July 01, 2014

Gillibrand, Collins Announce Key Senate Committee Passage Of Legislation To Name Alden Post Office After Fallen Army Sergeant

Now Legislation Heads to Senate Floor For Final Vote

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Chris Collins today announced legislation to name the U.S. Post Office in Alden after Army Sergeant Brett Gornewicz passed out of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Army Sergeant Brett Gornewicz is an Alden native who died in 2012 while courageously serving in Afghanistan. The legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives on June 17, 2014, and now heads to the Senate floor for a final vote. 

“Sergeant Gornewicz made the ultimate sacrifice by putting his life on the line for his country,” Senator Gillibrand said. “Naming the Alden Post Office after him will honor his legacy and I am pleased this legislation passed out of the committee. I will continue to push to make sure it passes out of the full Senate and look forward to it being signed into law, where it can stand as a memorial to commemorate Sergeant Gornewicz’s life and sacrifice for our freedom.”

“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. “This post office will honor the memory of Sergeant Gornewicz, and ensure that his legacy of service and sacrifice lives on.”

“The Gornewicz Family is appreciative that this legislation is close to being enacted,” said Sergeant Gornewicz’s parents, Jack and Margaret.  “Brett served his country with honor and the Post Office will be a regional tribute to his service and sacrifice. It is noteworthy that many packages sent to Brett when he served in both Iraq and Afghanistan were processed through the Alden Post Office by family and friends who are Alden residents.”

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.