Wallkill vet receives highest state civilian award

By Alberto Gilman
Posted 11/16/21

Retired Tech Sergeant Peter J. Mulé of the hamlet of Wallkill received the The New York State Liberty Medal recently over a Zoom call through the resolution put forth by New York State Senator …

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Wallkill vet receives highest state civilian award

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Retired Tech Sergeant Peter J. Mulé of the hamlet of Wallkill received the The New York State Liberty Medal recently over a Zoom call through the resolution put forth by New York State Senator Mike Martucci (R-42). This is the highest civilian award given out by the New York State Senate.

Tech Sergeant Mulé served in the United States Army during the Korean War period, where during his tours he was a part of two major battles: Operation Touchdown and the Battle of Old Baldy. After his military service, Mulé returned to the Hudson Valley, married his wife of 68 years and started a family. Mulé worked as a mason and was a member of the teamsters union. In 1998, he joined the Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps, serving as past president of the corps, trustee and directors of the corps.

In attendance for the award ceremony were Town of Shawangunk Supervisor John Valk Jr., Town of Shawangunk Police Chief Gerald E. Marlatt, Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps Chairman Douglas E. Foster, Jr, Wallkill Volunteer Ambulance Corps Chief Douglas R. Foster Sr., Director of Veteran Services in Ulster County Mark A. Cozzupoli and Assemblyman Brian D. Miller’s representative Ann Barnhardt.

Though not in attendance, U.S. Congressman Antonio Delgado and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand also sent their remarks and awards to Mulé for his service to his country and community. Cozzupoli also presented on behalf of County Executive Patrick K. Ryan.

Foster, Jr. read Mulé’s achievements such as receiving for his service the National Defense medal, Korean Service Medal, with a bronze star, the United Nations medal and the Presidential Unit Citation. With all proceedings concluded, Mulé called in over the phone while on Zoom to thank all those that were in attendance for the ceremony.

“I feel very honored,” Mulé said later.

Martucci said this day “was a really exciting day” and felt truly honored to be presenting the award to Mulé after pushing the resolution several months back. “The fingerprints that he’s left on his community are so significant,” Martucci said. “You can’t go anywhere here without running into someone who knows Pete, who has a tremendous respect for Pete and who really has a sincere appreciation for the contributions that he’s made. I could think of no one more deserving for my first Liberty Medal than Pete.”

Cozzupoli, a veteran himself, feels “pride” when fellow veteran Mulé receives recognition for their sacrifice, efforts and their involvement within their communities “You just wish there were more people like him in the communities within America,” Cozzupoli said.

Chairman Foster, another veteran, was truly happy to honor a fellow veteran. “Appreciate your veterans,” said Foster, Jr. “Realize what they have given, and still to this day deal with, from what they’ve seen and been through, and appreciate what they’ve done.”

Chief Marlatt expressed his excitement and appreciation for Mulé, calling him one of the staples of the community that is well deserving of this award. “Every town has a Pete Mulé,” Marlatt said.

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