Rockland County Veteran of the Year Edward J. Frank is set to address 150 new citizens as they are sworn in at the latest naturalization ceremony.
The new citizens, who come from 37 countries, are scheduled to take the Oath of Allegiance at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Rockland County Fire Training Center in Pomona. Rockland County Clerk Paul Piperato is set to administer the oath at the ceremony that will be officiated by Judge Victor J. Alfieri Jr.
Frank, a West Nyack resident, is a Vietnam War veteran who was named Rockland's Veteran of the Year in November 2012 by the Rockland County Veterans Coordinating Council.
Frank served in the Navy from 1967 to 1973. He was a crew member on a seven-man River Patrol boat in the Mekong Delta Region of Vietnam and Cambodia during his one-year tour of duty in Vietnam from 1969- 1970.
He has been involved with local veterans groups, such as the Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter #333, including three terms as president. He was a co-founder of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, West Nyack Post #126 and is a member of the VFW Post #9215 in Upper Nyack.
In 2005, Frank co-founded Schools To End Poverty (S.T.E.P.) – a 501c3 Foundation that seeks to end poverty through education. With community help, they have built two schools in Vietnam and one in Honduras, with another to come in Jamaica and a third school in Vietnam. These programs helped provide education for hundreds of needy children; it also supplied a refurbished ambulance for the Sharon Lane Memorial Clinic in Vietnam, clean drinking water systems for 605 children at a school and an orphanage, and much more.
In Friday's ceremony, 0rgan transplant recipients Michael Prendergast is set to speak on behalf of the New York Organ Donor Network. Musician Michael Mark is also set to perform for the new citizens.