City officials, representatives from military organizations and local Fort Rucker took part in the annual Veterans Tribute Ceremony last week at the Enterprise Civic Center.
As part of the ceremony, several Veteran of the Year nominees were recognized for their service to their country and community. Nominees for Veteran of the Year were John Cappadoro, Jim McDonough, Eric McLean, Scott Pittman and Steve Resteivo.
Recognized for Veteran of the Year and Service Member of the Year were 20-year U.S. Army veteran Conrad Stempel and Chief Warrant Officer Five Russell Smith.
Information about the nominees was obtained from personnel in charge of the ceremony.
Retired Chief Warrant Officer John Cappadoro served the U.S. Army from 1993 to 2012. Along the way, he received a multitude of awards and honors, including the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with a Campaign Star, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, two Joint Service Commendations, two Meritorious Service Medals and five Army Commendation Medals. He was awarded the Army Service Ribbon, five Overseas Service Ribbons and the Multinational Force and Observers Medal.
Since leaving military service, John has been an active member of the Enterprise community as a business owner and as a citizen. His Veteran of the Year nominator described him as a person who shares the values of the U.S. military and promotes a sense of patriotism.
John and his wife, Dana, have three children, Marielana, Maddie and Mason.
McDonough retired as chief warrant officer four in 2012 after serving 18 years in the U.S. Army. During that time, his service earned him many decorations and medals, including the Bronze Star, five Army Commendation Medals, two Meritorious Service Medals, the Iraq Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two National Defense Medals, and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
He also received a Non-Commissioned Officer Professional Development Service Ribbon, four Overseas Service Ribbons, the NATO Medal, the Multinational Force and Observers Medal and others.
His nomination describes Jim as a man of exceptional character who is always eager to assist others. He plays an active role in several charitable organizations and, as a business owner, he enjoys helping other local business owners in their efforts to succeed.
Jim and his wife Aimee, have two children, Jordan and Alexandria.
Eric McLean served in the U.S. Army from 2000 to 2005, until he was medically discharged because of a service injury that ultimately led to amputation. Eric’s response to his circumstances, however, wasn’t to give up. He has pushed on. In fact, his determination inspired two different people to nominate him for Veteran of the Year.
“It’s a sweet sight to drive by and see an amputee veteran giving back to the community, coaching on the soccer fields,” Leia Hughes wrote. “He is always a happy-go-lucky guy that volunteers in numerous ways in our community.”
Hughes said Eric is a symbol of true strength.
Caleb Davidson of the Enterprise YMCA said Eric has been volunteering as a coach of t-ball, soccer and basketball for several years.
“He is great with kids and they love him,” Davidson said and added that Eric shows outstanding character and true perseverance, finding success in work that would task the healthiest individuals.
Eric also volunteers as a homeroom dad for several classes at New Brockton Elementary School.
His wife, Deborah, is one of his biggest fans and supporters.
During his 23 years in the Army, Scott Pittman retired as a Master Sergeant and with a multitude of awards that attest to his outstanding service.
The recipient of the NATO Combat Action Badge also earned two Bronze Stars, two Meritorious Service Medals, Four Army Commendation Medals, three Army Achievement Medals, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two Campaign Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and two Humanitarian Service Medals, among others.
His honors also included three Overseas Service Ribbons and the Master Aviation Badge.
Scott’s nomination described him as having a sense of patriotism and selflessness, with a need to help others. As owner of an emergency services agency, Paul Davis, Scott helps citizens get back on their feet after a disaster. He and his wife, Wendy, ensure that their work is fueled by compassion and empathy.
His humanitarian efforts include assisting citizens in Baton Rouge in the aftermath of a devastating flood and supporting safety fairs and networking opportunities for public safety officials and citizens. He is a member of the Enterprise Lions Club, in which he assists with various humanitarian projects.
Retired U.S. Air Force First Sergeant Steve Resteivo served from 1959 to 1982, with most of that time dedicated to the Military Police Force. A member of the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 9, Steve settled in Enterprise in 1958, but his military career led him to multiple duty stations, including many overseas assignments.
As a Military law enforcement officer, K-9 handler, he was responsible for protecting our nuclear weapons during the Cold War, and he was selected in 1962 to guard the President of the United States, John F. Kennedy.
Later in his military career, he served as a Moral/Welfare/Recreation supervisor.
His awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal, 1st Award; the Air Force Commendation Medal, 2nd Award; and two Outstanding Unit Awards.
After his retirement brought him back to Enterprise, Steve has continued to serve. He has been a Reserve Police Officer and a substitute teacher for more than seven years.
His nomination for Veteran of the Year describes Steve as a man of dedication and sacrifice. As a trained and certified DAV Service Officer, he helps veterans and their families in getting the benefits they are entitled to. He also captures man hours as the fund-raising chairman — managing, planning and executing project plans such as the recent DAV golf tournament to ensure success.
Steve and his wife are the parents of Lisa, Rebecca, Kimberly and Tina, and the proud grandparents of Holly, Daniel, Michael and Katie.