Carbon County Veterans Council honored both a veteran and a non-veteran with the Commanders Award on Saturday night at a banquet held at the Lehighton American Legion Post 314.
Serving as master of ceremonies were Harry J. Wynn III and Hank Desrosiers, director of Carbon County Veterans Affairs.
Honored for his dedication and service to multiple veterans organizations was Wynn. Not only is he an accomplished master of ceremonies for many veterans events and the annual Memorial Day services in Lehighton, he has served in many capacities in veterans' organizations. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1968 to 1972 and was a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve Seabees from 1981 to 1989.
For the American Legion, Wynn served three terms as commander for Post 123, Lansford; and one term for Post 314, Lehighton. He was Carbon County Commander in 1975 and 1976. He is also a past 30th District Commander, which covers Carbon, Monroe and Northampton counties. He is also the department chairman of the Legion essay and oratorical contests. Currently he serves as vice chairman of the Legion College. He served as National Vice Chairman of Foreign Relations from 1984 to 1986 and also served as the Department Assistant Sgt. at Arms for two terms.
Wynn was the Eastern Section Adjutant in 2005-2006. Presently he is serving as finance officer for Post 314, a position he has held for the past 17 years. He is also judge advocate for Carbon County Council for six years and is the 30th District parliamentarian for the 30th District for seven years.
For Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 256, Lehighton, Wynn is a past Post Commander for five terms and was All State Post Commander from 1995 to 1999. He was a National Aide-De-Camp from 1997 to 2000.
For the Lehighton United Veterans Organization, Wynn had served as president from 1996 to 1997 and was vice president in 1997 and 1998 and 2004 to 2006.
For the Vietnam Veterans Organization of Carbon County, he was commander in 2008 to 2010 and vice commander from 2010 to 2012.
In the Carbon County Past County Commander's Club he served as president from 2012 to 2013.
Wynn is married to his wife, Beverly, for the past 35 years and has a son, Harry J. Wynn IV, and a granddaughter, Kasey.
He attends St. Peter and Paul Roman Catholic Church, Lehighton, and is a retired postal clerk for the Lehighton Post Office.
Also recognized was Renee M. Slakoper as Non-Veteran of the Year. Slakoper was the first recipient of this award, which was created to honor a "veterans advocate" for their service to the veterans' community. Among her services to veterans, Slakoper organizes the annual Veterans Parade. The annual veterans parade will be held in Palmerton at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Also recognized with certificates by their respective veterans' organization were: Frank Sebelin, Jim Thorpe American Legion Post 304; the late William F. Kattner, Albrightsville VFW Post 294; Theodore E. Bretsky, Weatherly American Legion Post 360; Joe Uhnak, Palmerton American Legion Post 269; Michael Galada, Beaver Meadows American Legion Post 383, and Beaver Meadows VFW Post 8225; Scott T. Reinhart, Navy Club of Carbon County, Ship 260; Edward J. Gurka, Lansford American Legion Post 123; David B. Bryfogle, Lehighton American Legion Post 314; Richard D. Wentz, Lehighton VFW Post 256; James H. Wentz, Lehighton AMVETS POST 106; and Floyd Brown, Vietnam Veterans of Carbon County Post 1.
Also speaking were, state Rep. Doyle Heffley; and Wayne Nothstein and Tom Gerhard, Carbon County Commissioners.
Members of Carbon County Veterans Council are: Joe Balogach, MCL, president; Bill Coll, American Legion, vice president; Laurel McHugh, AMVETS, secretary-treasurer; and members Mitch Nance-Mal, AMVETS; Stan Jaroszewski, NCUSA; Floyd C. Brown, VVOCC; Harry J, Wynn, VFW: and Hank Desrosiers, DVA, Carbon County, adviser.