Remembering Lester Stone Jr.

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Mar 3, 2009 at 7:48 PM EDT

40 years ago, a Harpursville man was killed in action while serving in Vietnam.

A Medal of Honor was awarded for the sacrifice made by Sergeant Lester Stone Junior.

Action News reporter Gabe Osterhout shows us how Stone continues to be remembered.

21 year old Army Sergeant Lester Stone Junior died March 3, 1969 in Vietnam.

His platoon came under intense automatic weapons and grenade fire.

He returned fire as injured members of his platoon were helped to safety.

Stone's heroic effort earned a Medal of Honor.

"He was the first Army man since the Civil War to be awarded the medal of honor and he's a local boy," says Raymond Warner of the Harpursville American Legion.

Stone's sacrifice is still remembered today.

The American Legion Post in Harpursville built a monument to Stone and others killed in the line of duty.

He also honored here outside the Harpursville Elementary School.

And Stone's name appears on the All Wars Memorial outside of the Broome County Veterans Memorial arena.

And in 2005, part of Route 79 in Harpursville was dedicated in his name.

During that ceremony, Stone's sister, who has since passed away, and his cousin were overcome with emotion.

"I think it's quite an honor to know that that he gave up his life for this and it's quite an honor. I'm very very proud," Doris Greiner said.

"He was a hero, he still is a hero that lives in the hearts and memories of all those people whose lives he touched," Larry Parsons said.

On the 40th anniversary of his death, Stone's mother Doris says it still feels like just yesterday.

She visits his grave site at the Chenango Valley Cemetery in Fenton.

Gabe Osterhout, WBNG-TV Action News.

VFW post 2261 in Windsor is also named the Lester R. Stone Junior Memorial Post.

There is no building in his honor there.

VFW members hold their meetings at the community center there.

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