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Moriah community rallies for Medal of Honor recipient

MINEVILLE-A native son will be again honored by his heroism.

Raymond "Buzz" Wright of Mineville, who received the Medal of Honor in 1967 for his service in Vietnam, will be recognized by the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Fort Benning, Ga. He formally received the Medal of Honor Sept. 19, 1968, from President Lyndon Johnson.

Wright died in 1999 at age 53.

The museum's Hall of Honor includes photos and the stories of all the nation's Medal of Honor winners, the highest award given for military service. Wright is included in that exhibit. The museum is now expanding its Heritage Walk that leads from the Fort Benning parade ground to the museum. The walk is comprised of pavers with the name of each Medal of Honor recipient.

"Every week hundreds of new soldiers graduate on the parade field," said retired Gen. Edwin Burba, chairman of the National Infantry Foundation Advisory Board. "After the ceremony the soldiers march down Heritage Walk, followed by their families and friends. It is a solemn moment for them to pass by the pavers that honor our country's heroes."

Burba recently contacted Moriah Supervisor Tom Scozzafava to ask if the local community would support the project by paying $250 for a paver with Wright's name.

"The entire community is very proud to have a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from our town," Scozzafava said. "We want to help honor Buzz Wright any way we can."

Scozzafava contacted the Mineville VFW to see if the veterans group could assist. The VFW decided to host a spaghetti dinner Saturday, May 7, beginning at 4:30 p.m. to raise the $250. Tickets are $8 a person.

"I hope we can get enough people to raise the money," said Bernie Podres, Mineville VFW commander. "The guy (Wright) did a helluva job for us. Now we want to do something for him."

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