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LI vet going into Ranger Hall of Fame

Gary E. Dolan, a Massapequa-based attorney, is being

Gary E. Dolan, a Massapequa-based attorney, is being inducted into the Ranger Hall of Fame after his noteworthy service with the 173rd Airborne in the Vietnam War. Credit: Handout

A Massapequa lawyer is being honored next month, but not for his battles in the courtroom.

Gary Dolan, 66, has been practicing law out of his Massapequa office for 30 years. But in a past life he was a West Point graduate and Army Ranger with the 173rd Airborne in Vietnam. On July 27 he will be one of 12 inductees into the Ranger Hall of Fame in Fort Benning, Ga., for his performance and leadership during the war and his ongoing efforts to support the Rangers.

“I truly believe as a veteran that I am a representative of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “My job is to remind folks of those who gave their lives for everybody else’s freedoms.”

After his discharge from the military, Dolan wrote “Of Their Own Accord,” a novel inspired by his Vietnam experiences that highlights the importance of the Rangers’ role in the war. He also spearheaded a $100,000 project to add the name of every Ranger killed in action who graduated from West Point to the Ranger Monument at Fort Benning. He is working to update the memorial once again with the name of every Ranger lost.

“It takes an individual who has [gone] way above and beyond anybody else,” said Willie W. Snow, president of the support group Worldwide Army Rangers, who became friends with Dolan when they served together in Vietnam. “He’s a great individual. Not only in combat.”

For Dolan, this honor really strikes a cord because it came from the members of his unit. Four years ago a group of people who served under him told him they wanted to send his nomination to the U.S. Army Ranger Association, which selects the inductees. Dolan told them not to because he felt he wasn’t deserving. But this year Snow told Dolan he was nominated and that there was nothing he could do about it.

“I am stunned,” Dolan said. “. . . But here it is. I am going to be gleaming [when I get] that honor.”

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