County Honors Arthur E. Gifford, Vietnam War Army Vet, Recipient Of Purple Heart And Silver Star Medals
The late Arthur E. Gifford, recipient of the Purple Heart and Silver Star Medals among other military awards and decorations for his honorable service to our nation as a member of the United States Army during the Vietnam War, and, lifelong resident of the Town of Hoosick, was recognized on Monday, February 8, 2010 by the Rensselaer County Honor-A-Deceased Veteran Committee as well as County, state and federal officials.
Gifford received what one account described as the nation’s third highest military award recognized by the President and the Congress of the United States of America, for his actions on October 17, 1969 while leading a three-man ambush patrol from Co. A., 1st Bn., 5th Mechanized ID in Quang Tri Province.
It was on this date when Gifford demonstrated “exceptionally valorous actions . . .while leading a three-man ambush patrol . . . [against] an unknown size force of North Vietnamese army. The fighting was ignited when one of his men noticed the enemy approaching and quickly alerting the other two men, Sgt. Gifford set off his Claymore mine. Despite his wounds from enemy grenade and small arms fire, Sgt. Gifford manned a machine gun and placed accurate suppressive fire on the numerically superior enemy force, while simultaneously directing the fire of his men . . . Having achieved fire superiority, Company A forced the enemy to withdraw, leaving two dead and one wounded behind. Despite his injuries Sgt. Gifford and one of his men pursued the enemy a short distance to insure that a second attack would not occur.”
Following the receipt of his honorable discharge from the United States Army after nearly two years active service, Gifford married the former Barbara Ann Ellis, with whom he helped to raise two children, Terry and Kelly, while employed with the Rensselaer County Department of Highways. Following a career that spanned more than four decades, Gifford retired as road supervisor in July, 2008.
In addition to the aforementioned medals, Gifford was the recipient of the Bronze Star Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal and Bronze Star Attachment (Triple), the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Ribbon with 1960 Device, the Expert Marksman and Rifle Bar Marksman Badges, the National Defense Service Medal and the Auto Rifle and Machine Gun Bars.
Active throughout the remainder of his lifetime following his honorable service to our nation during the Vietnam War, Gifford was involved with the Boyntonville United Methodist Church, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #1332 in Bennington, VT, where he served as a member of the Honor Guard, the Hoosick Falls American Legion Post and others.
In addition to County Executive Kathy Jimino, Chairman of the Legislature Martin Reid and Legislator Tom Walsh, the ceremony honoring Arthur E. Gifford was attended by Congressman Paul Tonko, representatives of Congressman Scott Murphy and State Senator Roy McDonald, as well as County Legislators Stan Brownell, Peter Grimm, Mark Fleming, Lou Rosamilia and Edward Manny.