Collins Holds Alden Post Office Dedication Honoring Sergeant Brett Gornewicz
Congressman Chris Collins and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released the following remarks after the dedication of the U.S. Post Office in Alden, New York in honor of Army Sergeant Brett E. Gornewicz, an Alden native who died while courageously serving in Afghanistan in 2012.
“It is an honor to dedicate a post office in New York’s 27th Congressional District after a hometown hero,” said Congressman Collins. “Sergeant Gornewicz courageously served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom. This post office will honor the memory of Sergeant Gornewicz, and ensure that his legacy of service and sacrifice lives on.”
“Sergeant Gornewicz was a brave soldier who represented Alden, New York, and the country with pride,” said Senator Gillibrand. “He put his life on the line for a higher cause, and he made the ultimate sacrifice so that the rest of us can continue to live our lives safely and freely. The renamed Alden Post Office will honor Sergeant Gornewicz and help us always remember and admire his life and his service.”
The United States Postal Service unveiled the dedication plaque for Sergeant Gornewicz this morning at his memorial in Alden Evergreen Cemetery. The plaque will be installed permanently at the U.S. postal facility located at 13127 Broadway in Alden, New York.
A graduate of Alden High School, Sergeant Gornewicz enlisted in the Army Reserves in 2006 and was deployed to Iraq, where he served from 2007 to 2008. After returning stateside, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Buffalo State College. He was working as a computer-aided designer and mechanical designer for a Tonawanda company when he was assigned to a second deployment to Afghanistan.
During his second deployment, Sergeant Gornewicz displayed profound courage and selflessness when he risked his life to save a fellow soldier during a firefight. For his bravery, he was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor. Tragically, Sergeant Gornewicz died in November of 2012 from wounds he sustained when his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in the Paktia Province of Afghanistan.
Legislation dedicating the Alden Post Office in honor of Sergeant Gornewicz was championed in the House of Representatives by Congressman Collins and passed on June 17, 2014. The companion Senate bill, championed by Senator Gillibrand passed on August 1, 2014. President Obama signed the bill into law on August 8, 2014.