2019 Honorees

Anthony Kavouras – MSgt. USAF, Retired

Anthony Kavouras was born in the Bronx, NY. He honorably served 34+ years in the United States Air Force and spent most of those years with the 105th Security Forces squadron, Including a deployment to Afghanistan with the 755th Expeditionary Security Forces, “Reaper 7”. Anthony has held just about every position in Security Forces. He has been the Noncommissioned Officer in Charge of Training for a Base Defense Group, consisting of over 300 Warriors. He was the first of only a few NCO’s to be named a Liaison for two Security Force Groups that deploy together into hostile regions. He was the Team Leader for a thirty-man Security Force deployed to Afghanistan and was a Squad Leader for a Squad of sixteen Defenders during that deployment.

Anthony has also been a Flight Sgt for a Security Flight of Fourteen Base Defenders. After a long career ending with a deployment to Afghanistan that ended in a loss of a troop and many troop injuries, Anthony decided to put down his weapons and turn to a new career. A charter member of the HVVA, as well as a founding member of the SUNY Dutchess Veterans Club. He was instrumental in establishing a Veterans Resource Center at SUNY Dutchess, and is also a Vet2Vet peer mentor through the PFC Dwyer Program. He is a Member of the Dutchess County Veteran Affairs Committee. He Co-Chairs the Dutchess County Veteran Task Force and Chairs the Dutchess County Adult Mental Health Subcommittee.

Since Jan 2015 Anthony has been working full time helping Veterans who are homeless or soon to be homeless find permanent housing and then sustaining that housing by helping them find employment, file for VA benefits and/or Social Security benefits and transportation. He is currently the Housing Empowerment, Reintegration, and Occupation (H.E.R.O.) Program Manager. Anthony is married to Jacqueline Kavouras, has four adult children and four grandchildren.

Bob Roberts – United States Marine Corps

Bob Roberts enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in December of 1965 and began Boot Camp in Parris Island, SC on January 26, 1966. By April of 1966 he had completed Infantry Training at Camp Lejeune, NC. After completing Infantry Training, Bob began Radio Operator School in San Diego, CA and then Vietnamese Language School at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA.

Once his training was complete in March of 1967, Bob was stationed at 3rd Marine Division, Communications Section of Air and Naval Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) on Phu Bai Combat Base in South Vietnam, where he trained as a Forward Observer. In November of 1967 Bob moved north with the 3rd Marine Division into the Demilitarized Zone at Dong Ha Combat Base. There, he helped conduct Artillery, Fixed Wing, Helicopter, Naval Gunfire, and B-52 air strikes against enemy North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong targets throughout I Corps. Bob is proud that there were no Friendly Forces harmed in these missions.

In April of 1968, Bob was rotated home to the United States and received a “rough welcome” in San Francisco, CA. He then flew home to New York to be with his family. Bob was then stationed in Quantico, VA – Marine Corps Schools Battalion as an enlisted Instructor to Officer Candidates that were preparing to serve in South Vietnam. He was promoted to Sergeant in January, 1969.

Bob was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal (with combat “V”), the Presidential Unit Citation, the Combat Action Ribbon, the Vietnamese Service Medal (with four stars), the Vietnamese Campaign Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Rifle Marksman Badge.

After being Honorably Discharged in January of 1970, Bob was promoted to Staff Sergeant while in the USMC Reserves.

Shondra Usher – US Army

Shondra Usher began her military career in 2002 at 33 years old when she successfully completed Basic Training at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina. Her Master of Science was 63H Master Track Mechanic. Later, Shondra progressed to her first unit with the 1st Infantry Division in Schweinfurt, Germany with whom she deployed to Iraq for 18 months.

Shondra joined the Army after losing her mother and stepfather. She was determined to give herself and her three siblings a better life, and to do so she turned to the military.

After three years in the Army, Shondra progressed to El Paso, TX with the 4/1 Calvary Division. She then deployed with them to Mosul, Iraq for 17 months. She then spent another 17 months deployed with the 1st Armored Division to the “land of Abraham,” a base camp located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

Throughout her time deployed, Shondra lost 28 battle buddies to the Taliban.

After reaching the rank of Sergeant, three tours of duty, and reaching the age of 41, Shondra was Honorably Discharged from the US Army with 100% Combat Disability. Since being discharged, she has gone on to earn a bachelor’s in science for Social Work and Sociology from Marist College, Alpha Sigma Lambda. She then went on to pursue her master’s degree in Sociology and Social Work from Adelphi University and obtain her license (LMSW). She now assists with the Vet2Vet program, Exempt Fireman, VFW 170, and is a caretaker for her Grandparents.

Anthony Lassiter – United States Army

Anthony Lassiter was born in February 1947 in Beacon, New York. He attended his local high school, where he was the quarterback for his football team, and a member of the varsity wrestling and baseball team, playing 2nd and 3rd base. He graduated high school in 1966. Upon his graduation from Basic Combat Training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Private Lassiter was stationed at the Presidio in San Francisco, California. There he was assigned to the “burial detail firing squad” unit where he performed the 21-gun salute at the funerals of fallen heroes brought back from the battlefields of Vietnam. In 1969, Specialist E4 Lassiter received his next set of orders and was given a 30-day leave to visit his family. After that he reported to Fort Lewis, Washington.  He was then sent to the Republic of South Vietnam, where the terrible fighting there had already taken the lives of many brave heroes. After arriving at the Vinh Long Airfield in Vietnam, Specialist Lassiter was assigned to Bravo Company, 36th Engineering Brigade. His primary responsibilities included building helicopter landing pads for Cobra gunships. He was honorably discharged from the Army in November 1969. In January 1970 he went to work at IBM in East Fishkill, New York and after several years he became a manager. One of his favorite assignments was recruiting college students to work for IBM. He worked at IBM for the next 30 years. Anthony and his wife have two sons, Justin and Aaron. He has five grandchildren. Mr. Lassiter is now retired. He serves his church and the community in volunteer activities.

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