PLEASANT VALLEY – The Hometown Heroes program is a nationwide movement that local governments participate in to honor their veterans. The Town of Pleasant Valley unveiled their first installment on Monday night at the corner of Main Street and West Road.
Don Cady Sr. was born in Pleasant Valley in 1934. He left high school at the age of 17 to join the U.S. Navy in 1952. He served on the USS Siboney for more than three years. After his Korean War service, he returned to his hometown where he married his wife Pam in 1955. The couple had four children and have operated the G.E. Masten Feeds store in town since 1981.
On Monday night, a large contingency of firefighters, veterans, elected officials, and town residents gathered in front of Cady’s store to unveil the first Hometown Heroes banner, honoring the Navy veteran who has been a member of the Pleasant Valley Fire Department for 60 years, including terms as president and commissioner.
State Senator Sue Serino joined the town in honoring Cady, calling him “A true America hero” before presenting him with a Senate Proclamation, honoring his service to the country and Pleasant Valley.
Adam Roche, Dutchess County director of Veterans Services said the county “takes care of its veterans and Pleasant Valley’s Hometown Heroes program is a great way to pay tribute to the men and women that have served our country.”
Town Clerk Mary Beth Muir serves on the five-person Pleasant Valley Hometown Heroes program committee.
“Don is a pillar of this community. He is a wonderful man. Over 60 years in the firehouse. He is well respected. He is loved,” she said. ”We couldn’t have picked a better honoree for the first banner.,”
Muir serves on the committee with Chairman Jeff Cady (son of Mr. Cady and local fire chief), Anthony Luciano, Lisa Fister, and Christy Schroeder.
According to Chairman Cady, he and Muir have been working on the program for two years, and are slated to have access to 185 utility poles eligible to have a banner installed. Cady said that applications for a banner will be available at town hall within the next week to 10 days for people seeking to honor a veteran with a banner. Cady credited the volunteers for making the vision a reality. “We couldn’t have asked for a better committee for the Hometown Heroes program,” he said.
The tribute culminated with the unveiling of the banner by firefighters, using the ladder truck to remove the plastic that was concealing the banner from view while Mr. and Mrs. Cady sat and watched. They were surrounded by family and friends who all gave a loud round of applause when the banner was unveiled.