FULTON — Assembly Minority Leader William Barclay presented Peter Allen, founder of Thank A Service Member, with an Assembly citation honoring him for being selected as the 2021 Veteran of the Year by the Fulton Veterans’ Council.
Barclay said he was pleased to honor Allen in recognition of his military career and all the work he has done to honor veterans and service members throughout the community. He also thanked the Fulton Veterans’ Council for all they do to honor veterans.
“In founding Thank A Service Member, Peter has inspired the local community to actively pay tribute and give thanks to all those who have served. Whether it is through ceremonies at a local park, the Thank A Service Member coins he circulates, the meals his organization provides for veterans or the warm handshakes he gives to veterans and service members throughout the community, Peter reminds us all to simply be grateful for those who work to protect our country,” Leader Barclay said. “The Fulton Veterans’ Council has once again chosen another veteran who embodies community service and has given so much to their country.”
Fulton Veterans’ Council member Donna Kestner said she was pleased Allen will have another opportunity to serve as Veteran of the Year. He was also the council’s 2020 Veteran of the Year, but due to COVID, he was unable to take part in many of the annual traditions. The council hopes 2021 will be different.
“Each year the Fulton Veterans’ Council chooses a Veteran of the Year to help us with our ceremonies and to be the Grand Marshal of the Memorial Day parade. Because Peter did not have that opportunity this year, we hope next year we can plan on him being at all of our functions to help shine a light on all that veterans have done for our community, our state and our nation,” said Kestner.
Fulton Mayor Deana Michaels said she was honored to have Allen again as the city’s Veteran of the Year.
“Peter Allen is an exemplary citizen. He is constantly thinking of others and his work is an outpouring of how he lives his life. The ways in which he has given to servicemen and women and veterans is immeasurable, but his work and his great organization, Thank A Service Member, serve as a reminder for the rest of us to be grateful for our veterans. It is an honor to have him as the Fulton Veterans’ Council Veteran of the Year, and it is my pleasure to congratulate him today,” Michaels said.
Allen served in the Army as a non-commissioned officer at West Point Military Academy and oversaw security for high-profile events including visits from President Ronald Reagan and the 1981 return home of 52 hostages during the Iranian revolution.
In 2006, he founded the not-for-profit Thank A Service Member — a charitable organization dedicated to educating the public and showing appreciation for those who serve the country. In addition, he helped establish the National Grid Veterans Employee Resource Group — an initiative that works to increase housing and job opportunities for veterans and improve their quality of life.