February 21, 2014

Gillibrand, Collins Announce Legislation to Name Alden Post Office after Fallen Army Sergeant

Alden Native, Sergeant Brett Gornewicz Died in Afghanistan in 2012

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, an Alden native who died while courageously serving in Afghanistan.

“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.”

“Renaming a post office in honor of Sergeant Gornewicz is only a small step in recognizing his bravery and service to his country,” Congressman Collins said. “It is my hope that this post office will allow the people of Alden, and those throughout the 27th district, to continue to honor the memory of Sergeant Gornewicz and ensure that his legacy of service and sacrifice lives on.”

“Brett was not only proud of his country but also the town he came from. We continue to be humbled by Alden's support in honoring his memory,” said the Gornewicz family. “He followed in the footsteps of his Grandfathers, who both served in the U.S. military and he was motivated in part by the events of 9/11. Brett was a man of few words but anyone that knew him, knows how proud he was of his country and the town he lived. Our family is grateful to have this postal facility named in his honor as it will continue to illustrate his dedication to the freedoms that we experience every day.”

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.

The legislation would rename U.S. postal facility located at 13127 Broadway Street in Alden the “Sergeant Brett E. Gornewicz Memorial Post Office.”