GUILDERLAND, N.Y. – On the day Major General Harold Greene’s body returned to the United States, local American Legion members joined together at his boyhood home to remember his life.
Legion members laid flags around the boyhood home of Major General Greene to honor the man who was so willing to lay down his life for his country. Greene was killed in Afghanistan on Tuesday making him the highest ranking official to die in combat since Vietnam.
“It’s very meaningful to show our support for his family and to honor his memory,” childhood friend Philip Pelkey said.
Pelkey said he graduated from Guilderland High School with the Major General.
“We lived on the same street together,” he said. “Kind of grew up in the same neighborhood, so there is that connection.”
But even for those American Legion members who did not know him, losing someone with local ties is always hard.
“A lot of us here are veterans,” organizer Stephen Oliver said. “Could have been us at any phone call.”
Legion members rode from the Altamont Legion to Greene’s father’s home to give Greene a soldier’s salute and official prayer of their own.
“We’re here to honor a man who gave the ultimate sacrifice for his country,” Oliver said.
Green’s father and brother were in attendance at the salute, though they asked to not be shown on camera. They took in the emotion and support from their community. Pelkey said he hopes every American takes the moment to heart.
“A lot of Americans are conflicted about the war, but we’ve got to be there to support the troopers, you know, that’s the bottom line,” he said.
Green graduated from Guilderland High School and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from RPI.