.
“I’m flattered. I am just so happy. I wish my parents were here to see it,” Stewart Mosley said.

First Lieutenant Eugene Jerome Curless, Jr.

First Lieutenant Eugene Jerome Curless, Jr., also left high school to join the armed forces before graduating. He attended Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School.

He began his tour of duty in Hau Nghia province, South Vietnam on January 14, 1968. As a platoon leader he organized a rifle squad and led the men against the enemy while under intense fire. This assault forced the enemy to withdraw and allowed the extraction of all wounded personnel. While covering the withdrawal of the remaining friendly troops, Lieutenant Curless was mortally wounded by intense enemy fire. His valorous actions were responsible for saving several lives and the successful completion of the mission. His bravery and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service in the United States.

For his valor, Lieutenant Curless was awarded the Silver Star. On behalf of the Board of Education of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central School District, we are proud to award Lieutenant Curless a NYS High School diploma. Receiving the diploma for Lieutenant Curless will be his sister, Mary Bell.

Senator George Amedore, Jr., presented the families of Mosely and Curless with senate proclamations.

“As their state senator, I am honored and humbled to say thank you and serve them by offering a senate proclamation. This is the very least that we can do for you, who have lost loved ones in defense of this country,” said Amedore.

A representative of Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara presented the families with assembly proclamations.

Dr. Mundell thanked all involved with the ceremony, particularly Tim Hagerott, commander of the Boyd Hilton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7062, the American Legion Riders and Mr. Ed Ackroyd for “all of the efforts made to recognize this group of worthy veterans for their service to our nation.”