Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Chris Collins today announced President Barack Obama has signed legislation to name the U.S. Post Office in Alden after Army Sergeant Brett Gornewicz. Army Sergeant Brett Gornewicz is an Alden native who died in 2012 while courageously serving in Afghanistan. The legislation passed the House on June 17, 2014, and received final Congressional passage in the Senate on August 1, 2014.
“Sergeant Gornewicz represented the very best of Alden and all of New York,” Senator Gillibrand said. “He answered the highest call, put his life on the line for others, and made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. Naming the Alden Post Office after him will honor his legacy in the community he loved for all to proudly remember his life and his service.”
“Sergeant Gornewicz courageously served our country and made the ultimate sacrifice to defend our freedom,” said Congressman Chris Collins (NY-27), who introduced the House version of the legislation. “I am honored this legislation became law today. This post office will honor the memory of Sergeant Gornewicz, and ensure that his legacy of service and sacrifice lives on.”
“As we see this legislation come to fruition we are grateful that as a nation we recognize Brett’s sacrifice,” said Sergeant Gornewicz’s parents Jack and Margaret Gornewicz. “It is truly an honor to have a post office in Brett’s home town of Alden, NY, named in memory of him, and let it also be a tribute to all of our veterans and the brave men and women who currently serve our in the Armed Forces.”
A graduate of Alden High School, Sergeant Gornewicz enlisted in the Army Reserves in 2006 and was deployed to Iraq, where he served from 2007 to 2008. After returning, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Buffalo State College. He was working as a computer-aided designer and mechanical designer for a Tonawanda company when he was assigned to a second deployment to Afghanistan. Sergeant Gornewicz was awarded a Bronze Star with Valor for his bravery in saving a life during a firefight.
Along with fellow New Yorkers Staff Sergeant Dain Taylor Venne and Specialist Ryan P. Jayne, Gornewicz died from wounds sustained when their vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device in the Paktia Province of Afghanistan. All three were assigned to the 444th Engineer Company based in Oswego.