The Madison County War Veterans Memorial Corporation has just announced the six candidates for their 2018 Veteran of the Year award.

Area veterans Donald Conley, Reginald Emmons, Norman McGowan, Joseph Palmisano, Don Smith and William Yorton will vie for the honor, which will be given Nov. 3 at a gala Madison County Veteran of the Year Awards Dinner at Theodore’s Restaurant in Canastota.

Vietnam War veteran Ben Barrett chaired the selection process, and called the choice of a Veteran of the Year “the most difficult thing that we’ve done.” He said it was a blind process, as the judges were given two pages of biography and accomplishments for each of the veterans without their names attached.

Rather than basing the selection on work within veterans’ organizations, Barrett said they focused instead on what the candidates are doing for local communities. The choice was very close, he noted.

“Any one of them could have easily won the award,” Barrett complimented.

WAVEM president Doug Ginney said the Veteran of the Year award is an important reminder that there are men and women right in Madison County who have sacrificed much for their country.

“We want to create interest in the veterans – they are the ones who truly deserve it,” Ginney said. “We want to make sure they know that they are not forgotten. They are always in our hearts and on our minds.”

The dinner is at 6 p.m. Nov. 3 and tickets are just $15, as the committee is not looking to make a profit from the event, Ginney said. The public is invited to attend. Theodore’s Restaurant is located at 3231 Seneca Turnpike in Canastota.

Barrett said a few tickets remained for the dinner at press time – to reserve tickets, call him at 315-824-3074.