2015-05-27 / Features

Peralta Inducts Man Into State Veterans’ Hall Of Fame


State Senator Jose Peralta inducts Jackson Heights resident, Joel Schumacher into the New York State Veterans’ Hall of Fame. State Senator Jose Peralta inducts Jackson Heights resident, Joel Schumacher into the New York State Veterans’ Hall of Fame. State Senator Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) inducted veteran Joel Schumacher of Jackson Heights into the New York State Veterans’ Hall of Fame, which pays tribute to New Yorkers whose gallantry in the Armed Forces is complemented by their service to the community.

“I want to take this opportunity to recognize the brave men and women who serve our nation and protect our freedom as members of the military,” Senator Peralta said. “The Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame pays tribute to all those who serve, but also singles out for special recognition those whose sacrifices and service have helped make our nation and our community better places to live.”

Peralta thanked Schumacher, who was awarded with a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, “for protecting our values and defending our freedom.”

Schumacher said, “I am honored to receive this award from Senator Peralta and the New York State Senate and am inspired to continue my work on behalf of military personnel and veterans.”

The New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame was created to honor and identify outstanding veterans from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life. “Their meritorious service to our nation deserves the special recognition that only a Hall of Fame can provide, as a fitting expression of our gratitude and admiration,” said Peralta.

In high school, Schumacher was active in La Salle Institute’s JROTC program and enlisted as a private in the US Army reserves at age 17. After completing basic training at Fort Jackson, in South Carolina, he was appointed to the United States Military Academy, where he became Regimental Executive Officer.

The honoree left military service as a First Lieutenant to dedicate himself to teaching. Schumacher taught courses on Writings of the Founding Fathers, Political Theory and American Public Policy to students in Latin America and to US military personnel. Due to his desire to serve in government, Schumacher enrolled in Yale Law School. During his final year, he was hired by US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to work as a Constituent Liaison for Military and Veterans Affairs.

Working for Senator Gillibrand, the inductee assists veterans and military personnel by acting as an advocate on their behalf before federal agencies. He also directs Gillibrand’s service academy nomination process.

Among his awards and decorations, Schumacher received the Army Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Parachutist Badge, French Airborne Badge, French Forces Commando Badge, and German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge.

On Saturday, May 16, Peralta recognized National Armed Forces Day, which he said is “an opportunity to stand together in thanking and celebrating the brave men and women committed to protecting American values and defending our freedom.”

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