Syracuse VA Medical Center Staff Receive Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation Award - Syracuse VA Medical Center
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Syracuse VA Medical Center


Syracuse VA Medical Center Staff Receive Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation Award

May 15, 2017

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Contact: Robert McLean, Public Affairs Officer          

Phone:   (315) 425-2422

Mobile:   (315) 956-1394




Syracuse VA Medical Center Staff Receive
Four Chaplains Memorial Foundation


Syracuse, NY-Ten staff members of the Syracuse VA Medical Center were awarded the Legion of Honor by the Four Chaplain Memorial Foundation at a ceremony held in the Medical Center All Faiths Chapel, Friday May 12th. The Syracuse VA staff members were awarded for their work in Veteran suicide prevention.  


The foundation and the award are inspired by the actions of four U.S. Army Chaplains who gave up their life jackets and prayed together when their transport ship, the U.S.A.T Dorchester was torpedoed eighty miles south of Greenland on February 3, 1943. The Chaplains came from different faiths and backgrounds and each gave their life jacket to a solider so that they may survive. All four chaplains were lost at sea.


For more than sixty years the Chapel of the Four Chaplains has told the story of their faith, courage and interfaith cooperation through a variety of programs and events. This program will publicly recognize and honor outstanding members of Syracuse VA whose actions model the giving spirit and unconditional service to community, nation, and humanity without regard to race, religion, or creed exemplified so dramatically by the Four Chaplains.


The story of the Four Chaplain’s includes not only the background of the Chaplains, their interfaith cooperation, and their selfless sacrifice but it also includes the memories of the close to seven hundred lives lost that day, the stories of the survivors, the bravery of the rescuers and those who are inspired even today.


The following Syracuse VA Staff whose deeds symbolize the legacy of the Four Chaplains aboard the U.S.A.T. will receive the award:


Stephanie Achilles, MD                           Wendy Armenta, MD

Russell Burlingame, RN                           Steven McDonald, RN

Dulcey Muraski, LPN                               Megan Near, RN

Maryanne Pontecorvo, RN                       Heather Simmons, LPN

Deborah Spinner, RN                              Robert Walker, RN


          For more information on the Four Chaplain Memorial Foundation visit