State Senator James Sanders nominated a Springfield Gardens man for induction into the New York State Senate Veterans’ Hall of Fame.
Retired Navy Chief Petty Officer Bernard Boowah Chong, currently a member of the Rosedale-Laurelton American Legion Post 483, enlisted in 1974 at the age of 18 and served during the Vietnam and Gulf War eras.
During his time at various naval commands, Chong received numerous medals, badges, citations and campaign ribbons, including the following: Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal (four times), Good Conduct Medal (four times), National Defense Service Medal (two times for Vietnam and Gulf War era), Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon (for the space shuttle Challenger accident investigation in 1986), Meritorious Unit Commendation (from Recruiting Command), Sea Service Deployment Ribbon, Navy Recruiting Service Ribbon, Enlisted Surface Warfare Insignia and Recruiting Gold Wreath Badge (16 times for outstanding recruiting district New Jersey).
“I am proud to recognize Bernard Boowah Chong for his dedication to serving our country and our community,” said Sanders, who is a Marine Corps veteran. “He has done so much to help so many of us and is well-deserving of this honor.”
After leaving the military, Chong worked as a tower operator, train operator and train service supervisor for the MTA (New York City Transit Authority) for 25 years before retiring. Chong is a strong advocate for the Transit Workers Union of America (TWU Local 100) and Subway Surface Supervisors Association (SSSA) unions and for veteran rights. He has received the Commanders Club Certificate in 2019 and 2020 for Disabled American Veterans from Diamond Leader New York Gene A. Murphy. He currently has the American LegionPost 483 with its food pantry program and he mentors youth in the southeast Queens community.
Each year senators from across the state are asked to select a veteran from their district to be inducted into the NYS Veterans’ Hall of Fame. The honor was created to recognize and celebrate outstanding service members from the Empire State who have distinguished themselves both in military and civilian life.