Niagara Gazette


September 30, 2013

Francis B. Brusino


Frank B. Brusino, September 29, 2013, age 82.  Born and grew up on 19th Street, Niagara Falls and  moved to Grand Island 22 years ago. He graduated Bishop Duffy High School in 1950 and played on a championship football team during his senior year. Frank received his BA from Niagara University in 1954 and his MA from Niagara University in 1958. He also attended Florida State University, University of Delaware, University of Buffalo and Canisius College for certifications in Guidance and Administration. Frank was a teacher, counselor and Administrator at Niagara Wheatfield Central School District from 1958-1991, ending his Educational Career at Edward Town Middle School.
His Military career spanned ROTC years at Niagara University 1950-54 with active duty following his commission in Germany and stateside to 1957. The US Army Reserves followed. He completed many military schools including, 11th Airborne Basic and Advanced Airborne Course (Jumpmaster), Infantry Officer Advanced Course, US Army JFK Center, Special Warfare Course, US Army Counter-Insurgency Course, Command and General Staff College all during the 1950's and 1960's. His proudest assignment was Battalion Commander of 19th Special Forces Group out of White Plains, NY. Frank retired in 1991. During the 1990's, he became commander of Headquarters 4th Brigade, NY Guard and was promoted to Brigadier General retiring in the late 1990's. His Military Decorations include: the Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Master Parachutist Badge, Special Forces Tab, NYS Military Commendation Medal and the NYS Long and Faithful Service Medal. As National Guard Commander, he was called to duty during the  1971 Attica Uprising. Frank  was a member of many military and veteran organizations including Special Forces Association, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, 82nd Airborne Division, 11th Airborne Division and 1/174th Veterans.
After 9/11, Frank was a founding member of Grand Island's CERT Team (Citizens Emergency Response Team) and had the honor of meeting President Bush on the tarmac in his 2004 visit to Buffalo. In front of Air Force One, he presented President Bush with an Enduring Freedom Coin from his son, Karl, who served in Afghanistan. The media following the event referred to him as the "unidentified man from Grand Island" meeting with and riding to Kleinheins with the president. When introduced at Kleinheins by the President as "quite a character" the President  took time to talk about Frank and of all other first responders necessary for our country to be strong. He was awarded Excellence in Leadership Award for his work with CERT in 2005 and later in 2011, Frank was recognized by the Grand Island Fire Company for his Community Services with the Grand Island CERT Team. In the early 2000's, he traveled with the Friendship Airborne to China, Thailand, Cambodia and Mongolia earning jump wings from each country. He also traveled with his son to war-torn Bosnia. Frank enjoyed hunting, boating and traveling, visiting throughout the US, Europe and Asia.

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