Harckham Honors Duane Jackson for NYS Veterans Hall of Fame Induction

State Sen. Pete Harckham congratulating Duane Jackson while Cortlandt Town Supervisor Dr. Richard Becker looks on. 2) State Sen. Pete Harckham and Duane Jackson with Assemblymember Sandy Galef in background. Credit: Office of State Sen. Pete Harckham / Tom Staudter]

New York State Senator Pete Harckham honored Duane Jackson for his induction into the 2022 New York State Senate Veterans Hall of Fame and commemorated his military service at a special ceremony held recently here at Buchanan Village Hall, with a number of veterans and local officials in attendance.

At the ceremony, Harckham presented Jackson with a commemorative plaque and a Senate Proclamation regarding his Hall of Fame induction

“Duane’s unique professional career has included public service and entrepreneurship, as well as an abiding focus on helping his fellow veterans of armed service,” said Harckham. “He is also a real American hero in the fight against terrorism who deserves our immense thanks for all that he has accomplished.”

Originally born and raised in California, Jackson served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Ranger aircraft carrier in the Pacific during the Vietnam War. At the time of his discharge from the Navy, Duane held the rank of E3,Airman. After his service, Jackson earned a bachelor’s degree in City Planning from Boston University and later continued his education with postgraduate work in Washington. D.C. Prior to establishing his own business, he worked with the NYC Department of Housing and Preservation, the NYC Board of Education (Division of School Buildings) and a private engineering firm.

In May 2010, Duane made national headlines when he thwarted a potential terrorist attack in Times Square. While managing his own street vendor business, Jackson witnessed smoke emanating from an illegally parked and empty SUV, and quickly alerted the city police. Upon investigation, city authorities found that the car had a propane-and-gasoline bomb inside, which did not explode. The perpetrator of this crime was arrested and later sentenced to life in prison. In full recognition for his heroism that day, days later, Jackson received a call from President Obama who, on behalf of the country, thanked him for his continued service to the city and country.

Jackson has served on the Buchanan Board of Trustees, and now is co-president of the Buchanan Historical Society and a member of the Westchester County Historical Society. He completed research on America’s first African American soldiers in the 1st Rhode Island Regiment, a pioneering military unit in the Revolutionary War, which played a vital and heroic role in the battle at the Pines Bridge crossing of the Croton River in 1781.

The Hudson Valley veterans’ community is well acquainted with Jackson, who is a member of American Legion Post 1030 in Verplanck, Vietnam Veterans Chapter 49 in Westchester, and the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 137 in Westchester and Putnam counties, as well as past president of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 817 of Buchanan.

“I am pleased to receive this honor and its acknowledgement of my service to our country,” said Jackson. “Freedom is not free. From 1776 to today, our leaders have understood ours would always be a fight against tyranny. Today our generation is called to the task to safeguard this freedom, and I am determined to contribute all I can to this most noble cause.”

Buchanan Mayor Theresa Knickerbocker said, “I am so pleased that a longtime village resident has been recognized and inducted into the Veteran’s Hall of Fame. We thank Duane for his service to our country. Not only is Duane a proud veteran, but he has also served his community admirably for many years.”

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