Mount Kisco Veteran Who Fought in 82-Day Battle of Okinawa to be Honored
MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. – Exercise teachers aren’t typically 87 years old, but Corporal John Hvisch isn’t your typical senior.
The Mount Kisco resident enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943 at the age of 17 against his parent’s objections. America was at war. After completing his training, he joined the “Island Hopping Marines” in the Mariana battles, part of the Pacific campaign of World War II. The battles took place on the islands of Tinian and Saipan.
When that campaign concluded, Hvisch fought in the battle of Okinawa, which lasted 82 days. In that time, the Corporal lost good friends. Those who survived, he stays in touch with to this day.
Hvisch served with the 2nd and 4th Marines Divisions, and the 10th Marines Division. Following his service, he received campaign medals and battle stars for his bravery and service, as well as several citations.
He came home in 1946 and became a police officer. He was appointed in 1954 to what is now the Westchester County Department of Public Safety. In 1954, it was called the Westchester County Parkway Police. He retired in 1976. His wife of 41 years, Rosemarie, passed in 1988 from breast cancer.
Fast forward to today, Havisch is teaching exercise classes, serving lunch and helping out with special events at the Mount Kisco Senior Center. He is one of the oldest seniors at the center, and is proud of it.
Recently, he was nominated for the third-annual Veterans Hall of Fame.
“Senator Greg Ball’s Veterans’ Hall of Fame initiative has provided our military veterans with the recognition and honor they deserve for serving this great Country,” said Mount Kisco Mayor Michael J. Cindrich.
Ball created the Veterans’ Hall of Fame to honor veterans from throughout the 40th Senate District. They will be honored Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. at Mahopac High School.
Hvisch has five children and 10 grandchildren. In addition to staying active with the Mount Kisco Moses Taylor Post 136 of the American Legion, Hvisch also serves as an usher for Saint Francis of Assisi Church.
“Mr. Hvisch is a prime example of the saying, ‘the few, the proud, the Marines,’” Ball said. “I am very excited to join with Mount Kisco to honor Mr. Hvisch for his years of service to our country and I greatly look forward to the Hall of Fame ceremony this November.”
If you would like to nominate someone from your community, please contact your local town board or city council or contact Senator Ball’s office at (845) 279-3773.