Local WWII veteran honored in Italy

By Julianne Peixoto

June 6, 2014 Updated Jun 6, 2014 at 7:35 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) As millions around the world observed the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a local Polish immigrant spent Friday reflecting on her service during that war.

Polish immigrant Emilia Fudala was honored in Italy last month for her service.

Fudala was only 20-years-old when she joined the military.

She was a part of the ammunition transport team for the battle at Monte Cassino in Italy, a battle that Poland won.

Fudala was invited to attend a commemoration for the 70th anniversary of the capture of Monte Cassino's hilltop last month.

"When I received the telephone invitation call from Poland in the first week of May, I was so surprised," said Fudala. "They tell me on the telephone, saying they'd be proud and happy if I accepted the invitation [to the anniversary celebration]."

The Prime Minister of Poland presented Fudala with a glass trophy.

She was the only female veteran amongst the 53 World War II veterans present at the commemoration.

Prior to the war, Fudala spent 21 months in a Russian labor camp.

Polish Community Center President Edward Utyro said "Mrs. Fudala stands as a symbol of determination, the struggles of the Polish people and their fight for freedom from Nazi Germany, Stalinism, and later Communism," He added in an interview with WBNG, "She puts things in perspectives that really help the club."

The Polish Community Center is holding a reception of their own on June 22 to honor Fudala.

The reception begins at 2 p.m. at the Polish Community Center in the Town of Dickinson.

Lunch will be served, and a $10 donation is asked for every ticket.

All are encouraged to attend.

Anyone interested in attending is asked to RSVP by calling 607-729-5638 or 607-729-0901.

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