Salute to New York Citizen Soldiers, importance to local communities

This is a recurring recording of WBNG's noon newscast.
Updated: May. 30, 2022 at 2:45 PM EDT
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(WBNG) -- On Memorial Day we recognize and honor the brave men and women who served our country.

Sgt. First Class Sean Cronin has served with the National Guard for 16 years.

“When I got out of high school I really wanted to be a part of a team again I needed a sense of purpose,” Cronin said. “I ran into an Army National Guard Recruiter, and to be honest, it was probably one of the best things that ever happened to me.”

Cronin joined the Army National Guard in 2006 and joined as a Human Resource Specialist in Fort Jackson, S.C.

“During the floods in 2011, the National Guard went to support the City of Binghamton and in my opinion that was the best time of my career,” Cronin said. “I was able to help people in the community and I had a direct impact on them.”

Cronin stressed the importance of giving back to the community.

“I want to show young men and women how great the Army National Guard has been for me and I want to be able to give individuals that support and help them with their goals later on in life,” Cronin said.

The Army National Guard pays 100% tuition at any SUNY school and also has a variety of trades.

“The next step would be the military entrance processing station where individuals get medically examined,” Cronin said. “They also do an aptitude test and they would have to score 31 or higher to pass that test that would place them into the military.”

Cronin said Memorial Day is not just a three-day weekend.

“This really is the time for those individuals that made that sacrifice to celebrate and reflect,” Cronin said. “It’s important as Americans that we recognize individuals who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for us and they’re the reason why we can live in a free society.”