Rockland veteran receives medal decades after service

BY MICHAEL RICONDA

20140902_141301[1] 20140902_140744[1]MONSEY – A 99-year-old Rockland County veteran waited 68 years for a medal due to him for his service in World War II. On September 2, the medal finally reached the deserving vet.

Joined by his daughter Karen Schulman and grandson Brad, the Bayone, New Jersey native Abe Pechansky had the Good Conduct Medal pinned on his jacket by State Sen. David Carlucci in a special ceremony at the Fountain View Retirement Community in Monsey.

Pechansky, an Army veteran who served in England to help the U.S. financially support the Allies’ war manufacturing efforts and in continental Europe during the Allies’ push against the Germans, was notified that he received the medal in 1946. However, the medal was never sent to him and became lost in a bureaucratic shuffle for decades.

After the war, Pechanky went on to work as a certified public accountant for 50 years before his retirement. Though he always knew he had been honored, he said he was constantly preoocupied with other matters until just recently.

Pechansky eventually inquired about the matter during a senior citizens’ meeting with Carlucci, who assisted him in his efforts to finally receive the medal. Though it had been decades, he seemed to show no frustration or ill will for the loss of the medal, only expressing joy in its return.

“I’m so happy this is over with,” Pechansky said with pride. “We worked hard [in the Army] and we accomplished a lot and that’s what I’m happy about.”

Carlucci emphasized his office would be glad to help other veterans recover medals they were awarded but never received.

Established in 1941, the Good Conduct Medal is awarded to service members who showed exemplary service during at least three years of active duty.