Tag Archives: Bronze Star

World War II vet awarded Bronze Star


| mchan@queenscourier.com

A 91-year-old war veteran was recently awarded with the U.S. Army’s Bronze Star Medal.

Arno Heller, a former sniper in World War II, was honored by Congressmember Bob Turner in a ceremony for the Rego Park native on February 3.

“Mr. Heller is a prime example of a man who puts country before self,” Turner said. “As a private in the army, he rose to the occasion — putting his life on the line to defend his adopted homeland and the principles it stands for.”

Heller was awarded for his achievement in the Rhineland Campaign of 1944.

“It’s very emotional because, after all these years, sometimes I lie awake at night and a lot of memories come back. No bad memories. It’s been a terrific experience,” Heller said. “This means so much — I can hardly describe it… I am speechless.”

The event was held at American Legion Post 1424 in Forest Hills. Among those in attendance were Post Commander Tom Long, Major Charles Jaquillard of the Fort Hamilton Army Garrison in Brooklyn and Commissioner Terrance Holliday of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Veterans’ Affairs.

“Private Heller joins an elite class of United States servicemen and women who exceed the call of duty to protect our nation and his or her fellow soldiers. Mr. Heller bravely defended his country and his brethren in arms, and today our nation says thank you,” Turner said.

The Bronze Star is a U.S. Armed Forces individual military decoration and the fourth highest award for bravery, heroism or meritorious service. It is the ninth highest military award, including both combat and non-combat.

Borough President bestows honors


| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/photo by Billy Rennison

Besides celebrating Queens during her State of the Borough address, Borough President Helen Marshall honored a special few whose spirit and dedication have made the borough a better and safer place to live.

Marshall reserved the end of her speech to recognize a handful of residents and workers who went above and beyond the call of duty this past year and one whose dedication 70 years ago helped protect the country.

Arno Heller, a 91-year-old volunteer in Marshall’s office, emigrated from Germany shortly before World War II and served for the U.S. Army during the global conflict.  His service during that time earned him a Bronze Star, which he will receive shortly, more than a half century after serving the country.  For his service, Heller was bestowed the Declaration of Honor from Marshall.

“What I did in the Army, a lot of people did a lot more,” Heller said.  “I was just a small cog and I was glad to be able to fight for this country that gave me a home and a refuge in 1939.”

Other heroes who received the declaration from the borough president included: Firefighter Ronald Daly, a member of Rescue 4 in Woodside, who entered a raging home fire to rescue a man and his dog; Detectives Charles LoPresti and Richard Johnson, who captured the suspect in four fire bombings that took place in December; and Department of Sanitation workers Joseph Maneggio and Semi Nkozi, who while on duty saw five children and their mother on the roof of a house fire in Far Rockaway and caught each as they leapt from the burning building.

Mr. Met was also on hand to invite Maneggio and Nkozi to a Met game and give them gloves in honor of their life-saving catches.

“These acts are just a sample of the compassion and commitment you find on streets across our borough,” Marshall said.