The Bronx Chronicle Veteran of the Week

William Garnett Jr.


May 21, 2019

US Army | Private First Class

Private First Class, William W. “Sackie” Garnett Jr.  was born in Elmont on November 28, 1942 and has remained a lifelong resident, returning to Elmont after his service in the Vietnam War.

Private First Class Garnett, attended Sewanhaka High School and was later accepted to Iona College on an athletic scholarship, however due to family obligations he declined the offer in order to work and assist his family financially. In September of 1967, Private First Class Garnett was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War. Although he was offered the option of deferring, Private First Class Garnett declined the option and chose to serve his country.

Private First Class Garnett served in the United States Army 101st Airborne Division. He underwent basic training at Ft. Jackson in South Carolina and AIT at Ft. Pope in Louisiana. Later, he was later stationed at Ft. Campbell in Kentucky for jump school training to become airborne, and was deployed to Vietnam in March of 1968. Private First Class Garnett was then assigned to the 102nd Division of United States paratroopers, commonly known as the “1st of the old duce” based out of Dongha, Vietnam.  Private First Class Garnett was injured in the northernmost part of south Vietnam, flown to Phubai for medical attention, and then flown to the evacuation hospital in Long Bien. Eventually returning stateside to be discharged, he  was discharged from the Army in December 1969.

Private First Class Garnett then went on to work for the New York Racing Association for 36 years, starting in March of 1970. He later was a liaison between management and NYRA, also assisting with an international exchange student program to train Japan’s future racing officials. In 1984, Private First Class Garnett held a forum for the New York Police Department to raise funds for underprivileged children to attend summer camp. Private First Class Garnett was able to gather jockeys to participate in a game against the Police Department’s team and raised $7,000 to send children to summer camp.

Private First Class Garnett married his wife, Joyce Hrupa, on May 15th, 1984 and had three wonderful children, Helena, Crystal and William V. Garnett III.  Private First Class Garnett currently resides in the Jamaica Square Section of Elmont with his family and is an active member of the community.

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