Veteran Of The Year

There are roughly 5,000 veterans living in Warren County.

One of them was brought to tears Tuesday afternoon at the American Legion Post 135 in Warren.

Rick Moore of Sheffield was awarded Veteran of the Year for his service to his country and community.

Moore, 69, lives in Sheffield with his wife Janelle. They have been married for 46 years and have two children. Moore was a teacher throughout the Warren County School District when he returned from the Army.

The American Legion submitted a letter to the Warren County Veterans Council nominating Moore, the American Legion Post 135 Service Officer, for the award without his knowledge. On Tuesday, family and friends at the American Legion watched as State Rep. Kathy Rapp announced Moore as the Veteran of the Year.

Moore served in the Army from 1962 through 1965 and was stationed “all over.”

Moore said he spent the majority of his time in Puerto Rico at an induction center. He has served in the Sheffield/Clarendon Color Guard funeral detail for nearly 36 years and was the former Commander of the American Legion Post from 2011 through 2013.

“I certainly was surprised,” he said. “I’m super honored, but there are so many other people that deserve this, really, several people I work with have done as much or more than I’ve ever thought of.”

Moore described through tears his experience serving in the Color Guard funeral detail.

“People come up to you afterwards and tell you what a nice ceremony that was, how heart-felt they are about what went on. It’s just nice to be able to see that for people who deserve it,” he said. “I’m truly honored, but again, humbly. I’ve done no more than hundreds of veterans…I’m not done. I’ll keep working at this.

“You can see how much they enjoy the help, they appreciate the help and it’s the way to do things. And it doesn’t matter if it’s veterans or church, whatever. Doing things for others. It’s my idea of life,” Moore said.

In his letter to the Warren County Veterans Council, American Legion Post 135 Adjutant Pat Ross said Moore is personally responsible for delivering boxes of books to the Erie Soldiers and Sailors Home and the Erie VA Medical Center in the last year.

“Rick always has the welfare of the veteran on his mind. Whenever there is a call for a volunteer to help a veteran’s cause, Rick is always the first to sign up,” Ross said.

“We’ve given over 80 boxes of books to the Erie VA, Pittsburgh VA, and the Erie Soldiers and Sailors Home,” Moore said about the program through the Warren Public Library. “They call me up and I go over and pick up boxes and I get them to where they belong.”

“It just works out well for everybody – the books find a home and it’s just worthwhile all the way around,” Warren Public Library Director Patty Sherbondy said. “We really appreciate what Rick Moore does.”

Warren Mayor Maurice Cashman said members of the armed forces have “given up their freedom for our freedom” in that service members are told where to live, when to get up, how to dress, what to eat and where they are based.

“They give up a lot of freedom to protect our overall freedom and for that I am eternally thankful,” he said.

Rapp said she’s honored to serve Warren County on the Veterans Affairs Committee in Harrisburg.

“This is my tenth year and I want to say thank you for all that you have done and I am honored to serve you on that committee. It is my honor to recognize a very important veteran from the American Legion…Mr. Rick Moore,” she said presenting him with a citation from the House of Representatives.

“Rick, it is my pleasure as the Warren County Veterans Affairs Director and the President of the Warren County Veterans Council to present you with this plaque as Veteran of the Year for the year of 2013,” Ed Burris said.

“I met so many good people doing these activities with the veterans and I’ll always be involved. And I thank all my friends, neighbors, family for being here. This was a complete surprise, trust me. But the American Legion, the VFW do an awful lot for a lot of people and we both continue to do. And I thank you again,” Moore said accepting his award.