Decorated veteran and former Mayor of Westhampton Beach Arma Andon has been named to the New York Senate Veterans Hall of Fame.
Andon, who is also known as “Ham,” has been a vital member to the Westhampton Beach community. After his career in New York City media, Andon held an eight-year stint as the 16th mayor of Westhampton Beach, served two years as a trustee, and has been one of the fire commissioners of the Westhampton Beach Fire District for more than seven years.
Before making such a respectable reputation for himself in Westhampton Beach, Andon served for the U.S. Army. During the years in which he fought in World War II, Andon constantly faced insurmountable odds against him, but nevertheless was successful.
Andon, as the captain and company Ccmmander of the 328th Infantry Combat Team, landed on Utah Beach in Normandy in 1944. His unit was sent to the front lines in October when it immediately came under fire. The tanks that were supposed to support Andon and the rest of his unit became stuck in mud and the company lost its covering fire. The unit lost many men but, after a lieutenant was mortally wounded, Andon took over a machine gun to return fire.
Then, in March 1945, Andon fought in Germany where he was in a foxhole and under heavy enemy bombardment. He was badly wounded; he sustained injuries in his abdomen leaving an open gash in his stomach and he shattered both his left knee and leg. Despite these injuries, Ham continued to fight and lead his men.
Andon was awarded the Bronze Star with Cluster, two Purple Hearts with Cluster, and a Presidential Unit Citation. In 2005, he was honored with the Austrian Medal of Honor and in 2006, the French President’s Legion of Honor Medal. Andon retired a major of the United States Army Reserve.
Now, State Senator Ken LaValle has appointed Andon to the 2014 New York Senate Veterans Hall of Fame. LaValle says, “Arma E. Andon embodies the life, character and abilities of a generation of leaders that exemplify the great American spirit. Arma is a true hero that protected the freedoms we treasure. His selection into the Hall of Fame is in recognition of his patriotism and sacrifice for our country.”