“This month we lost one of our strongest advocates in the veteran community with the death of Dick Pedro,” said Governor Cuomo. “Few people have served more selflessly than he has over many years on identifying and solving the difficult challenges facing veterans of all generations. I join with all veterans as we pay tribute to Dick’s service. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I offer my thoughts and prayers to his friends and family.”
Richard M. Pedro served during World War II in the United States Navy from May 24, 1944 until October 30, 1947 which included 22 months sea duty aboard the USS Weiss. Upon his discharge from the United States Navy Richard joined The American Legion and Tioga Post #401 in Owego and has been an active member for 65 continuous years and was honored with an Honorary Life Membership in 1964. Dick served as a leader in his organizations including; commander, New York State American Legion, and 29 years as the adjutant. He was so well respected that at the 94th national convention in 2012, the delegates unanimously voted to bestow on him the honorary title of past national commander, joining legendary New Yorkers Theodore Roosevelt Jr. and long-time U.S. Rep. Hamilton Fish in receiving the rare honor. He also served as a board president of the New York State Veterans' Home in Oxford, NY. "Throughout his life, Dick has remained true to the goals and ideals of the Preamble to The American Legion Constitution by his service to God and country and devotion to mutual helpfulness by service," Governor Cuomo's press release stated..